I taught a Mind in Labor intensive over the weekend. It's a Friday evening, all day Saturday and Sunday intro to Mindful Meditation, childbirth education and babies. Yes, it's packed but it's doable and can be quite enjoyable.
In both the 9 week Mindfulness Based Childbirth and Parenting and the shorter Mind in Labor classes, there are extended periods of silent practice. Silence can be enjoyable, scary, nourishing, boring, difficult. We take time to be with all of those states and watch the mind as it sometimes struggles, or relishes, or rebels, or shuts down. Mindfulness is, after all, being with whatever is present.
When was the last time you gave yourself permission to forgo conversation, electronics, even reading, and simply be? We're so driven by the busy-ness of life that we push ourselves to stay occupied almost continuously. In class, when we move to silent practice, it's not unusual to hear quiet snores during the body scan.
We talk about his before the scan and I let students know I will let them sleep-sometimes we are just really exhausted but ignore our body's need for sleep in a quest for completing our to-do list.
Falling asleep can be another way of waking up, an important item on our to-be list.