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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

On Transitions, Shifts, and Bed-Ins

For the last few months I’ve been enjoying a morning routine of slow awakenings—opening my eyes gradually then pushing myself into an upright position, propping a wall of warm pillows behind my back—viewing the day as a patient would from a sick bed, although I’m not sick at all, but rather in a place of transitions and ponderings. I wonder if our transitions should be allowed the same pampering offered to the sick, after all, transitions require quite a bit of adjustment and mettle. Actually failure to transition smoothly often results in all manner of ailments and mental collapses.

This winter I decided to make some changes, in order to help myself adjust to other changes, by staging a bed-in (sort of like John and Yoko’s) only with mine lasting just an hour or two each morning. Normally by springtime I would have headed out to the lanai to sit with the sunrise, and I have done that a few times, but this year most mornings beckon me back inside to gather and fluff—lingering in the nest with my coffee, cushioned by a drowsy gentleness with no sharp corners to navigate.

What is this transitioning? What does it matter, for life is a dedicated series of changes and shifts teaching us the freedom of detachment and the wisdom of uncertainty…over and over again. Each of us must faceoff with the great illusion of permanency and control—that tug-o-war between deity and flesh, and finally come to a place of surrender, where we discover the contented flow of life.

I used to leap from bed with the boldness of a bullet, but lately I’m not so daring. It’s been a bumpy year and I’ve seen what a day can do, so I solicit Divinity’s help before my bare feet have a chance to hit the cold tile floor, beginning my day with an hour of reading from an eclectic selection of inspirational writings (It’s amazing how a well-ordered dose of words can secure a shaky soul,) and then I take an amateurish stab at meditation, ending with a meaningful exchange with Spirit. After this, depending on the day, I laze for a little while and write…or simply be.

I’ve found bed to be a sensible place to transition, but it’s also great for other things, like engaging in intimate phone chats with best friends, doing my nails, not to mention escaping the world altogether by watching several episodes of Downton Abbey. I can pay my bills from bed; write a review, text a friend, exercise (leg lifts, crunches, and the subtle, but all important, kegel exercises), or invite family members in. As a matter of fact if I’m not careful I could easily become addicted to living in bed.

One day last month I stayed in bed till 2pm. My oldest daughter had slept over and in the morning she crawled in with me where we spent half the day chatting, playing with the dogs (I have very small dogs) photo’ing the dogs playing together, photo’ing each other’s morning faces, eating, leaning into each other tee-pee style while watching a movie on my 7” tablet—experiencing routine activities with great novelty from the perspective of our little nest.

I like the fact that I can go straight from bed to the shower without having to put on “morning clothes”. Morning clothes are the things I grab to keep myself covered while I do my morning routine; they are usually dirty, mismatched or ripped. If I stay in bed long enough I can eliminate the need for morning clothes and go directly from sleepwear (a wife-beater and undies) to daywear—properly cleaned and coordinated outfits with shoes and accessories.

Another benefit of hopping back into bed is that I don’t have to answer the door. “I was in bed.” Is always a legitimate reason for avoiding early morning visits from wide-eyed neighbors. Of course they may judge me as lazy, but who gives a chit. It’s my life.

Why the change? Like I said, I’m accommodating a transition. My life has shifted—and it is speaking to me. I need to listen. I need to marinate in the things that really matter in order to hear and see beyond the glaring illusions of fear and lack, which our world so steadily promotes. I’ve discovered that the things, which scream the loudest, are very often not real at all, but clever distractions drawing my attention away from the things that genuinely require my care. So, I’m doing this because I need it, and because I deserve this special time of catching up with myself. Who knows how long my schedule will allow for these easy mornings, so I intend to luxuriate in them like a hot bubble bath…until the last bubble pops and the bathwater grows cold.

24 comments:

The Loerzels said...

It's brave of you to lie in bed and spend time with yourself and your thoughts! Embrace the transition and deflect the distractions.

Karen Wojcik Berner said...

