Why we should NEVER feel guilty about sleeping 8 hours

February 27, 2012

Are you one of those people who feel guilty about sleeping a full eight hours? Well before I became a farmer that was exactly how I felt – fortunately, it didn’t take me very long to discard many of my toxic urban habits, not that I had anything resembling a choice.

Working daily alongside mother nature I’ve grown accustomed to certain non-negotiable house rules – one of them is I (and probably you and those who claim they can get by with four hours) need eight hours sleep EVERYDAY, if we going to continue to be effective and lead a purpose driven life.

In the past I had it backwards, I used to justify my sleep deprived regimen by arguing that life is short and since I am not getting any younger, I should make each day count by staying awake as long as possible, that simply means sleeping less. But this happy picture of making the best of life misleads. Firstly, since I was always sleep deprived, I found it difficult to will my body, mind and spirit to do the things that I really wanted to do – that sort of deficit is well and fine in an urban setting as I can always crawl underneath my table and catch up on some shut eye – or paint my eyelids white with tippex and put two black dots and snooze during one of those boring meetings.

This was what I tried to do when I first transitioned from a city slicker to a farmer – I tried to negotiate a way to sleep less and yet deliver more everyday and mother nature just chucked it right out of the window with a resolute No! And when I tried harder all I really did was wear myself right down to the bone.

Fact is sleep is rest and rest is your body’s way of regaining strength, replenishing energy and repairing itself.

One should never ever feel guilty about cultivating a habit of sleeping 8 hours or more a day anymore than we should feel guilty about waiting nine months for a new life to come into this world. This is the way of the land. And only a fool fights that which can crush him like an ant – a bloody fool!

Darkness 2012


Farmer: Why have you stopped fruiting tree?

Tree: I need rest.

Farmer: How long do you need to rest tree?

Tree: As long as it takes.

It is not unusual for an oil palm tree to suddenly stop fruiting during the course of it’s lifespan. This is a phenomenon that many scientist and agronomist have tried to get a handle on as it affects yield. They have tried a variety of methods from tissue culturing to even mimicking mother nature to fool the biological clock of the tree – but despite their best attempts nothing seems to be able to hoodwink mothernature – she is resolute and her resolve is immovable suggesting that when the time comes to sleep, there is nothing a man can do.

When the palm is spent, it will rest and it will have absolutely no guilt in declaring to the whole wide world, “I am going to sleep now! When I have slept enough, I will begin to produce again. Please do not disturb me.”

As humans there is much to be learnt from this Tao of the land. The greatest lesson being, we should never feel abashed or guilty about sleeping eight hours a day. Neither should we be coy or apologetic when it comes to saying to others, “I am going to sleep now!”

When we do this, we are walking in faith with mothernature. We are not fighting her with caffeine or stimulating our minds artificially to remain awake. We are turning our inner eye towards that land of milk and honey that nature has provisioned for us – this gift that goes back further than ANY religion in the world, is there for the taking, it is FREE and anyone can do it, it matters little what your creed, religion or race may even be – all you have to do is surrender ourselves to the healing power of eight hours of sleep.

When we weave this habit into our daily routine, it will not take us very long to realize that many of the things that have gone wrong with our lives will begin to right themselves magically – thoughts will acquire speed, deeds will be measured and controlled and we seem to be able to accomplish more and even feel great without ever feeling stressed, frustrated and sapped – this should not be a surprise, as this is what happens when a man’s daily habits is in perfect harmony with meridians of nature. He is not only a humbled supplicant before the truth – but a child of the earth – a new creation – one where he will always be highly favored and greatly blessed by almighty power of mother earth. And this he can feel in every single cell of his body that shouts out, “I am alive!”

This is what I have learnt from the way of the land. My name is Darkness, a humble apprentice of the land.

This excerpt has been extracted from the Chapter: The Tao of the Farmer – The Brotherhood Press 2012

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