A Gift For You
“If people sat outside and looked at the stars each night, I bet they’d live a lot differently. When you look into infinity, you realize there are more important things than what people do all day.” —Calvin and Hobbes
We have one last chance each night to bring conscious closure to our day; one last chance to murmur our gratitudes, to recognize that we are part of a living and dynamic universe; one last chance to let go and calm ourselves so that our consciousness can drift free and untethered into sleep.
Of the many things that you can do for yourself and your soul, one of the simplest gifts is the act of stepping outside just before sleep, leaning out a window, standing in an open doorway or on a porch – wherever you might feel safe and can keep dry – and while releasing your thoughts of the day, connecting yourself to the natural world.
As your last activity before sleep try this tonight and make a promise to yourself to try it every night for a week. Adequately dressed for the weather – you don’t need much, just enough to keep you from focusing upon discomfort – and just before getting into bed, turn off the lights and to the greatest degree that your physical living circumstance will allow, go outside (if only by leaning safely out of a window or standing in the shelter of a doorway or on a porch to prevent you from getting wet). Do this just for a few moments – your soul will know for how long – and by yourself. Never share this moment with someone else. Be outside, shut your eyes and breathe in deeply. As you inhale feel the air, the wind, the rain against your skin. Listen to the sounds of the night – you might hear frogs – you might hear traffic – doesn’t matter. Being in the air outside of your house and having a view of the sky is what matters. Continue to breathe in deeply and as you slowly exhale, open your eyes towards the sky. Look at the darkness, see the clouds, the moon, the rain, the snow, the sleet – focus upon the stars, the limbs of trees, the lights rising from the city. And then – let go – let your shoulders relax and your face soften. Erase your mind – shake your head – imagine your busy thoughts are like the lines on an etch a sketch – released. Become conscious only of the air around you and against your skin.
You are done thinking for the night. As you breathe in and as you breathe out tell yourself that you have done what you can for today. You have found success, failure, joy and sorrow. Be grateful for having had the opportunity to try and experience one more time.
One last breath and to bed now, to sleep, “perchance to dream.”
Disclaimer: Plan ahead when it comes to the locks on your doors. Crawling back through windows, knocking on a neighbor’s door while dressed in pajamas or sitting in the back of a squad car while your story is checked out will chip away at the benefits your soul has gathered.