It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The new Star Wars movie is here! (I’m going Friday if you want to join me.)
Enough about that. Let’s talk about episodes I-III, which I watched for fun this week.
I promise spoilers here. I’m pretty sure you can handle that. Because, I’m pretty sure I’m the only person in the entire world willing to waste 6+ hours of my life on these movies #Ihatejarjartoo (I do have standards: I couldn’t stomach the time suck of the new Gilmore Girls on Netflix – sorry, Lorelai, love you later.)
Shocker: I love, love, love episode III. Maybe even more than episodes IV-VI. Wait, scratch that…
I’m about to go Geek on you. (Like that never happens with Star Wars junkies.) I totally get Darth Vader. Besides the bad ass dictator-thing he’s got going on, without sleep deprivation, he wouldn’t exist. Says the blogger chick who blogs about sleep stuff. (I’m still waiting to be featured on Wookieepedia – yes, that’s a real thing.)
“I don’t sleep well anymore.”
Y’all, in episode II, his mom is dying. Who wouldn’t stay up all night worrying and freaking out about that? And the nightmares just get worse in episode III.
Then the Dark Side wins – because of sleep deprivation.
Anakin shows all the signs. He turns into a social pariah. He becomes an anxious, distrustful jerk. He gets all jealous of everyone – and so, so whiny. This spirals into hate. He’s an easy target for the Dark Side. His defenses are down, knocked out from lack of sleep.
Preach it, Yoda!
“Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
Because fear keeps you up at night. And anxiety swallows you whole. Then you descend into darkness. Just look at Anakin’s crazy eyes. His brain’s on the fritz. All because he can’t get a hold of restorative sleep.
What can bring him back? Yoda knows: MINDFULNESS.
“Control, control. You must learn control.”
Mindfulness is a Jedi mind trick that teaches us to be aware of our feelings. And awareness is like The Force. Use it to stop the ick spiral you’re in, to pause and create calm, to kill negativity and resentment that fills the sleep-deprived mind.
“You will know the good from the bad when you are calm, at peace.”
Mindfulness gives us pause and that pause gives us a ray of
last hope. The chance to grasp at joy.
Here are some tips for practicing mindfulness:
1. Help your brain rest.
GET MORE SLEEP!! Go for a walk. Explore the outdoors. Do some yoga. Meditate or practice breathing exercises. Remove yourself from all the noise and clutter in the world. (Stop watching Jar Jar.)
2. Focus on today.
Focus on THIS VERY MINUTE. Acknowledge a worry and then dismiss it, refocusing on the present. Worries are yesterday’s failures (things you can’t change) and tomorrow’s fears (things that might not ever happen). You only truly have THIS MOMENT. Right now. Enjoy it. (Turn off episode I.)
3. Learn more.
Check out this 5-minute video by my friend and neuroscience researcher, Cathleen Clerkin.
Are you a Darth Vader and a raging, grouchy Mommy Dearest? Or are you a path to the light? You have the power to choose. Every day.
“To be Jedi is to face the truth and choose. Give off light, or darkness, Padawan. Be a candle, or the night.”
Photo credit: Webster2703 from pixabay.com