An Artist's Quest for "Soul" in a Chaotic World—by InnerSpirit

This is my InnerSpirit blog page...a page of reflection...inquiry...
and artistic questions about myself, my life, and the world around me. A place for my own personal contemplation of my emotions, my actions, my art, my spiritual journey and how they all intertwine and influence each other. I hope that you check it out, think a little about your life and the many creative things that you might be engaged do those fit into your life and impact the various aspects of your own life? Let's reflect together!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Reveling In The Treasures Of Simplicity

I was having some trouble sleeping last night, I have that sometimes...maybe that is just the fun process of getting older. After laying in bed for hours without being able to get to sleep, I went to the internet for some possible solutions to my dilemma and found 10 Ways To Cure Insomnia. I started using this list to evaluate if I had done my part in preparing myself for adequate and healthy sleep patterns. I have found that as I have gotten older, along with a number of other significant changes, I have noticed that it is even more important that I get an adequate amount of sleep. No longer can I run on 5 hours or less of sleep and still be at my best (I suppose even when I was younger I was not ALWAYS in top form with little sleep...but maybe now it matters more to me how I feel, and how I react to the world?).

Checking The List
As I went through the list I realized that I was doing pretty good on 1-4, and 7. In addition, 8-9 did not apply since I am single, and #10 was a little hard to maintain since I have been working full-time while being a graduate student in what is now my second master degree. So I blew 10, was that my problem? Hard to say. As far as #5 and #6 went, I found these to be the most helpful. Even though I often read before falling asleep (usually a textbook is a great resource for that), most nights I do pray, and I listen to relaxing music sometimes also. This list seemed to be great for attempting to GET to sleep, but it seemed to not provide me with what to do when I already could NOT sleep. As I reread #5 and #6, I realized that I had to stop fighting the fact that I could not sleep which was causing me to get frustrated and anxious.

Mandala To The Rescue
Once I let myself off the hook by realizing that most of the things on the 10 Ways To Cure Insomnia list I was pretty good about, I decided to take the pray, meditate, and paper suggestions of #5 and #6 to heart and I decided to start another Mandala for my Circles Of Time Mandala Series at 2:00 a.m. Well, ironically when I was done I felt peaceful, relaxed and I was ready for sleep even though it was 3:00 a.m. I have learned that being creative does not always come at the most convenient times, but I have found if I can just let it flow as it does come, it can provide the right comfort at the "right time".

Words To Live By
The free association words that I wrote along the outside of this Mandala proved to be very insightful to me. They read "The power of HUMILITY reins...RELINQUISH control and seek and you will find. Revel in the treasures of SIMPLICITY—SEEK NOT—What is not for you to find...knowingly surrender". Wow! These words really spoke to me. I wondered to myself how much of my inability to fall asleep was around trying to plan, control and otherwise foretell or imagine what my future career, school and life in general, held for me. I often find that I spend way too much time in thoughts about the future and a good amount of time dwelling in my mind about the past. I am consciously trying to remain in the present and to experience life as it unfolds with God's plan. It's hard when you are guilty of being a "Control Freak" about some things. I am definitely getting some messages about learning to relinquish that control and learning to live more simply and to question less the things that I don't really need to be concerned with. paves the way if we listen.

We Are All In This Together
Do you suffer from difficulties getting to sleep or waking up at odd times in the night? What do you do to help yourself get to sleep or get back to sleep? Do you ever try anything creative such as creating art, playing the guitar, writing in your journal, creating poems or songs? Have these types of right brain activities helped you to quiet your left brain "analytical" processing that might be keeping you up and making you anxious or frustrated? I would love to hear your thoughts about my Mandala message, and any of your own personal stories about sleep or your lack of it. I would welcome your comments and I may even find some other ideas of how I might relax in the night for the future.

Blessings and Love,


  1. i doodle before i go to bed, laying in bed. i wonder how many other single artists have their art supplies in bed with them? anyway, i am also a woman of a certain age, and i hardly ever have a hard time getting to sleep (unless i had caffeine after 2 pm). i think that says something about the calming power of creativity, and is much better than sleep aids.
    swwet dreams!

  2. Hi Diane,

    You said, "I am consciously trying to remain in the present and to experience life as it unfolds with God's plan."You truly capture the essence of Mandala making and being in the present, even when there is discomfort. I appreciate all of your comments and openness while sharing on my blog. Thank you for the reminders to come back to the present.

  3. Sue...that's great that you doodle in relaxing that sounds. I like that idea of keeping art supplies nearby for before bed play. I am glad you are not suffering from difficulties with sleep, and YES...natural alternatives are always better than other sleep aids!

  4. Laura...How nice of you to venture over to my blog. I sure appreciate your visit and your addition to the conversation we are having over here. Your insights are very much appreciated. I know that discomfort is often a "precursor" to big breakthroughs...if only I can stick with it. Usually that is where I sometimes fall off, but I am getting better at working through it by giving myself permission to play and just see what comes out.

  5. I love that mandala! It's really beautiful, captivating, and unusual. Well done!

  6. Hi Heather...thanks for your sweet comment on my Mandala art. It is fun getting to know other artists online and visiting each others sites and offering encouragements and interaction. I am so thankful to AEDM for that.

  7. Hi Diane! Have you ever used a lavendar eye pillow? Also, my first and favorite yoga teacher taught me this years ago. Try rubbing your feet with lotion before bed. It's like giving your whole body a mini massage. I like using lavendar lotion but any will work! Love your mandala! Happy holidays.

  8. Hi...I had not heard about the lavendar eye pillow, but it would makes sense with lavendar being a calming aroma therapy piece...I like the idea of the lavendar lotion on my feet. I do often put lotion on them before bed, but I wonder if I did that night. I never notices before if I sleep better the times that I do...I will have to try it. I hope you have a great holiday too.

  9. hi diane! hope you had a wonderful holiday! thinking of you.