Tiredness

 

Tiredness is very interesting.

It can be physiological, often from lack of sleep. It can have a significant mind component. And perhaps quite commonly, there is some of each.

In inquiry sessions – both as client and facilitator – I notice that an almost overwhelming tiredness can set in, often when the client is looking at something with a lot of velcro and seemingly threatening. When tiredness is brought consciously into the session, the experience of it can shift, and it also tends to mysteriously vanish after the apparently threatening images, words, and sensations have been more closely looked at. It may be that this tiredness is a form of protection.

In life, it may be similar. I wonder if not a part of chronic fatigue is the same impulse to protect. The tiredness is a form of protection, and if so comes from innocence, deep caring, and worried love. Tiredness protects me from being out there in the world, with all its apparent dangers, risks, disappointments, and more. (And that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a very real physiological component to chronic fatigue, and perhaps even in the cause of chronic fatigue.)

Some ways to explore tiredness:

Living Inquiries. 

Rest with the tiredness. Notice. Allow.

Feel the sensations. See how it is to be curious about them. Feel the sensations as sensations. (As much as possible. This may be much easier after doing the following inquiry.)

Inquire into the sensations, and any associated images and words. Is it a threat? Is it tiredness? Is it someone who is tired?

Kindness.

I love you.

I am sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. (Ho’oponopono.)

Holding satsang with.

You are welcome here.

Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for your love for me.

What would satisfy you forever?

What are you really?

Dialogue/mining.

How does X relate to you? What advice do you have for him/her?

What does it mean? What would is say if it could speak?

What does it need from you?

In my experience, the kindness can be very helpful in reorienting and relate to it differently, and the dialog can do the same. What really helps is resting with what’s here, and especially feeling the sensations of tiredness, and looking at the associated images and words. When the velcro is loosened, it’s much easier to feel the sensations as sensations, and the associated images and words are recognized as images and words.

The sense of tiredness may get thinner or lifts. Or there is still a more physiological tiredness here (from lack of sleep usually) and it’s OK, it doesn’t seem like a problem, and it doesn’t have as many overlays of images and words.

This is similar to how physical pain can be explored.

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Identifications are tiring

 

Identifications are tiring.

When a story is believed and held as true, it tends to create struggle. And that’s tiring.

It takes a lot of energy. It can be draining. It can even impact our health in quite obvious ways.

If it’s that way with just one identification, imagine how tiring it is to have a whole bundle of them, as most of us do. We are, in some ways, bundles of identifications, and that’s tiring.

That’s one of the things we see when we are relieved of identifications and struggle, even if it’s only temporary.

We may be “lifted out” of identifications and glimpse the ease and simplicity of life without. (And the richness and fullness of life without identifications.)  We may examine a particular hangup or identification, and find release from it.

We may also discover it through resting with what’s here. Shift from thinking to noticing. Finding ourselves as a whole. Shift from resisting to allowing. Shift from rejecting to holding experience in kind experience. Inquire into beliefs and see that what we thought was happening isn’t. Look for and being unable to find the threat, or deficient self, or command, that initially seemed so real and solid.

I imagine that the struggle from identifications is one of the things that creates old age as our culture often thinks of it. It has little to do with a biological inevitability, and more to do with the effects of accumulated struggles over a lifetime.

Thank you for protecting me

 

I notice that fatigue and brain fog sometimes still feels wrong, a problem, or even an enemy.

So I can hold satsang with it.

You are welcome here.

Thank you for protecting me.

Thank you for your love for me.

What would satisfy you forever?

What are you really?

This helps heal my relationship to it.

From perceiving it as a problem, there is a shift to befriending it, see how it protects (the imagined) me, and see it as love…. confused love.

For instance, I see how the fatigue and brain fog protects the imagined self by allowing it to rest, and even isolate and not be out there in the (potentially dangerous) world. That may not be why the fatigue or brain fog is there, but it is one of the functions it serves.

Wishing to protect me comes from love, confused love.

