I’m no stranger to the great outdoors, but this past summer, for the first time, I started sleeping outside in my backyard…
I have always loved nature and felt an especially close connection with the outdoors, so my decision and desire to sleep outside weren’t that big of a surprise.
I was already aware of some of the health benefits associated with outdoor-sleeping such as restored circadian rhythm, rejuvenation, restful sleep, etc. Beyond all the scientific facts and data, however, sleeping outside just seemed to make sense…
First of all, as cool as cyborgs are, we as humans simply are not meant to “shut down” or “power off” our minds and bodies with the flick of a (light) switch. How odd is it to expect that as soon as we turn out/off the lights, that everything else should quickly follow suit?
Instead I realized, that on the nights I slept outside, I was slowly able to quiet and unwind my mind, process my thoughts of the day and neatly make sense of it all, and all with a view of the stars!
This, if you ask me, as a way more natural way to wrap up the day as opposed to the lights on/lights off alternative.
Not only that, but I realized that the stars and the moon serve a deep, intrinsic and powerful purpose in putting us to sleep. I mean, just think about it! When was the last time you looked at the sky, the stars and the moon and felt anxious, worried, afraid, stressed out, etc?!?!? It’s pretty much impossible to feel bad when looking up at such natural beauties!
In fact, I strongly believe that looking up towards the heavens helps ensure that the last thoughts we have before we drift off into la-la land are positive ones of peace, grace, gratitude, and wonder, because that is exactly what we feel when we look up!
I know that when I sleep outside, I am gently rocked to sleep by thoughts of curiosity and wonder of how it (the heavens) all work and then with appreciation and gratitude for its magical beauty and to somehow be a part of this big mystery we call life and the universe.
(I also feel grateful for all the little things like my sleeping bag that keeps me warm and comfortable throughout the night. What a blessing, indeed!)
And we tend to pick up where we left off, so if we go to sleep with such thoughts, we wake up with such thoughts. So when I wake up and see that the moon has traveled across the sky and the clouds glow pink with warmth and fire, I feel so grateful to be connected and bear witness to the rhythm and flow of the universe.
This gentle universe is so kind to us! The way it softly rocks us to sleep and then gently kisses us awake in the morning! I mean, literally everyday is a MIRACLE and by sleeping outside you get to be a part of it, you get to be so much closer to all the great and subtle action!
I mean even the way the light trickles in, slowly inching closer or how the birds actually SING you awake!!! How cool is that!?!?!
Again, how unnaturally terrible is it to wake up to the sound of an obnoxiously annoying buzzer?!?! It’s terrifying really! (I haven’t slept with an alarm clock in years and wake up with the sun almost every morning with no problem)
I mean, you wouldn’t slap your child awake or blow an air horn in his or her ear, would you? Nature is so sweet and soft with us, I guess that’s why they call her “mother nature”.
With such simple yet abundant miracles around us, its almost impossible to wake up in a bad mood. Instead I find that I personally wake up happy and energized with a smile on my face and a positive and grateful outlook on my day and life in general.
The hummingbirds and bumble bees whizzing by long enough to say”hello” before flying off on their busy day. I follow their example and take a moment to greet the beauty surrounding me before I fly off and start my own busy day…
Now that the seasons are changing and the weather is cooler, however, I have retreated indoors a bit more. Last night, however, I slept outside and as long as I double-bag it (sleeping bag, that is) I am warm and cozy in the cool, crisp air, and mother nature embraces me once more…