Join us in a conversation with James Lake MD. Dr. Lake has served as a clinical assistant professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral medicine at Stanford, and is currently a visiting assistant professor...
Sleep Like a Dolphin, Naturally
Imagine waking up each morning with only a few things to be aware of…
As a dolphin you are aware, through telepathic and feeling ‘sensors’, of the other members of your pod swimming around you. You are aware of the ‘plan’ for the pod that reveals itself as each moment presents itself. You are aware that when required, you will decide to rise to the surface of the water and take a breath.
And actually, while you were sleeping, you were also in a state of awareness. You were being guided in the water by your friends and family, literally gliding beside you. The part of you that had some physical consciousness was linked with the ‘awake’ parts of the pod, so that as you rested, you also moved in constant companionship, safe and protected, at the side of others.
The integrity of the connection between each of you was intact, even when you were sleeping.
Oh, how amazing it would be to use our brains in the same way. Why don’t we? Oh, to be open to a new kind of ‘intelligence’, which we can be aware even when sleeping.
As a human, I used to like the feeling of ‘checking out’ that happens when I am in a deep physical sleep. I felt that, unless I had a deep and restful physical and mental sleep for a certain number of hours, I would be tired and not able to keep going throughout my day.
As my life has progressed, ‘sleeping soundly’ has become more and more difficult to achieve. My sleep patterns are varied. I wake, sleep for short periods of time, wake again, and then return to sleeping.
As I watched the dolphins glide by me, eyes closed, half of the brain asleep, I realized that perhaps this was what I was naturally moving into.
The dolphins don’t need to stop in the dark as we do. The spinner dolphins move offshore and fish with their sonar in the dark, deep waters of the night. During the day they rest for periods of time, always moving in their watery supportive medium.
I am getting the idea…sleep when you need to, eat when you need to, meet your needs as they arise. Having a plan as to how we are to manage our physical needs on a standard schedule (which may be suitable to some), makes us feel ‘crazy’ when we don’t get what we think we need. It makes us feel ‘wrong’ somehow if we are different. It makes us feel like strangers in a strange land when, let’s say, the ‘standard approach’ to sleep doesn’t suit us.
How natural to the human state of being are the standards of waking and sleeping, eating meals at specific times, or going to work on a unified global schedule?
Are these standards hurting us? I believe so. Some of the extended intelligence that we witness in dolphins exists because they live fluidly, in mind and body.
The dolphin system supports the individual needs of each pod member. One can sleep or be awake when one needs to be. And the rest of the group will always be there to watch out for you as you find your own way. It is uncomplicated.
Instead, as human societies, we try to conform to standards and expectations about how we will live our lives. Being so confined and rigid in this, I feel, strips us of the natural flow that we could live by. Our creativity is trumped by expectation. Our brains forget that they do have a connection through intuition to so many other levels of connectivity and knowing.
From now on, when I am ‘sleepless’, I think I will look to other sources of connectivity. I will reach out to everything else that is happening at that time.
And I will look for ways to sleep when my body needs it other than at night.
I am going to remember that I am always a member of the pod of people on the earth. I am going to remember that I am not creating separation by living on my own schedule. That instead, I am being guided and taken care of by all as I rest when I need to.
This feels purely delightful and Loving.
If I am awake in the middle of the night as others lie sleeping, I will guide them. I will watch out for them as they have the rest that they need, in the way and at the time that they want it.
And I will welcome naps in the sunshine during the day as I get the rest that I need.
[tags] Anatara, changes, sleep, connectivity, love, dolphin, Intuition, transition, flow, nap,[/tags]