When I was young my parents would send me to Girl Scout camp for 2 weeks every summer. It was an overnight camp, situated in the woods. Very rustic. I spent 99% of my time outdoors!! I loved every minute of it!
Making new friends.
Sleeping in tents or lean-tos.
I didn’t even mind the bugs. (Not sure why, guess I just didn’t pay them much attention and they in turn didn’t pay much attention to me either!)
On one particular night, while I was asleep in my tent, I somehow managed to turn myself around in my sleeping bag. My feet ended up where my head would typically be- out in the open air- breathing in oxygen!!!
Consequently, my head ended up being where my feet would normally be- at the bottom of my sleeping bag where there is much less oxygen to breathe and very little room to move.
At some point in the night, after I managed to position myself ‘upside down’ in my sleeping bag, I began to try to move again, only, my half asleep self couldn’t quite figure out why I wasn’t able to move that much. Then, my half asleep self couldn’t quite figure out why it was feeling difficult to breathe.
Eventually, after struggling for a bit, I awoke in a panic and very confused. Why was my movement so restricted? What the heck was going on? I asked myself.
I guess I must have begun to yell out for help because a camp counselor arrived to unzip my sleeping bag, have a little laugh and inform me that I had turned myself around in my bag while sleeping.
I felt relieved knowing I was safe.
I think about this situation now and I chuckle.
If us humans (myself included) could (ALWAYS) and by the way, it’s impossible to do anything ALWAYS, so I’m using this word in a light humorous way…
Back to what I was saying. If we could just remember that sometimes ‘we turn ourselves around.’ We do something that mixes us up.
It could be an argument with our kids, it could be something is “off” at school for them, it could show up in personal relationships, career, your weight- you take your pick really.
The idea is, something goes “wrong” and we then allow that event or thought concerning that situation to ‘mix us up,’ so-to-speak. To allow us to think that somehow we’re not ok. Or, that our kids are not ok.
It’s from this thinking, that we begin to feel upset.
These unsettled feelings are the very beginning of us turning ourselves around in our sleeping bags.
Meaning, we went from feeling ok, to turning our thinking around, shifting our thoughts to NOT being ok and NOT thinking we’re ok. We began to shift our view of our kids to “they are not ok,” or perhaps depending on the situation, that we are not ok.
Very often we do this unintentionally. Or, sometimes intentionally. Doesn’t matter really.
However, if you’re willing, try to help yourself bypass the panic and worry. Instead, take a moment to pause. Notice what you began to think and notice how you’re feeling. Feeling unsettled is a sure sign you began to “mix yourself up”.
And, if you’d like, you can try remembering me in my sleeping bag, at camp- then tell yourself, “Oh, I just turned myself around.”
Honestly, it’s that simple. That uncomplicated, really.
All it takes is a wee bit of time AND relaxing and we can have ourselves back in a comfortable place.
If I had spent hours panicking, I would have worn myself out and maybe even caused an even bigger problem.
Lucky for me, a camp counselor was there to show me I was ok.
My 2 cents: Have someone in your life who reminds you (when you panic or forget) that you’re ok. It’s ok. And, soon, after you relax, things just may turn themselves around.
Here’s to life + sleeping in sleeping bags ‘right side up!’ (Oh, and friends, family or mentors who help us be in that place!) =)
PS I love sharing unconventional ways to help people feel good. If you relate to anything I’m sharing, I invite you to check out my free audio tips. (They’re not just tips for someone with special needs, but are tips that can essentially help many conditions!) Enjoy!