Interesting, Leah. Lately, I have had a more difficult time jumping out of bed and straight into the shower as well. (Definitely one advantage to working from home.) Your transitions are typical of this year, the Year of the Black Snake, in which study and contemplation are important. I'm interested to see what comes out of it. Besides, you have had quite a year. It's time to be good to yourself and heal. Enjoy your time!

Stephen Hayes said...

Good for you. Too many people don't afford themselves the time they need.

Chris said...

I needed this today more than I can ever explain. I got caught up in things that are beyond my control. The more bases I try to cover in advance, the more complex things get. I have to hand it back to the universe and do the one thing that IS within my control (i.e. writing the stupid dissertation), but this is, again, one of those times, where to just BE seems the hardest thing in the world. Thank you. I hope your transition is as nice to you as you have been nice to it ;)

Brooke said...

Dearest Leah, what a gorgeous post. Your last paragraph...speechless. I am so right there with you, and even if my kids keep me from often staying in bed, I think I am there in my head, feeling into what is much quieter and much more important, and coming back to it over and over. You are such a treasure, and I'd love to have a pajama party with you sometime. I hope in a parallel world we are doing just that:) It was so great to connect with you the other day. Kindred spirits. XO

melissa said...

Wonderful Leah :) Actually one of the best I've read today ~ I'm glad you've found where you'd like that transition to take place :) Enjoy every moment of it...lots of love!

Leah Griffith said...

Yes Marie, it is brave. LOL! But the payoff is worth it. Now if I could only sit still with meditation. I'm like Huck Finn in church, squirming in the pew like I have a bad case of pinworms. LOL!

Leah Griffith said...

Karen, this is a welcome shift, although I'm not certain what it will produce, but I am convinced it will be good. One of the big things I'm becoming more comfortable with is silence. Little by little I am learning to "sit" without distraction. I have a long way to go but who cares. I am who I am;)

I'll have to research the "Black Snake" year and see what that's all about. Sounds interesting.

Thank you for your support my friend. I feel a genuine connection with you Karen and I love it.

Leah Griffith said...

So true Stephen. One must make a solid decision to find the time to take care of themselves.

Leah Griffith said...

I'm so glad my little blog helped you Chris. It amazes me how easy it is to complicate things. I do it without even knowing that I'm doing it. I build mountains and then have to remove them so my road can continue on through. I believe we all do this.

Believe it or not, taking time in the morning takes discipline. Part of me wants to bury myself in busy work. I have to resist the fight or flight of the quietness and allow myself to face all things. I almost just wrote, "I'll be glad when it's over." But then I realized it will never be over. LOL!

Write your dissertation and move on. I know it will be brilliant!

XO

Leah Griffith said...

Brooke, I wish you could stay in bed but I guess life has other things in mind for you. Besides, staying in bed doesn’t work as well in the summertime because—well, it’s summer! Ice cream cones are not good bedmates; neither are popsicles, snow cones, or watermelon, and by the way, sand and sunblock don’t mix too well with sheets either. I suppose you could stage a “beach-in” if you needed to, and you could lounge around and do most of the same bed-in stuff under a candy-striped umbrella with a well-stocked cooler, while you watch your kids play. A porch-in could work too. Hmmm…now there’s a thought.

I loved our chat Brooke. Some day we will have that pajama party. Just wait and see;)

Sending love!

Leah Griffith said...

Melissa, I am enjoying it...sort of. My life is seeking flow, like a runaway stream, looking for boundaries and direction. I love it because I should, but sometimes I just want to flip a coin and choose a direction. Thank you for your visit beautiful Melissa. Wishing you joy joy joy!

Cheryl said...

Finally, I have a day to sit and catch up with reading my blogging friend's blog.

Your bed therapy sounds delightful. I am finding this period of my life as transitional even though in reality no big changes have happened. I am no longer a hands-on mom, no longer working an outside job, which lends to more time that I could be doing things by choice rather than need. Still, I struggle finding my place in "not quite old enough to retire but if this isn't retired what is it?"

Whatever your need to transition is, I hope you find your bliss with it.

