When I was a young woman, my body and psyche still wedded to the waxing and waning rhythm of the moon, the first day and first night of my blood flow was INTENSE. ( Thank Goddess only the first day and first night night). Sometimes it was intensity of the sharp doubling over type pain, more often a dull aching painful internal pressure that felt like my belly might burst open and soreness everywhere, along with a brain fog fuzz . I knew my flow was about to start when I began dropping things .
As with many /most physical discomforts /pain, the discomfort was significantly worse at night. Maybe this is due to being less distracted with activities and focused goals at night, maybe due to diurnal cycles. Ayurveda teaches that night is more influenced by the dosha (elemental quality) of kapha : water…so bloating is worse at night and emotions flow more.
To cope, I developed rituals of self care that included caffeine ( Thank You Midol), ganja , (old timers ganja, mild stuff — it took at least half a joint to feel much of anything) hot bathes, alternating relaxed postures (laying on the floor with feet bent over the seat of a couch or chair— Thank You Mom),with wild free spirited dancing…
Pain. Caffeine. Ganja. Wild Dancing. Music blasting (on my Walkman so as not to wake housemates ,lovers,husbands). All that flow of blood and emotion and water and dance inspired art making. I wrote poetry. I painted. Paint- It- Out -Method of pain management (this was so so long before internet and creative meet ups and blogs everywhere; this solo innovation was …truly inspired). While immersed in the flow of paint and color …of CREATIVITY…pain subsided and the joy of creation took precedence over the pain . (It is also entirely possible that the entire combination of factors kicked in). By sunrise I was free of pain , creatively spent and yes, over tired and sleep deprived. It was worth it.
I began to look forward to my one -night a-month of sleepless creative flow. Instead of dreading the anticipated pain and sleeplessness, I accepted what was without fret or anxiety. I honored my self care rituals.
Caffeine.Ganja.Hot bathes. Wild Dance. Art Making. Sometimes more caffeine along the way (for me, the single most effective relief from the bloat pressure pain intensity). Instead of wishing I could avoid the pain or the sleepless night , it became a treasured CREATIVE RETREAT TIME.
One day a month of over -tired was worth it. The middle of the night was not only the time I had most pain (and related caffeine ) but also the only routine unstructured , no expectations , creative time alone.
I did not need these routines forever. The intensity of this time of month waned as I moved on in years. I am no longer physically wedded to the moon cycles. Now the moon lives in me always. (That is where white hair of comes from , donchaknow?)
To this day, though, I do some of my best creative work when I am just a little bit sleep deprived. No extra energy for excess. Clean . Lean. Clear crisp Communication. A more open (vulnerable) channel for Intuition. A fine work of Art. Just once in a while.
While there are many causes and early seeds of habitual insomnia, my own experience taught me that one frequently overlooked cause is that deep of night is often the only undisturbed, unscheduled, quiet time for unstructured creativity. Man or Woman. Any Age.
Now I honor this need and SCHEDULE and PROTECT MY WILD FREE CREATIVITY TIME in the DAY. Maybe you need this too.
www.drhannachusid.com. Mindful SelfCare™ Transformational /Creativity Coach & Consultant / Lic. Psychologist/Yoga & Meditation Teacher. Offering Best Sleep for Your Best Self/ on line yoga nidra : a guided meditation that can heal trauma , anxiety , depression and sleep challenges.
Originally published at medium.com