Wednesday, March 17, 2010


By Polly Guerin

Willy Shakespeare had it right when Hamlet said, “To Sleep, Perchance to Dream,” (Act 3, scene I). And “I have not slept a wink,” complained Pisanio in Cymbeline (Act 3, scene 4). When it comes to sleep such phrases surely mimic our own sentiments. Sleep deprivation deprives us of vitality, our concentration takes a downturn and we muddle through the day. “What’s the matter,” someone may ask. “I haven’t slept a wink,” is the typical reply. Women have often been told that getting the right amount of zzzz is their beauty sleep. Indeed it is for anyone who wants to maintain their good looks and avoid bags under their eyes. To many people, a good night’s sleep is an elusive luxury, but don’t reach for the sleeping pills yet. Edgar Cayce had some good advice and in his readings remarked that lack of sleep can contribute to a wide variety of stress related disorders and health problems including high blood pressure, depression, and heart disease and in some cases even death.
Lack of Sleep In Cayce’s readings he was most sensitive to the effect of stress on people, and never dismissed anything as ‘just nerves.’ He gave detailed analysis of the two nervous systems and a great deal of importance to their delicate mechanism. Cayce said, “The strain between the physical and mental, with the spiritual attributes of the individual, finds expression not only in the brain itself, but in that of the sympathetic (nervous) system for the brain manifestation of soul forces in the body. (4566-1) COUNTING SHEEP As we lie sleepless by the hour, reproducing images in our head of unhappiness or we try to work through problems our fretful attempts to get to sleep remain unreachable, the hours wear on and we toss and turn in the bed disarranging bed linens and blankets. In this sleep deprived process we are left frazzled and exhausted. No wonder, daytime fatigue sets in and it impairs one’s work performance. Personality changes can include memory problems and crankiness and depression. Such behavior can even lead to losing your job and on the home front it can create friction in the home and alienate your family.
Steps can be taken to avoid a sleepless night. The main objective is to de-clutter your bedroom and make it a sanctuary for sleep, where gentle music may lull you to slumber like a babe. Reading a book that does not tax your mind may induce sleep as well. Exercise equipment that beckons for attention should be removed from the bedroom. After all this is your peaceful oasis, an island of sorts, where dreams may enhance your life. To further abate the sleeping process, do not keep electronic devices by the bedside like a cell phone or any other communication tool that will stimulate and disturb your sleep. Removing the television from the bedroom is another good idea. It will prevent you from watching the late news which can disturb your mind. Another sleep trigger is to avoid watching late night movies (except on weekends when you can sleep late) because they rob you of the 7 to 8 hours of sleep that you normally need each night. A warm bath or shower before going to bed is relaxing and sleeping in a well ventilated room encourages slumber.
A light gym session, gentle yoga or exercise at home performed early in the evening before nine o’clock can also promote sleep, but if you’re training for triathlon do that earlier in the day. Meditation or prayer can also calm down your brain and prepare it for sleep. A patient once asked Edgar Cayce, “How can I overcome the nerve strain I’m under at times? Cayce advised, “By closing the eyes and meditating from within. Quiet meditation, for a half to a minute, will bring strength---will the body see physically this flowing out to quiet self, where walking, standing still, or resting. Well, too, that oft alone, mediate in silence—as the body has done. (311-4)
The old adage, ‘never eat after 8 pm’ is good advice because meals too close to the hour of sleep are disruptive and may be the cause for weird dreams or nightmares. Always achieve balance in your diet by eating natural organic food, fresh veggies and fruit. Avoid caffeine either through coffee or sodas as it remains in the system for a long time. It’s too stimulating and can give you a false impression of being awake. Natural slumber can also be had by sipping a mild sedative like chamomile tea, which helps to calm anxiety, soothes and relaxes the mind and body. Some people prefer a warm cup of milk to soothe and help them fall asleep. If all else fails, summon up the child within and ask your mate to read you a bedtime story or sing a lullaby just like your mum did when you were a child. BEAUTIFUL DREAMER
Taking a nap is nifty way to catch up on sleep, but how many of us have the luxury of napping from one to three in the afternoon? However, it could be a weekend luxury to put on your agenda, but be sure to set the alarm clock so that you do not miss an important evening date. Even if sleep does not come just lying still and relaxing can be a refreshing tonic. If you have a slant board, a fifteen minute break, resting with your head down and your feet higher up also has restorative powers. Cayce said, “Remember that the body does gradually renew itself constantly.” (1548-3) So heeding his advice let us go gently into the night sleeping peacefully like beautiful dreamers.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


