Home and Hearth is more than a collection of physical things that provide shelter from the elements. It exists on a spiritual level as a place to rest and regenerate our souls. This is an ancient paradigm that is being transformed by modern technology and First-World entitlements. Our homes are full of devices that afford time efficiency, entertainment and instant global communication. We use cell phones, computers, toilet seat warmers, time sensitive coffee makers and crockpots. We can even raise and lower our garage doors from the other side of the world if we want to. The speed in which our day moves is incredibly fast and directly relates to our frantic chase for money, security, and material possessions. I'm not saying these things are bad. I am saying that the chase doesn't come without a cost.
In all these conveniences the silent sacrifice is real communal interaction, and natural circadium recognition. Lifes daily grind is robotic and forced and leaves no time for seasonal shifts that are natural to Body, Mind and Spirit. This has disempowered us into ignoring our innate reset button and the necessity for rest and digest gets overrun.
Sleep and how it relates to Home and Hearth in our modern day world is described best by John Lennon's song; "Whatever Gets You Thru The Night" where he makes the clear distinction "It's Your Money Or Your Life", and "it's Going To Be All Right, All Right". How we rest and when we rest is just as important as the quality of sleep we are getting. Sleep has become like gold in our modern day world and manufacturers make a ton of money off the consumers' sleep deprived vulnerability.
We are bombarded with many toxins that inhibit good rest. Most of us are out of touch with our natural circadian rhythms. Many suffer insomnia from eating too late, others lack sufficient melatonin for quality sleep. Over stimulation of electronic devices, blue rays or, high frequency sounds and other Electro-Magnetic Frequencies (EMFs) inhibit proper sleep hygiene and have consequences to the endocrine system. All these are factors affect quality sleep and overall health of the individual and the population at large. In order to be in one’s right mind, right mood, and right motivation restfulness must exist. Our day starts the night before. Proper preparation is crucial to how we awaken.
A primal need is to be safe at night in our home and hearth where we surrender our eyelids and traverse our inner landscape. The best strategy for this trek is to be well prepared, properly suited and with the right astral footing. Vitality is ensured with 3 to 4 sleep cycles a night. They may last anywhere from 2 to 4 hours long. Low lighting for two hours before bed will produce melatonin secretion. Have your last meal of the day at least 4 hours before sleep for insulin regulation. Give yourself a bedtime of 10:00 pm and be asleep before midnight. Remove wireless devices and televisions from your room. Meditate or do yoga before bed and rub oil on your feet. I know it sounds weird but it helps. All these will allow for the brain, liver, kidneys, lungs, blood, lymph and skin to detoxify overnight and leave you feeling fresh and alive upon waking.
Clarity of mind, better mood, increased stamina, nurturing relationships and resilience to life's pressures, are a result of good sleep habits and cultivate a Healthy Home and Hearth. Weight loss, less body pain, and pure radiance are all byproducts of an attitude and discipline focused on health and gratitude. Training for wellness doesn't happen overnight. It is a journey that requires giving something up and implementing something new.
Training for wellness is a path of discovery and empowerment and well worth the effort for yourself, your family and your community!
Karen Barbarick-Collins is a Certified Ayurvedic Technician and Registered Yoga Alliance Teacher. She is the founder of Bending Blade Healing Arts.