Sleep: Waking up Your Inner HealerI am continually in awe of the nature’s incredible healing wisdom.

I truly believe that your body can overcome almost any health challenge when you remove the obstacles from its path and provide the things its missing.  And I don’t mean symptom removal.  Every symptom is a message from your body saying “something is out of balance.”  Yet, we so want to turn off the symptoms and return to comfort that we sometimes forget to ask what the message is.

Sometimes the thing that’s out of balance is not tangible.  You don’t need to remove a toxin, or take an herb or homeopathic remedy, or try a new therapy when what your body is asking for is a shift in an attitude or a belief.

No matter how good your diet is or how impeccable your exercise program is, if you’re angry, judgmental, or fearful; not taking periodic de-stress breaks; and not sleeping enough; your body’s innate healing capabilities cannot perform at peak potential.

And guess what?

You’ll experience uncomfortable or downright painful symptoms, your excess weight will stay locked in place, your brain will operate at less than par, and you, my friend, will find yourself living a life devoid of passion, purpose, and prosperity.

My Personal Lesson about the Importance of Sleep for Balance

I remember not too long ago, thinking to myself things like:

  • I’ve been eating a pristine diet, especially lately during my B4 Be Gone program, during which I have been following a low-glycemic diet, similar to Dr. Gabriel Cousen’s Phase 1 diet he uses in his reversing diabetes and “turn off the composting” programs.
  • I’ve been exercising regularly, including aerobics, bursts, and strength and conditioning training.
  • Staying up lateI’ve been practicing my HeartMath™ activities regularly and feel like very little gets me upset anymore.  So I felt “entitled” to have one little vice.  “One place where I bend the rules won’t hurt,” I told myself, as my bedtime continued to creep forward from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. to 4 a.m. and quite a number of times over the past several months to as late/early as 5, 6, or 7 a.m.  I had the energy to stay up and get lots done in the quiet hours, so why not?

Then, came the shocking WAKE UP call…

My first wake-up call came when I tested my glucose as part of my B4 Be Gone class and found that a bowl of pineapple shot my glucose up by 100 points into diabetic range!

Whoa! That’s scary, since there’s a family history of diabetes and heart disease, and I know the damage that high levels of insulin cause to blood vessels.

So, being a good student, I tested other fruits, determined all the foods that caused high glucose readings and eliminated them, keeping my blood sugars in the healthy range of 75 – 110.  This will go a long way to healing my blood vessels, but what about the root cause of the fruit spike?

The Risks of Rationalizing Your Choices

Several studies report that even one night of poor sleep can induce insulin resistance in healthy subjects.

Wow.

At that point, I had accumulated hundreds of nights of sleep deprivation.  So in spite of not having the “outward” signs, I actually do have insulin resistance.  The reason for the lack of outward signs is my diet and exercise.

My own story is a clear example of how diet, exercise, and stress management may not be enough.

working at the expense of sleepSleep is vital.

Let me repeat that: Sleep is vital.

Did I learn my lesson and immediately start sleeping 8 hours a night to heal?

NO.

Why not?

Addiction.

Addiction is behind many poor choices when it comes to health. My addiction used to be to food, caffeine, and alcohol.  Now it’s to achievement.  I have so many goals, dreams, and messages to share, I get caught up in the joy of creating and I forget to take time to sleep.

My initial answer to my sleep issue was to get even better about my diet (which was already pretty darn good to begin with).  It was easier to give up fruit than give up awake time.  But recently, the powers that be deep in the abyss of my inner workings stood up and revolted.

Shut Down or Break Down

“NO!” cried my body.  “No More.  You must rest.  We can’t continue to keep you healthy, vibrant, and strong unless you REST.”

Then one otherwise normal Sunday, a strange sensation took over me.  It started as a disturbance in my tummy.  Then it moved to overall mental exhaustion.  Next chills took me over, and I felt physically exhausted.  I needed to lie down (it was late afternoon/early evening by then).

fever and body break downI felt feverish and achy all over, the most prominent pain manifesting as a headache.

I had no choice but to retreat to bed.

I woke up the next morning feeling worse.  My fever had climbed to 102!  I spent the next 3 days in bed, alternating between sleeping, talking on the phone, and returning a few e-mails on my iPad, but mostly just sleeping.

Sometime Wednesday night the fever broke and I awoke on Thursday feeling almost back to my normal self.

I resisted the temptation to scurry back to my desk and start working at my normal pace.  I had a day full of calls and a presentation to write, and I did it all from my bed.  Which meant I could take periodic “lie down”  breaks, especially on calls.

I was on, focused and articulate, and I was taking care of myself.

New brain imprints were made.

Lesson learned.

So now, whenever I need to, I sit with my computer perched on a portable computer stand, my smoothie and other beverages at hand, ready to rest whenever I need to.

So, I ask you, what can you do to please your inner healer?

What attitude can you shift, belief can you let go of, or food or beverage can you stop consuming?

What movement, self-care practice, or fun activity can you do to activate your healer?

And I request, respectfully, that you avoid saying, “But I can't.  I have a special situation,” then start talking about the kids, the dogs, your work, the trash, the dishes, or any of the hundreds of excuses I hear all the time for lack of self-care.

I have a husband and kids.

I have a dog.

I have a kitchen and dishes just like you.

And my garden is feeling neglected.

And there’s a big pile of stuff on my counter that could use a going through.

Plus I have hundreds of people actively in programs that I’m providing inspiration and materials to regularly.

And a business that relies on ME.

And if I get sick, then what?

Your Health is Your Most Precious Commodity

It’s time to learn to drop the limiting beliefs and learn the habits and self-care rituals that will make you more available to the kids, the dog, the aging parents, the demanding spouse…

well rested happy morning stretchYou.

Here.

Now.

Tune in.

Decide.

Take action!

What's stopping you?

Think about it and post below.

I love you.

I want you happy, healthy, and whole.

I want you on fire with living your life with passion, purpose, and prosperity.

With much appreciation,

ritamarie-signature

Go ahead.  Think about what you believe are the biggest obstacles and post below: