It's officially December. This is the time of year for me that I feel challenged to stay PRESENT: not only am I on to the next thing, I am on to the next, next thing, too! I am fortunate that, in my work, the children are an amazing reminder of being fully present in any given moment. As parents, we experience this even when our children are fully present resisting our suggestions, schedule, or desire for them to eat a square meal. And you know what fortifies their power? SLEEP. It's their secret super power. They are better rested than us!
In my searching for leads on mindfulness and reclaiming the present, I rediscovered this Arianna Huffington (short) TED talk on sleep and success. While the content of this particular talk is targeted at women in leadership, the message is easily translatable: Sleep should be our friend, not foe for more joyful, present, and productive living. Could it be that simple? Not only is it scientifically proven that adults need 7-8 hours of sleep each night (unless you have a specific genetic mutation that allows you to be a short sleeper), but the rituals of "powering down" before sleep can be as important for the most beneficial slumbering (like no phone by your bedside). Think of your nighttime rituals with your children: probably books, bath, snack? Sounds pretty great. Maybe if we do the same for ourselves, we can be more fully present and not so outwitted by our more well-rested progeny. As a self-professed "short sleeper" I'm going to commit to prioritizing both the nighttime ritual and a longer night of sleep-- I hope you will too!