Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mark Twain's Sleepless Night

As I lie awake with no sleep in sight yet again, I thought about a story my roommate's dad told me a few days ago.

I was explaining to both he and my roommate that I was really hoping to get rid of my caffeine addiction. "I can't go a day without drinking something with caffeine," I said. "Last night I had to drive across the street to buy a Sprite because my headache from not having any all day was horrible."

They both stared at me with blank expressions before my roommate started laughing hysterically. "Jenna, you do realize that Sprite doesn't have caffeine, right?"

I had completely forgotten. But what was funny was that as soon as I drank it, my headache went away and I drifted right off to sleep.

My roommate's dad then told me a story he once read about Mark Twain.

"One hot summer night Mark was lying in bed and couldn't sleep because of the heat. He was tossing and turning in his sweat. He went to the window to open it but found that it was sealed tight. He went back to bed, but continued to toss and turn. He approached the window again but no matter how hard he tried he couldn't get the window to budge. Laying there, frustrated in the heat, he threw his shoe towards the window and heard glass shatter. Knowing he had finally opened the window, he immediately dozed off. When he woke that morning, he saw that his shoe had actually struck a glass cabinet in the room, but his mind let him to believe that it was the window. Because of mind over matter, he was able to sleep regardless of the heat that still surrounded him."

It's a strange and powerful thing, the mind. Our minds control how we feel, act, live...and sleep. That's why I truly believe that a positive mind leads to a happy soul. Seeing the beauty in everyone you meet and every place you go can help you completely experience the world around you in a new and divine way. When I'm down about something, or having to do things I could care less about doing, I try to find the positive in each experience. I started journaling this past January to do just that. The way it altered my perception was staggering. The constant "I really don't want to do this" turned into "I'm so glad I was able to have this experience". My days felt better and I felt happier.

Yep, the mind is a powerful thing.

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