Remember the delightful children’s bedtime book Goodnight Moon? Years ago I created my own good-night ritual that is simple and soothing. As I snuggle under the heavy comforter and close my eyes, a silent and thankful review of the day begins.
The idea of journaling five gratitudes at day’s end always seemed like a good idea, but I haven’t cultivated that practice. My good-night ritual expresses my gratitude for the gift of aliveness on this fragile planet called Home.
As I review and release the happenings of the day, I stumble upon awkward moments or regrets about something I said or failed to do. Yet, I’m tired and sleepy and want to separate from negative thoughts; not keep the loop replaying in my head. I did the best I could today. I practice self-forgiveness and wish for a contented heart empty of self-judgment.
Sometimes I am so relaxed that I doze off into a sound sleep before I complete the day’s review. Other nights, I might sleep a few minutes when something rouses me back awake, and I begin the review where I left off. If I can even remember! Interesting what turns up…wondering what time I boiled the water for a cup of Bengal Spice tea? Was it 3:00 or 4:30? Does it matter? Of course not!
Letting go of my day is one way to practice the little death of day’s end as I greet the dark night of serene sleep. My final comfort is the monk’s prayer that I learned many years ago from my spiritual director, Fr. Paul Jones: May God grant us a restful night and a peaceful death.