What would satisfy it forever is wordless, although translated into words it’s being intentionally allowed, held in quite presence, recognized as love, held in love.

What it really is, is also wordless, although can be translated into awareness, presence, even love.

It can be welcomed, because it’s already allowed – by presence and love.

And really, this is not a formula and there is no destination. It’s a quiet curiosity. What happens if I welcome it? Is it true it’s not already welcomed? What happens if I thank it for protecting me? Is it true it’s not here to protect me? What happens if I thank it for its love? Is it true it’s not already love? What would genuinely satisfy it forever? What is it really? (more…)

Need for rest

 

I have experienced an unusual need for rest over the last few years, following many years of being very active.

This shift is connected with what some would label chronic fatigue and a dark night of the soul. And, yes, I realize that those labels can be helpful for communication and navigating what’s happening, and they may also be limiting and stressful if taken as too solid and real.

Why this need for rest? There may be several answers.

(a) The body & mind is exhausted and needs rest to recover. This exhaustion may be due to previous years of high energies, both in form of kundalini and in a more everyday sense. And also living with and relating to what was unloved and unexamined in me…. being stressed by it, setting it aside, wrestling with it.

(b) It’s a time for healing. A time for being with myself, for loving and examining the unloved and unexamined. It’s a retreat. It’s nature’s way of ensuring I get time and opportunity to do this, since I didn’t chose retreat on my own.

(c) It’s an invitation for natural rest. For allowing what’s here as it is, allowing this field of experience as it is here & now. And finding myself as that which already allows it, and is it, this field of experience as it is in immediacy. Perhaps first in through rest in a conventional sense, and then living this also in activity.

(d) It may also be related to identifications. (i) As mentioned above, identifications themselves can be tiring. They can lead to stress, unease, struggle and more. (ii) Also, there may be a sense that rest – and perhaps fatigue, isolation – is safer than being active and exposed in the world. Rest becomes a form of protection. An attempt to protect the imagined self. (iii) There may also be beliefs about the fatigue itself and what it means, which can solidify or amplify the sense of fatigue and need for rest.

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Illness as retreat

 

It seems not uncommon for people in a “spiritual emergency” to experience illness, which in turn may function as a form of retreat.

In some cultures, they recognize the symptoms of a spiritual emergence or emergency, and support it in various ways, including through retreats. In our culture, there is often not such an understanding, so illness may sometimes serves that function instead. It’s what’s possible for us, so it’s the direction life takes. (The lack of understanding of – and support for – these types of processes, may in itself contribute to fatigue and illness.)

The purpose of a retreat is to remove us from our daily routine, the business of daily life, and allow us time and space for meeting what’s already here.

And that’s exactly what an illness can do, and perhaps especially fatigue. (Which seems a typical symptom for some in a certain phase of a kundalini or awakening process.)

An illness allows us a retreat setting. It allows unmet, unquestioned and unloved things to surface in us, so they can be met, loved and examined.

And some of the things surfacing will, most likely, be about the illness itself. An illness is often perceived as a threat to some of our most cherished identities.

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Fatigue and spiritual emergencies

 

I wrote about this earlier, but it comes up again for me.

Fatigue is one of the common symptoms during a spiritual emergency. And there may be a few different reasons.

There is a burn out, perhaps following an initial awakening with strong energies running through the system.

There is an overwhelm due to strong energies, or wounds and trauma surfacing. Unexamined assumptions creates fear and a sense of overwhelm, this takes energy, and may lead to a sense of fatigue.

It’s part of the obscuration of the faculties (the personal will, intellect, morals etc.), it makes it so there is less energy to fuel the delusions, and this allows God (love, spirit, natural intelligence) more freedom to work on us as it wishes.

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Fatigue and spiritual emergency

 

It seems that fatigue is quite common among people going through some forms of spiritual emergency, and perhaps especially a dark night.

I can see a few possible reasons for such a connection.

A dark night of the soul typically follows a period of high energies running through the system, for instance from an initial kundalini awakening. The system may be “burnt out” from these energies, and needs to rest and so swings back.

