Alert and Relaxed

Rocky sprawled w.Cali

Rocky and Calico are very relaxed

When I hit menopause, I lost my excellent ability to nap—gone, gone, gone.  I’d lie there totally alert, practicing breathing and relaxing to no avail.  Recently I’ve had the luxury of more down time.  Those who know me will know my Inner Slug has been delighted—she’s discovered that I am sometimes able to sleep again when I nap, which has led to more napping, but a concomitant feeling of lethargy, drifting, and purposelessness.

Cali is very alert

Cali is very alert

Bali thru Heather 844

Rocky is very alert

Too alert, too relaxed—my napping behavior perfectly embodies two extremes the Buddha talked about 2600 years ago as hindrances to meditation (and, I would say, a balanced life).

When we are too alert, it’s like we have some feeling of danger, and we’re trying to pounce on every little thing that pulls our attention: an itch, a task, a worry.  When we’re too relaxed, we’re prone to sloth and torpor.

Bali thru Heather 890

Rocky and Cali are alert and relaxed

Sometimes these states are so familiar that we don’t realize we are caught in them.  Recently I told a friend I felt like I was treading water—fun to do for awhile, but not for long.  Being able to verbalize it helped me get more active again and I do feel more alert.  And, I intend to keep napping when appropriate!

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1 Response to Alert and Relaxed

  1. Constance says:

    Wonderful photos! Thanks for a big boost to the day. They always start better with cats.

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