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Star Wars, Women and Sleep: The Common Thread

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When my kids were young
I didn't sleep well
for years.

Sometimes I'd go a night or two
without ever going into
deep sleep.

I used to joke with my husband:
"It's like I'm drunk!"

Turns out that is true.

If you don't sleep for 24 hours...
the consequences is comparable to
the brain of someone
with a blood-alcohol content of 0.10 percent.

At no sleep for 36 hours...
your health begins to be at risk,
high levels of inflammatory markers
are in the bloodstream.
Hormones are affected
- your emotions make you feel crazypants.

Of course, while you may not
know all the facts
on sleep deprivation,
common sense tells us this:
no sleep = burnout

BURN
OUT.

Your body literally feels like it's fried.
Out of power.

It's interesting that the new Star Wars film
has made $1.55 BILLION
as of January 6th.

What's the subtitle?

THE FORCE AWAKENS.

Who's the Protagonist?

A Woman.

Yup.

While not sleeping or feeling exhausted
may have medical reasons for some people,
the deep rooted
reason behind most sleep problems
and most exhaustion
is that our power is out.
We're going through life in the dark.

This "out of power" is particularly a woman's issue.
Not because we carry the load more than men
in the home
(although, from the women I coach, most seem to),
but rather because women feel such
intense guilt
taking time for themselves.

We don't give ourselves permission to rest.

I hear this theme again and again from women.

They're exhausted
and not sleeping because,
let's face it,
women are over-tired.

They're living life
just like the cranky child who doesn't nap
and now won't go to bed.

Our force is out.
It's dark in there.

Who wouldn't feel lost
and unable to sleep
in the dark?

Which is why it seems the
true reason
people love the new Star Wars film
is because women have been waiting to be called to
AWAKEN.

We've been in conflict for years.
Overwhelmed by the constant pressure
our culture puts on us to choose
an outward life of achievement
over an inner life of meaning.

Of course, men, teenagers, and now many children -
who are on technological devices from young ages,
wreaking havoc on the production of melatonin -
are feeling a lack of power too,
hence the success of the film Star Wars
for all ages.

Many people in our culture today
instinctively know that living in the either/or
no longer serves us.
We may not have words to express it yet,
but it's just starting to show up in our cultural choices.

Should I hold the blue light saber (light)?
or should I hold the red light saber (darkness)?

The truth is,
and deep down we know this,
that both light sabers are in us.
It's when we can hold both,
that our force awakens.

The most simple practice in the world
to learn how to hold both light and dark,
to sleep better,
and awaken your force
lying down
is known as yoga nidra,
a sleep-based meditation technique.

Every woman on the planet needs yoga nidra.
(Okay, men and kids too).
Especially now,
because the world is calling us to
Awaken our Force.
And millions of people feel it.

In the new year my
invitation to you is to
be different.

Hold opposites.
Dream big to achieve goals
and
rest more to give rise to your inner world,
the kind that builds character.

And start 2016 lying down.
With yoga nidra.
To awaken your force.