On getting to sleep
Spoke to my ex on sleeping and falling asleep which is not always easy today because the mind doesn't stop. I'm not naturally a good sleeper but lately I'm doing okay. M mentioned even old episodes of law and order are effective when kept on softly. They somewhat go on and on and fill some need for safety so the mind can let go.
I haven't been watching TV lately, or very rarely. On principle I don't want what years I have left filled with their agenda, and contrite plots, or almost anything they have to say or do. Plus it is programmed to make us all feel inadequate. Actors making obscene amounts of money performing in meaningless episodes that cater to cliché after cliché. Also, because they are able to afford what they want, and take care of themselves and work out and train, their narcissism reeks through whatever roles they play. In other words, look at me, I am beautiful, rich, ripped and can even be sensitive on cue. Who needs that after facing all the day to day difficulties?
But there is an irony here. I found that when TV was out of my life, I could spend more time with real people and was more patient. As time went on dramas would increase and I thought I was doing mitzvahs by listening, which is true. However, the plots thicken and become involved and one is drawn into others lifes and your own life starts to lose some focus. People are really tested these days and can become vulnerable very quickly. All it takes is for one or two things to go wrong. But they are real people leading real lifes, not scripted at some film graduate school designed to sell cars. However, there is a drawback to this reality. You can't just turn it off or change the channel. If you become too entwined you can get in trouble. M and I talked about this and we both agreed the TV might be safer.
So TV can be acceptable but is not the 'highest solution.' A soft voice on the radio can do the trick. Sometimes on good classical stations the hosts have these melodic voices. Although a good classical radio station is hard to find. Classical music is okay, but depends on lows and highs and emotions and relief and that is not exactly calming. Opera the same. Sometimes background movie music is skillful and surprisingly flowing but still can kick up the pace just when you are fading off. It's movie dependent which means you're falling asleep to a plot.
New age music was effective for a while but then I felt manipulation. I was being preached to with musical notes. Steve Halpern, a Phd in this genre, produced music that calmed the nerves a few times but eventually interfered with my natural rhythms. Laraaji, playing his string instrument, also intrigued, but his stream of consciousness music was a bit too self indulgent and my brain rebelled. How about ocean sounds? Haven't tried them. My fan when loud is effective but it doesn’t quite coax enough. Some variation and subtlety is needed. Is there an Orthodox Jewish solution to this?
Is there such a thing as birds chirping the Hebrew alphabet? Forgive me for that.
Lately however I do have a solution. East Indian sitar music from the Pandora 'app' I have kept on all day at various volumes. It seems to keep life going, has some grit to it as it moves from one place to another in a spontaneous but controlled way. You can trust the current. No unseen waterfall is ahead. There is enough discipline and craft to keep it in check and trustworthy. The emotions aren't played upon nor is it preachy. It is rough and smooth, and tires you out a little, enough to send you off in another direction, towards sleep. And, as said, it is good background music for the day. So, for a time, this is filling a certain gap.
On the grand scale of important issues, this appears to not be on the higher end, but attention to details can make the 'whole' work.