4am-Formula One and the Brain 500.

It is still dark. I open one eye and look at the bedside clock. 4:00 am.

This is the danger zone. The most perilous time of the night. Why? Because the engines in my brain are ready to start up, revving , roaring and racing down the track with my thoughts. All the doubts and demons are there. Waiting for the starters gun to scream down that track!

If I have learned anything in my life, it is that what I hear in my brain at 4 am is a Voice I should not listen to. The Voice is almost always negative.

“What did you do that for? You’re too old, not good enough, not ready, not smart enough, quick enough…..” The Voice picks up speed and now its roaring down the track at 200 kph! And now it has other Voices racing with it. A Committee of Voices.

That my friends is the Brain 500. Over the years I have learned I cannot let the Voice utter so much as a chirp. I must turn over, start a meditation and take myself to my place of peace and calm; on my horse in the forest.

It is not long before I am back to sleep. But how do you accomplish this?

Book your worries in for a later time. Tell yourself you can think or worry about this later at say….10:30 am. And make a booking for 15 minutes at that time. By the appointed time the sun will be up and the day will have restored your faith in yourself. Your worries can be addressed rationally.

Learn some sort of mental meditation. This does not require sitting in a full lotus position or anything like that. Find a meditation that involves focusing on calm breathing.If you pray find a prayer you like and repeat it over and over. You can also incorporate a visual of a place where you are calm and happy.

Laugh at the Voice. When the Voice reaches the point where it is telling you things like : “That headache you had today. That could be a brain tumor!” That is when the Brain 500 has slipped a gear and the Voice is spinning in a total unreality. Laugh at its’ absurdity and continue with your meditation.

Remember the Wisdom of the Animals. My horse Biasini does not lay awake worrying. about the past or the future. He lives in the moment. We need to try to do that too.

*Indy 500 photo: Hungry Fan*

38 Comments Add yours

  1. David says:

    It is the best piece of advice that can be passed along, “let things go once it happens.” You can’t turn back the clock. And, dwelling on it, all it does is add unneeded stress. My daughters learned it fast – a good, bad or in-between finish, you have to have a short memory during a show to get ready for your next event.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      thanks for this comment. I agree 100%.

      Like

  2. That’s what my Lexi gives me – opportunity to live completely in the moment when I’m with her. Such a gift πŸ’•

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      It is indeed a gift. We are fortunate to have our horses.Thanks for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Alli Farkas says:

    Whenever my monkey brain tries to take over I just ride a dressage test in my head. I’m usually out like a light shortly after the entrance and salute…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Haha! Yes Alli dressage tests are a good one. It is a form of mental meditation after all. πŸ˜€

      Like

  4. Very lovable post ma’am, I am convinced this voice disturbance happens to many, thank you for that. our voice itself disturbance and also remedy. Last picture of Biasini is so beautiful

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Subbashini. I think Biasini looks quite wise in the photo. Horses are wise beings in my opinion.

      Like

  5. Megala says:

    Wonderful article! We have so much to learn from these lovely animals.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. chloelights says:

    I love this article! It is so very true! I was engaged with your writing from the very first moment and could not stop reading! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I’m so glad you got something out of this post . Thanks for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Emma Cownie says:

    Many wise words here. That 4am voice can be a s*d. I had it on the way to Donegal last time I DROVE, i ended up getting 4 hours sleep.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Emma Cownie says:

      typing with one hand is not a good idea…I drove the 6 hours to Donegal with lots of caffeine drinks…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. anne leueen says:

        Caffeine can really affect some people and their ability to sleep for sure. And one handed typing is a real skill that I do not possessπŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Emma Cownie says:

          I wasn’t doing very well (esp. when it came to capital letters)…I was on hold on the phone…been there for 20 minutes so I thought I’d make good use of my time. Two handed typing now.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. anne leueen says:

            Well good for you! I find typing on the phone i have to check before I send anything as I usually have errors or predictive text nonsense.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Emma Cownie says:

            I was typing on a keyboard…I am not sure I could type one handed on a phone either!

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Emma Cownie says:

            I usually only realise after I have sent the message and then I have send corrections!!!

            Liked by 1 person

          4. anne leueen says:

            That happens to me too when I am responding on my phone. I have learned I have to expand the text and read it as my eyes are at the limit for the tiny print on the phone screen. I don’t wear reading glasses and so far have got away with that.🀣

            Liked by 1 person

          5. Emma Cownie says:

            You are doing well not to need reading glasses! I am always battling with the fine detail in my paintings…I have a pair of glasses for that but I try not to use them. Its getting harder nad harder not to!

            Liked by 1 person

          6. anne leueen says:

            I have one short sighted eye and that is what I read with. I have to wear glasses to drive to compensatebfoe that. But tiny print is getting to be a problem so the reading specs are looming.

            Liked by 1 person

  8. The last Para is just amazing. Yes animals except humans all beings are in the present. No doubt it is Wisdom to learn from them.
    The message in my Post ” In The Silence of Forests and Oceans”is what I want to convey.
    Thanks Anne

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I shall look for your post Shiva!

      Like

  9. I likewise have lost sleep over anxiety. The worst is finally getting back to sleep, only to return to the next chapter of the same anxiety dream from which I awoke earlier. It helps when I hear the dog snoring on the floor.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Oh my that would be bad to have the anxiety continue in a dream sequence. The dog is like Biasini and not awake worrying in the middle of the night. Thanks for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Yes, we should be like the animals and not worry. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you, Anne, this is a good, and useful column. I totally agree that in the wee hours, we hear all kinds of nonsense and paranoia, and need to learn how to ignore and subdue that negative stuff. I like this idea of booking your worries for mid-morning, when you’ll usually find they’re nonsense, anyway. I turn on a fan, and visualize flying along on on jet somewhere, rather than riding in the forest, but it’s the same approach really. This was a very good post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you for this comment Robert. The fan is a good idea as it could provide a bit of ‘white noise’ to quiet the mental voices’ chattering.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Definitely we have so many things to learn from the animals! And living the moment is one of them! Very true and wise words! πŸ’•πŸ’•

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you for commenting. It is true but I have to remind myself of it on a daily basis!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Irene says:

    You are not alone! If Biasini does not worry, why should we? I think I need an animal in my life. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I agree. They do give us a different perspective.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Robyn says:

    Really sound advice. I wake with those thoughts too. And they keep me up for so long. I really like these tips and will turn to them the next time I am listening to that negative voice in my head!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Jeff Rab says:

    Very true, Anne! Those voices tend to pick up speed the more we listen to their motors run and radios play! May the voices that speak only be the gentle plod of Biasini’s hooves on a soft, spring trail.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Jeff fr this comment. The sound of Biasini’s hooves are indeed music to my ears.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. dprastka says:

    I love this post ❀️ as it’s so very true. I’ve had to calm my inner voice, laugh at it, meditate or think happy thoughts to stop that negativity. Thinking of my beautiful horses helps, just like you thinking of Biasini. He is so handsome! Sometimes I lose sleep because of worry thoughts but am thankful not that often. Happy trails and Happy thoughts! β™₯️β™₯️β™₯️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Diana. I think we are both very lucky to have horses in our lives. They bring a balance that helps us a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. dprastka says:

        Yes, they DEFINITELY bring balance. We are very lucky indeed! πŸ˜€πŸ΄πŸŽβ™₯️

        Liked by 2 people

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