My husband often joke that we are going to become the grandparents at the beginning of the Willy Wonka movie. You know the scene where all 4 of Charlies grandparents live in a big bed at the home of Charlie and his parents.

Leah Griffith said...

Oh Cheryl, that's so funny because just the other day I was teasing my daughter about the same scene in Willy Wonker. LOL!

I believe you and I are near the same age and probably navigating some of the same "transitions". I am lucky to have this time to myself, and I don't want to waste it. So...I'm catching up with myself and listening for new instructions.

I feel like I have an awfully lot in common with little miss Crabby Pants over at your place;)

Martha J. M. Orlando said...

What a gift you are giving yourself, Leah! To recognize where you are, what you need, and trusting that the direction will be found, all while enjoying each moment as it comes. Wow!
And, as always, your writing, your imagery, blows me away. Just beautiful, like you, dear one!
Love and blessings!

Lori D said...

My summer break from school is coming up within a few months and you have inspired me to try a slow awakening! I can't wait!

Leah Griffith said...

Thank you Martha my dear. Yes, I am learning to take better care of myself. Actually, I felt as though this was the only way. I was a bit burned out to say the least. I'm beginning to feel strong and ready. YAY!
Love you lady!

Leah Griffith said...

Lori, a slow awakening...a simmer, does wonders for the heart soul and mind. I recommend it highly sweet girl. Thank you for stopping in. Summer is just around the corner!

Dangerous Linda said...

Hi, Leah! ~

Wonderful! Bravo! I agree that if more people would take to bed to transition then their bodies wouldn't have to make them sick so they'd have to take to bed and transition!

I love my bed and I take my morning coffee and contemplation there every day, too! Thank you for sharing -- makes me feel warm & fuzzy and comfy, cozied right up to you! XOXOXO

Healing Morning said...

Guess where I spend a great deal of time when I'm in between onsite freelance contracts? Yep, bed. My current internet connection necessitates my laptop being tethered to the ethernet cord, so I moved the whole shebang into my bedroom. One of those inexpensive wire plant stands from the Dollar General Store serves as my laptop's resting place and is w/in arm's reach of my bed. So is the phone and the TV. Not a good idea if you want to get out and about to do things like, say, get something to eat (kitchen is downstairs). I haven't moved the microwave to my bedroom just yet, but it's tempting! Add one of those small fridge units and I would be in true danger of eternal bed dwelling.

Now the world knows why I've always felt a kinship to Rip Van Winkle. ;)

Wishing you a smooth path with your transitions, honey. Lord knows we all do go through them, over and over. Life is that constant starting over process. Sometimes that's good and enjoyable, other times it's downright painful. Being mindful and consciously aware of the process, I think, mitigates at least a wee bit of the pain.

Namaste' and big hugs!

- Dawnie

Adriene said...

Lots of talk about transitions among the blogs I read and I'm going through one myself. It's great that you are listening to yourself and taking the time to be. It's an opportunity many people don't get to take advantage of. Time is a precious commodity and during periods when I've been forced to drop out of the rat race due to sickness or job loss or whatever, those have been times of significant person growth. Enjoy!

Jessica M said...

"Each of us must faceoff with the great illusion of permanency and control—that tug-o-war between deity and flesh, and finally come to a place of surrender, where we discover the contented flow of life. "

I couldn't agree more!

Transitions can be both exciting, intimidating, painful and exhilerating. A little extra time in bed to take it all in, to slowly proceed with mindfulness, for reflection...That's a good thing! I love spending time in my bed too. I'll write, read, chant..it helps prepare my heart to meet the impermanence this world greets it with.

Corinne Rodrigues said...

Who said the early bird catches the worm?!! I must say I read this with a longing to emulate you, Leah.

Cindy L said...

Dear Leah, This post, "Transitions, Shifts and Bed-in's, nailed it for me! I love!!! I was thinking...Me Too! while reading it.
Looking forward to reading your previous post as well as looking forward to all the new ones..
Thanks
Cindy

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