As a woman, as a parent, as simply a person living in today’s fast-paced environment, we could all use more rest and better sleep. Not to mention, better sleep results in better focus. Author and women’s wellness advocate, Karen Brody, has created a 40-day yoga nidra program that makes yoga meditation relevant and accessible to women around the world. In this article, she shares how our ego-driven perspective on rest can be the one factor that keeps us from finding truly healing sleep.
By Karen Brody
Let’s face it, women today are tired.
I support busy women leaders, and here is what they tell me all the time:
“I spent years getting educated and now I don’t have any energy to work.”
“I love my work, but my kids keep getting sick, and so I show up to my job and can’t even remember what I’m doing.”
“I’m an early-morning waker and this lack of sleep is ruining my life.”
This story of exhaustion is real. We could say it’s simply an effect of modern life and leave it at that. But I sense there’s more meat to this story. I believe women can rewrite the story of their exhaustion and it starts with getting deep, conscious rest because it’s from peaceful terrain—the truth of who you are—where new stories grow.
Get better sleep—shed your tired stories
If we’re going to bring peace and tranquility back to our lives— and to the world—we’ve got to shed ourselves of what keep us so tired. And that starts with our mind. Do I want women to lie about being tired? I see it more like the need to shed.
Counting the number of hours you’re sleeping at night—telling yourself the story that you’re just not a good sleeper or just not the kind of person who can get in eight hours of sleep—thinking that is done through ego-mind, and this is exactly what separates us from oneness.
Our minds are useful tools that give us many gifts, but there’s this other dimension that goes beyond the mind. It’s urgent women begin tapping into this place. Why? Because no matter how many gadgets you use to measure the number of hours you’re sleeping, or how well you think you know your exhaustion, identifying with this story is ultimately draining. It won’t make you feel whole, ecstatic and ultimately fulfilled.
People think ego-mind will free them (ie: counting those hours of sleep), but most people who are counting the number of hours they sleep are not living fulfilled lives.
I’m not shaming science —the research that tells us we should be getting a certain number of hours of sleep is often based on solid facts—but instead I’m urging women to be cautious how we use it. Sleep deprivation is only an ingredient in your soup. It’s urgent that we reveal the full recipe.
My goal is to teach women to tell the full story of exhaustion… to shake off this one-sided karmic drain.
Seeing beyond the exhaustion
It’s no wonder women are so exhausted. When we tell only one side of the story throws us out of balance.
Most of us rest to fuel productivity. But at its core, rest is a supreme act of having no agenda. Rest helps you find your gold.
In scientific terms we’ve lost the balance between the parasympathetic and sympathetic branches of our nervous system. In human potential terms, we’ve stopped looking for our gold.
What if instead of being goal oriented—looking for those perfect precious hours of sleep—we searched for our gold? This is the story we must start writing.
Want to learn more about Karen, and how she helps women rewrite their sleep story? Check out her book, Daring to Rest, or sign up for Karen’s Daring to Rest Facebook Live Talks and move through your own 40-Day journey of better rest.
Not sure if yoga nidra is the right fit for you? A Discovery Consult with Danielle Rose can help you find the best way to change your relationship with rest and get better sleep.