When I lay in bed at night, one of the heart-based exercises I do is to mentally go through the alphabet and list things that my best self enjoys extending and receiving:
Acceptance (celebrate our differences)
Benefit of the doubt
Divinity in action
Joie de vivre (joy of life)
Listening between the lines (attentiveness)
Mindfulness (present-moment focus)
Namaste’ (honoring the divine spark in self and others)
Simplicity (the gift of ease)
Vision (cultivating and nurturing original ideas to fruition)
Xellence (the daily practice of being my best self—living my best life)
Yoga mindset (valuing connection with the world and its inhabitants)
Zen attitude (daily letting go of what I can’t control)
Do you have a consistent nighttime practice?
I love that! Far better than counting sheep. I listen to my breathing and concentrate on the rise and fall of my diaphragm; that tends to knock me off to sleep.
Fatima — That’s an excellent practice. Len (my husband) does the same thing and it works like a charm 🙂
You talk about it in Note to Self. 😉
Fatima — Yes, indeed 🙂
It is very helpful. 👍
I’m not sure that watching the first twenty minutes of Trevor Noah and falling asleep counts . . .? 🙂 Food for thought.
Arlene — If it works, it counts! 🙂
I give thanks for everything good about the day before I go to sleep. Gratitude is important as is reminding oneself about the good things.
Darlene — Amen siSTAR! ⭐
I cuddle with my besties from the mothership. No matter what’s going on in 3D they always find a way to make me smile — it”s amazing.
Daksina — There’s no better way to fall asleep than with a smile on your face 🙂
My night time practice is to invite the Holy Spirit into my heart to help me review my day. Reflect on the events and the feelings that I experienced around those events. Which ones could I have done better and express sorrow for those things, especially if it hurt someone. Express gratitude for my blessings and name them. Look over tomorrow and how I can be my best self . Close with the Our Father.
PurposeJoyAndPositives — Your nighttime practice sounds like a winning recipe to me!
I do indeed. After I read a bit of whatever I’m working through, I play a game of Sudoku on my phone. Not quite the same, hey? It works for me this year. Next year, I’ll get back to my nightly gratitude list. Maybe.
Janet — If Sudoku works for you, then it’s the perfect nighttime ritual!
(Can you believe I’ve never, ever done Sudoku? Len is addicted to it).
Yes, I do. I read and think about a short portion of the Bible that seldom gets read. Then I do a cryptoquote before I lay my head down and turn out the light.
LakeAfton — I just had to look up the new-to-me word “cryptoquote.” How COOL is that?! 👏👏👏
Nah, I just read until I get sleepy. 😉 But your nighttime ritual sounds worth a try.
Chris — Give it a go. If nothings else, it’s a great mental exercise 🙂
I do have a nightly routine, focusing on gratitude and all those things I have to be thankful for.
Patricia — That’s the BEST! 🙂
This is a beautiful idea. I’m going to try it tonight!
Jill — I’m glad this idea resonates with you. Thank you for letting me know 🙂
I would love to say I have a routine as honorable as yours – but there is no routine, beyond washing the face and taking the nightime doses of calcium and fish oil. Then I fall into bed, and rarely ever remember anything beyond that. There are those 3:00 wake ups when my brain decides to play with me. Perhaps when the next one of those happens (they’re rare now), I’ll try your routine.
Carol — Calcium is nature’s sedative. It doesn’t get much better than that! 🙂
Yoga Nidra by Lizzie Hall on YouTube, for now. Quite peaceful and relaxing, I find I sleep better as if the day is complete. On nights when I forget or don’t make time, I can tell the difference in how well I sleep. Worth the effort.
Lisa — Thank you for that tip. I just found “Yoga Nidra for Sleep” on my “Insight Timer” App that I listen to music on when I do breathwork. I’m going to try this one this evening.
I love how you say simplicity is the gift of ease.
Susurrus — I’m glad that resonated with you. Thank you for letting me know.
Truly beautiful, Laurie. Thank you for sharing this.
Leanne — You’re welcome. I’m glad you enjoyed it.
I’m working on nighttime rituals, but it’s hard to find one that will stick. Reading until tired is the go-to, and most days that doesn’t take long. However, this past month I have started listening to Yoga Nidra videos on YouTube when I wake up early in the morning in order to get back to sleep. So at least I have a middle of the night routine.
