On Easter this year, I witnessed my three-year-old niece become more and more sleep deprived with every passing hour. The more the sleep remained deprived, the more the crying, screaming, "NO!" and ridiculously silly choices amplified. At one point, we all thought daddy "had the charm" as he put her down for a nap but about twenty minutes later, she was wailing from her bed. She even outright and blantantly told my sister, "I cry so someone come get me!" Grandma went in to rescue her and even prepared her for what the rest of the evening "with no nap" would be like. "You cannot argue with your brother and you need to be nice to mommy and daddy." With her hair a mess, she was ready to roll and join the party again. The funny thing is, she is the one who initiated the nap in the first place. We were sitting around the kitchen table and she spoke these words, "I want a nap!" As I was watching this scene play out, I could not help but notice how much my niece was playing out my life right before my eyes. Says she is tired but keeps going?? Wow! If that couldn't be more my style of downright refusing what I need... Sleep has been up and down for me my whole life. Sometimes I am an insomniac, sometimes I am sleeping beauty. Most days, I am a "Get in bed by 930 at least and lay awake till midnight." When I was living on the Big Island in Hawaii for four months, I got the BEST sleep of my life. I was tucked in bed under the stars by 745pm sometimes. Granted, I was living alone and surrounded by the most serene environment but I crave that type of sleep here in the Midwest. That moment around the kitchen table though and seeing the endless battle of "nap vs Halley" play out really spoke to me... A few weeks before Easter, I was exhausted on a soul level. That is the thing about being an intuitive and an intercessor is that I am not just operating in this realm but very often, I am "somewhere else" entirely. I was at a point where I was trying to balance my spiritual practices with finishing sewing projects on deadlines, preparing for markets, organizing and teaching aerial class, attempting to make a new friend which is terrifying to me, and being present for my partner all at the same time. I know, I know. You have been there too haven't you? Probably even worse. Throw some kids in there, maybe the grief of a pet passing or being evicted from a home or fired from a job--I know, we have all been here and then, worse than here... But the power of my niece's words and actions are a reflection of us. I do not know how many times during that week I cried to my partner, "I am just tired. I just need space." But I could not hear myself actually physically say "tired." I sure as heck said it but all I heard was "space." I wanted to take up more space. I wanted more time with my sewing undistracted, I wanted deeper conversations with my new friend, I wanted more hours before sleep to worry about how I was going to complete that bridal skirt. Oddly, that skirt was on my mind the most although I laid it all out to my partner like I was having an exisential crisis in every area of my life. When it came down to it, I was frustrated that I could not figure out how to repair this skirt that needed to be altered for a woman's young daughter. My attention span was all over the place. I kept hearing the voice of God, "rest" but I did not know what type of rest He meant. Do you mean give up on it? Admit I am too overwhelmed? Do you mean rest the worries and give them to you? Do you mean this path is not for me at all? Am I incapable of being human? The following week my serger machine was being finicky. Finally, I said, "Screw this." I went upstairs, got under the covers, and for the first time in forever, I took a flipping NAP. As I was napping, this bridal skirt was dancing through my dream. I kid you not, God was showing me the EXACT steps and process and as I was napping, I was also consciously understanding. I woke up and said, "OH, MY GOD, rest meant SLEEP." It is so important to remember how much our bodies need real, true sleep and nourishment. God is always bringing me back to the story of Isaiah. Instead of God taking Isaiah's life like he requested to God, He gave him rest and nourishment instead. I could not believe how vivid the visual of completing the bridal skirt was during my nap. I instantly wrote the steps down and thanked God with all my heart. I made it a point to tell him I would not forget to take napping and sleeping seriously now. Our bodies are not meant to process all that we think they are during a day but yet, we are constantly putting ourselves in overstimulated spaces. I think that is why I slept so well in Hawaii. I was living in an Airbnb, and simply put, I had less distractions around. It was ideal but I knew that it was also not condusive forever. Eventually, I would need to face the reality of juggling more again. I am learning to listen to myself vividly and clearly these days. That requires slow motion moments too, "Waaaaait, did I just say tired?"
When I say I am tired, there should be an action that follows, right? I mean, when I say I am motivated, I get the ball rolling right away! Why do we forget to do the same when our bodies desperately need us to slow down? So, needless to say, I am taking advice from God and a three-year-old these days. If I do not listen to the voice that says "sleep" I will end up needing the no-nap, "You cannot be mean to everyone then" talk for the rest of my life. I do not think that is the "vibe" I am trying to fashion anymore! Much love.