By Polly Guerin

“The Message is in the Rainbow” is my latest book that deals with the psychological impact of color on body, mind and spirit. In this discourse I provide insights into how to use color to overcome tiredness and malaise and how to balance and revitalize your body’s energy. Different colors have their own specific messages. Red, for example, can be a whirling and dramatic, purple can be inspirational and green can provide expressions of harmony. The body is an amazing life force that energizes through the spin of the Chakras and each Chakra is associated with a different color. Invisible as they are your life energy flows through the seven energy centers in the body, the Chakras, a Sanskrit word meaning ‘spinning wheels.’ In a healthy individual all seven Chakras spin very rapidly and at the same speed. When one or more of the Chakras are blocked the natural spin is reduced, illness can set in and the aging process accelerated.
Edgar Cayce frequently recommended meditation for its therapeutic as well as spiritual value. In this meditative exercise involving the chakras, using the element of color, you can tune up the energy centers and experience renewal. The technique is quite simple. All you need do is to visualize a specific color related to a Chakra center. But first you must prepare yourself. It is best to remove your shoes and if you wear glasses remove them too. Sit in a straight-backed chair with your feet on the floor. Rest your hands on your lap. At this point I like to close my eyes. Now breathe very slowly and patiently until you begin to feel quite relaxed. In the following exercises you will be focusing on a specific color as it relates to a specific chakra and breath in the rainbow. Some people find it easy to visualize a color, others do not. To initialize the visualization process you could begin by looking at a colored chiffon scarf, an object of a specific color, like a red vase or even colored gels which can be purchased in an art supply store. Use these aids before you close your eyes so that the color registers in your mind.
I like to start at the 7th, the Crown Chakra, at the top of the head attributed to white light and a rich violet color. This is a very cerebral area of the body and the center of higher consciousness, compassion and wisdom. As you breathe deeply and slowly bring the color of rich violet into your mind and visualize the energizing forces of this color flooding the Crown Chakra. It is not necessary to put a time limit on your visualization, but one to two minutes is sufficient. However, you can do this visualization for as long as you feel the need for rich violet, then relax.
This energy center is located between your eye brows, and that is why it is commonly known as the ‘third eye Chakra.’ The Brow Chakra, the 6th energy center, is related to indigo, a blue-deep purple color, an indicator of clairvoyance and psychic abilities. Every time you breathe in indigo imagine that the space between your eyes is filling up with the color in your brow center.
When you need to speak up and communicate feelings or your nerves are on edge because you need to deliver a speech focus on the Throat Chakra, the 5th energy center. Visualize the blue color as a color band completely around your neck and breathe in the calming and peaceful color blue. Visualize and deeply breathe in the color blue and create a serene attitude thereby releasing yourself to self-expression and creativity.
One can never have enough love in their life and the 4th energy center, the Heart Chakra, located in the center of the chest, is related to the color green. It is the higher expression of harmony, trust and lovingness and fosters the opening to new ideas and new people. As you visualize and breathe in this energizing verdant green feel the calm and balancing quality of this color flooding your heart with compassion and love.
Thoughts and logic rest in the 3rd energy center, The Solar Plexus Chakra, which you can find in the region around your navel, the upper stomach. Visualize slowly and patiently a bright yellow color and breathe in the kind of yellow brilliance you might see on an incredibly sunny day. This is the center and the color that governs your mental energy and logic, and has domain over your will power over digestion.
The 2nd energy center, The Spleen Chakra, also referred to as The Sacral Chakra is located at the area two to three inches below the navel. It takes its energy from a warm orange color which has a lot to do with your emotional needs with boundaries of warmth and intimacy, pleasure and joy, attachments and letting go. As you visualize this warm orange glow in the area of your pubic bone breathe in an orange band surrounding you in the spleen area from the front to the back of your body. Do this as the need occurs to you to revitalize your feelings for one to two minutes, then relax.
Like an artist visualize the color red for the 1st energy center, The Root Chakra, located at the groin area, the very center of your sexuality, reproduction and the need for grounding and security. Paint your visualization with a vibrant red color and feel the warm of this bright color rejuvenating this center with health, energy, passion and love.
Attuning your body through color mediation to improve health, activity, peace of mind, love and compassion takes but a few minutes each day. If you have time you can repeat the process but this time visualize the colors again starting up from the Root Chakra up to the Crown Chakra. When completed you may feel slightly light-headed but imbued with the knowledge that rainbow results have enriched your life.