Sleeping is partially about surrender. To let go and be in what’s naturally there can mean heavy limbs. It can mean being away from stimulation and into a sweet stillness. Sometimes it’s like floating. Sometimes it’s like flying. But there tends to be a weightlessness, or free flow to it.

And it’s that free flow I want to ponder in this post.

I’m a queer who loves helping people sleep. There’s something I know from queerness as it relates to the free flow of surrender, which has a role in good rest.

Rest can’t happen so well when you wrestle with who you are.

Maybe for you, true, deep rest can’t happen if you don’t un-wrestle. By un-wrestle, I mean to free up inner conflict with who you are. Another way to put it could be identifying what inhibits pride and releasing messages that say who you inherently are is bad in one way or another.

As an herbalist, when I begin to support folks with sleep, I inquire about what they do with their conflicts, feelings, and stresses throughout the day. All of us are put in situations where we may need to steer away from intensity. For example, if emoting would cause us high social disapproval, job insecurity or if you sense something could sabotage you, you might be stilted or subvert those feelings. So while you can’t always speak about what’s true for you in certain moments, there’s gotta be spaces in your life where you can.

Otherwise, surrender takes a hit.

Surrender lets your body-mind-self go where feels most natural or uninhibited. If you want to sit in your own center of integrity and self acceptance there’s an element of surrender. If you want to sleep, it’s best going to happen by letting go of what might disrupt your system from releasing things like fitful thoughts, stresses, and even the excitements.

People think about sleep as an unconscious, passive act. But getting to that passive place or surrender often has to be predicated by naming your truth. If aspects of who you are silenced, misconstrued or are not celebrated, parts of you will wrestle.

If there is wrestling, can you pause? Then see what parts of you are wrestling. I’ll bet there are ways for these parts to untangle themselves.