Note: This is a lengthy question that Higgins will answer in segments.
Question: Hello Cheryl & Higgins,
Thanks for your wonderful insights that have helped guide me through these turbulent times.
My question has to do with my eight year old daughter. Since she was a baby, I have either allowed her to sleep in my bed or I have fallen asleep with her in her bed. Now she expects this and when I need rest in my own bed, in my own space, she often protests by refusing to sleep. As a result she is experiencing anxiety, particularly at night.
I have tried my best to comfort her without anger and assure her that she is safe. But this week, as we draw near to 12/12/12 her anxiety has increased to an unbearable level and she says she is scared of ghosts. I have explained to her that she may be sensing the anxiety of the planet as we all move through this shift in consciousness, and that seems to help. Unfortunately as my sleep is interrupted I become a little selfish and I allow anger to flow, and I feel myself lose control. Of course this doesn’t help and I feel it creates a cycle where she is the victim and I the aggressor.
How can I help my daughter sleep through the night? I realize I cannot do this for her, but perhaps there is some insight you can shed upon her intense anxiety. Am I doing the right thing by insisting that she sleep in her own bed? Am I doing the right thing by falling asleep with her at bedtime?
Higgins: To help your daughter sleep through the night let’s start with some very basic information regarding the body. The body conducts energy from your Broader Being all day every day. Sometimes this energy gets pent up inside and comes out as negative behavior, anxiety, illness and other negative expressions like inability to sleep.
We suggest you initiate a new pattern before bedtime. About one hour before heading to bed find a fun way for the two of you to exercise together. Only 10 or 15 minutes of gentle exercise will help release that stuck energy in both of you.
Encourage exercise that includes both upper and lower portions of your body and some gentle stretching. For example, take a walk around the block and while walking raise the arms up and down. Every so often stop to touch toes and stretch up to the stars.
If going outside is not feasible then march in place and do some push ups. Then do some stretching, too.
Avoid running and jumping jacks or other things that greatly stimulate the heart. The idea is to stimulate energetic flow and release energy but not to create extra energy as cardiovascular exercise will do. (Save that for a 10 or 15 minute morning routine that will help with daytime behavior.)
(Really what we mean is to find a fun and accessible equivalent to these ideas.)
This will help to immediately release some of the anxiety she carries into the sleep time.
We will discuss a more metaphysical aspect to help your daughter sleep with our next response but this is the best place to start. Do not try to change anything else for now, just add 10 minutes of gentle exercise one hour before bedtime.
Received December 19, 2012 at Lake Goodwin, Washington