Caption: Howler Monkey.
Have you ever heard the shrill call of the Howler Monkeys? It is very loud, even though they aren't big animals. They usually howl at dawn, just before it rains, when another troop is close and when they're threatened by predators.
Now, here's another question: Have you ever struggled with sleep? If that is the case, you probably appreciate the value of proper sleep. The energy we get from sleeping the right amount of hours is one of the main fuels for a positive day. Well, this is when Howler Monkeys come on the scene.
Caption: Sunrise at Playa Chiquita - Puerto Viejo - Costa Rica.
I suffered from insomnia for many many years, I could go for three entire days without sleeping, walking the streets like a zombi. The lack of sleep affected my day to day life; therefore, I knew I had to take the matter into my own hands. I tried everything I read about, including self-hypnosis.
One day I realized that I was no longer struggling. It had been a slow process but I had finally managed to sleep normally.
What came after that, was a period of joie de vivre. Good things started to happen. I was traveling for months, changing my environment a lot, yet, sleeping. However, there was something I couldn't master: discipline. I didn't train myself to go to bed at a specific hour, instead, I'd go bed at any random time, varying each day.
“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.“ -Jim Rohn
Caption: Howler Monkeys in my patio. Caribbean Sea of Costa Rica.
Everything started to change when I went to live on the Caribbean Sea in Costa Rica.
There was a long period of constant heavy rains and despite that my sleeping pattern remained good. However I couldn't ignore the shrill call of the Howler Monkeys, which happened every morning just before sunrise around 5:30am. And I am not talking about one single monkey but about a whole troop. Their howl is so loud and can travel long distances, perhaps about three to four kilometres. They would go on and on till I didn't want to stay in bed anymore.
According to doctor Maxwell Maltz, it takes about twenty-one days for a person to form a new habit. I had a lot more than twenty-one days of waking up at the exact same time every morning due to the incredibly loud howls of the monkeys. Whenever I have a tough time today (which has been the case lately), I always remember the monkeys in the Caribbean.
"The howler monkeys taught to me a great lesson: discipline can make a huge impact on our lives, in a positive way."
Leaning to wake up this early brought on so many blessings. The first thing I'd do every morning was to prepare a cup of hot Earl Grey tea, and sit on the balcony, enjoying the sound of the sea - so clear, so close, that I believed I was inside its waters.
Birds were louder in the morning, too. Their songs would intertwine together, forming a magnificent concert - the most inspiring music to start a peaceful day to. Oh! And the fresh coconuts hanging in their trees, the vibrant colours of the flowers, still wet. The hummingbirds flying from one flower to another. What a show!
Caption: A rainy day at home. Caribbean Sea.
My kitten Fifo was very energetic during that time, a good excuse to spend more time playing with him. Some mornings, when it wasn't raining, I would take my bicycle and go hiking in the jungle, or I'd walk along the beach.
Life was definitely more spirited!
I must confess that at the beginning I was very upset with those monkeys. Why did they have to wake me up so early? Soon I understood that this is their life routine and I needed one too.
I now wait for another source of inspiration to help me, naturally, become more disciplined in other areas of my life; in the meantime, I work on always accepting whatever comes my way. We can always learn a lot from what bothers us the most.
What to do when Monkeys wake you up at 5:30am? Howl with them!
Have you ever suffered from sleep deprivation? How did you manage to get over it? Do you have any advice for people who suffer from insomnia? I would love to hear your story!
Thank you so much for sharing and for inspiring me to write more!
Tons of love,