Jeri — My friend, Lisa, uses Yoga Nidra as part of her nighttime ritual, too. She has nothing but excellent things to say about it. I’m glad you do this too. I found “Yoga Nidra for Sleep” on my Insight Timer App. I’m going to give it a go!
Your acrostic is wonderful, Laurie. From the list I’ll pick gratitude and divinity in action, powerful sources of energy morning and night.
I often read from a meditation book at night. Cliff likes a back rub too before dozing off. 🙂
Marian — I’m glad you enjoyed this alphabetical list. Reading a meditation book is an excellent choice. And of course, receiving a back rub is beyond ideal!
I do review my day, Laurie. I typically end the day reading in bed, but as I put the book down, if I haven’t already fallen asleep while I was reading 🙂 , I do go through the day and typically that’s a positive experience. But I am going to follow your lead, I think! I love the way you use the alphabet as such a positive way to end your conscious thoughts! Wonderful practice!
Debra — Likewise, I think that reviewing your day is a positive way to end the day.
Laurie, til this day I still use the old standby that I was taught as a child, “Now I lay me down to sleep…”, followed by the prayer that is always answered, “Thy Will be done.”. Then I read until the book falls over and hits me in the nose…Good Night!
Sandi — “Thy will be done.” You just brought to mind a wonderful reading memory of Father Tim and Cynthia in The Mitford Series, which I loved.
Love that Laurie . I remember what adventures I’ve had in the day, or miracles that have occurred . They may be so tiny you may miss them if you blink , however , they are there if you only look for them .
Oh ! and I breathe into my silly ol aches and pains, in hope that they have gone the next morning, they usually have and find themselves some place else 🙂
Cherry — Many people look for the BIG stuff. I love that you know miracles can be “so tiny you may miss them if you blink.”
very neat idea to share Laurie – I do my gratitude journal in the mornings and set my daily intentions then also. At bedtime I quite often begin with cleaning the kitchen, then to brush teeth and those tasks and finally doing my numbers (BP, etc.) and then into bed. As I climb in, I daily check my posture from head to toes, and then ID any muscle spasms and tightness. The final note is the LIANGONG 9 breaths exercise and I usually am deeply asleep.
I find cleaning the kitchen let’s me unwind from the NEWS ( I am a news junkie) and other conversations and events of the day – it is a warm water meditation really! I like having everything put away, including thoughts and just breathing through the practice.
Patricia — And while I’m familiar with the Liangong 9 cleansing breathworth technique (wonderful!), I think we may be attached at the hip when it comes to cleaning the kitchen before bed. For me, there’s something therapeutic about washing dishes by hand. I don’t dry them and put them away (just put them in the rack), but I find the mechanics of washing them to be soothing and relaxing. A wondrful prelude to a lovely night’s sleep.
I do dry them or load the dishwasher, but I love, love the warm, soapy water and the cleansing feeling of letting go. And to think my three daughters all complain about not having a dishwasher, unless their Dad is visiting! Just save all the good stuff for my private collection 🙂
Truth is … it’s too right brain for me to relax and get to sleep. So I tell myself “ breathing in peace … exhaling release,” 🙏
Val — Inhaling peace and exhaling release sounds like a wonderful pre-sleep recipe to me!
Usually involves keeping away from digital devices and trying to let go of all the day’s noise.
Bespoke Traveler — I think you’re right. A digital detox is the perfect way to end the day 🙂
I don’t have a ritual before sleep, but if I wake through the night and feel a heightened sense of awareness that might mean not going back to sleep…I start to pray for those I love…I usually fall back into sleep somewhere in the process.
Thanks for sharing! I need a new ritual to clear my mind for sleep. 🙂 KC
Karin — I’m glad this post resonated with you 🙂
An excellent list of gratefulness Laurie 🙂
DGKaye — I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂
Truly, this is one of my favorite exercises before sleep. Whether it’s creating words of gratitude, descriptions of God’s goodness or other-the alphabet offers multiple angles of reflective insights. Thanks you for sharing.✨🤗
Stormie — I’m so glad this post resonated with you. Thank you for letting me know 🙂
Excellent! What a brilliant spiritual and mental conditioning! Love it!
AmericaOnCoffee — I’m glad this post resonated with you. Thank you for letting me know.