I nap. Even if I've had a good night's sleep, I still try to sneak a ten or fifteen minute escape in each day. At my best I can fall asleep inside of two to three minutes. I can channel my nap laser in a car and sleep while my wife runs in to grab a coffee. I'm that good.
A quick nap is much different than a good night's sleep. It's usually five or so minutes of calming my thoughts, five or so minutes of actual sleep, then the best part: five or more minutes of listening to my river.
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
Usually awoken rudely by my own snort or uncontrolled head nod, I immediately sink myself, semi-conscious, back into half-sleep and listen to the internal systems that make me run: my body, my critical thought, my creativity. Together, they're my river.
I isolate small aches and pains and explore them. I do abstract fly-overs of large problems I may be working through at my company. It's common for completely obvious ideas (writing, work, riding, etc.) to appear as serenely as a deer walking up to a stream to get a sip of water - just like this piece I'm writing now.
A quick daily nap is the only way to check in with myself completely and totally. The river is my surest route to understanding myself right here and right now.