It took extreme exhaustion for me to finally wake up to the fact that I hadn’t been listening to my body.
It was 2014, and just 2 weeks after the launch of THE FILE, I gave birth to my second daughter, Celeste. I was suddenly faced with a new business, a newborn and a two-year-old, and to say it was a period of intense stress would be a monumental understatement.
Soon after I gave birth, I remember so vividly nursing Celeste with one arm and approving content for the website on the other. I didn’t feel I could allow myself space and time to breathe, to appreciate, to slow down, to gain a sense of perspective. I was trying to keep up with the pace of my former self, neglecting my true self in the process.
I had also stopped listening to my body. Every inch of me was screaming to slow down, to find time for my family, but I pushed on, trying to achieve a picture of what I thought success was. It was exhausting.
Sleep at this point was non-existent. Since my early twenties, I had always prioritized work above all else – sleep included. The adjustment with one baby as a working mum was easy enough, but two was a jump I hadn’t completely prepared for. I was a miserable, grumpy, arsehole shell of a human.
There came a point where life just seemed to swallow me up. I had neglected myself to such an extent that I had forgotten who I truly was and opened the door to a tonne of shitty energy flooding in.
It wasn’t until I took complete responsibility for how I was living, and started to be more gentle with myself, that things started to shift. Sleep was a very big part of this. And so was re-defining what success looked like.
When I did start saying yes to more sleep, things started to change. I started to connect with my body, to feel what was needed, to be clear enough to see the most loving way forward.
Slowly, slowly, I began to see that I could be more vulnerable, to be able to nominate what was not feeling true in my body which then gave me the strength and courage to get to the heart of why.
I’m writing this because it’s part of what this platform is all about – sharing from a place of deep vulnerability. When we can share from this place, and express what it is that is holding us back, it allows us to move forward in a way that is totally liberating.
And so, I welcome you to Sleep Week: a time for us all to get real about what a lack of sleep is actually doing to our bodies, to fess up to the things that don’t serve us anymore and to come together as a community of women to talk honestly about why so many of us need a caffeine hit or sugar rush just to get through the day.
Another part of Sleep Week is about examining behaviours so we can all get a little closer to becoming the best and truest version of ourselves (bumps, flaws and undesirable habits, included). Maybe that will mean putting your phone away a few hours before bed, maybe it will mean saying no to “just one more episode” on Netflix and putting yourself to bed earlier. Or perhaps it will simply mean figuring out what your boundaries are for living life on your own terms.
Maybe you only achieve one of the things you set out to do.
That in itself is cause for celebration.
No one’s perfect, but a little more self-love never hurt anyone.
With always love,
Pyjamas, Jasmine and Will