If primal fear & dread, or wounds & trauma, surfaces, it can be experienced as overwhelming and lead to temporary fatigue. Similarly, if there is a heightened sensitivity to certain foods, chemicals, environments etc., this may lead to fatigue.

In the fatigue there is an invitation to rest, to quiet the mind and the doing. This may allow the system to reorganize on its own, with less interference from the conscious mind. Here, fatigue functions as a modern form of retreat, or a retreat for those who otherwise wouldn’t easily slow down.

Each of these may apply to me. (a) There was certainly a great deal of energy running through my system from the initial opening, and it lasted for many years. (b) When strong emotions surface, I sometimes feel a bit flattened. Since the initial awakening, my body has been quite sensitive to certain foods, chemicals and environments, and I notice this influences how alert or fatigued I feel. (c) I was very active for years before the fatigue set in (studies, work, community organizing, art, zen and more), and a fatigue may have been one of the few things that could have slowed me down. Fatigue in combination with brain fog has also slowed down my mind, which may allow processes to take place with less conscious interference.

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Fatigue as protection and love

 

In my session with Pamela Wilson, fatigue, numbness (of the heart and brain) and brain fog came up.

You are welcome here. Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for your love for me.

In what way is it innocently protecting me? Fatigue keeps me from being out there in the world, from meeting other people, from risking being hurt. And numbness and brain fog does the same.

Thoughts about how others see my tiredness

 

I notice that when thoughts tell me others will judge me for my fatigue, I feel tired, sometimes very tired.

And if I think others accept my fatigue completely, even value it, then I tend to feel energetic.

Of course, I am the one doing it all. Mind identifies with thoughts about these other people, what it means, and so on. And that brings about heaviness, separation and fatigue, or a sense of acceptance, connection and energy.

Some thoughts I notice:

She judges me for the fatigue. She won’t like me. She won’t want to be with me. She will leave me.

He thinks I am lazy. He sees me as second rate. He pities me. He dismisses me.

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Hunger, tiredness, physical pain

 

From an earlier post:

Basic physical experiences such as hunger, tiredness and pain are very interesting to explore in this way, and I notice I prefer to do it while the sensations are quite subtle and then move on to the stronger ones if or when they visit.

With hunger and tiredness, I find that certain beliefs tends to trigger and/or fuel the experience of hunger or tiredness. For instance, the thought that I’ll have food soon tends to trigger hunger. And thoughts such as I need to be rested, I won’t get enough rest tends to trigger an experience of tiredness.

Not surprisingly, resistant thoughts to the hunger, tiredness or pain tends to make the experience unpleasant. These may include I need food, I can’t function without food, I need sleep, I won’t function without more rest, I need to be rested, and pain is terrible, I can’t function with this pain, this pain is all-encompassing, pain means something is wrong, pain means something terrible will happen.

Labeling the sensations, and taking these thoughts as true, also has a role. Believing labels – even simple ones such as hunger, tiredness and pain – does a couple of things. It solidifies the experience of hunger, tiredness or pain, making it seem more real and substantial, more like a thing. And it triggers additional thoughts and stories about what it means.

So it can be quite interesting and helpful to investigate each of these types of beliefs. They each help to find what’s really there, in immediate experience, and not just what appears to be there when I believe certain thoughts about it.

Thoughts creating the experience of tiredness and hunger

 

I recently had a clearer experience of how thoughts create the experience of hunger and tiredness.

I went without food a few days, and the two times I thought I would eat soon I got very hungry. The rest of the time, not knowing when I would eat again, I felt fine. There were certain sensations in the body and stomach area, but it was not hunger.

At another time, I had the thoughts “I won’t get enough sleep” and “I need to be alert & rested”, and felt fatigued and tired. As soon as those thoughts went away, I felt fine.

With tiredness, I can see that the mind is a faithful servant to beliefs. There is the belief that I need to be rested, and may not get enough sleep, so I feel tired – which is how the mind supports me in finding rest and sleep.

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