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I just so happen to have two adorable, hilarious, brilliant children. (In my humble opinion, of course.) They’re 4 and 3, and for the last several years now, they’ve been pretty good kids, except for one glaring problem. They had no idea how to sleep – not through the night and not by themselves. And when babies don’t sleep, parents don’t sleep – and then a whole host of bad, bad stuff ensues. It’s that simple.

We figured we’d never sleep again. We thought they’d never do it. That they wouldn’t sleep in their own beds ever. That their first night at college, their new roommates would wake up at 3 in the morning to find Jack and Sophie in bed with them.

But we decided to try to make it happen anyway. We were finally ready to turn this sleeping thing around.

Here’s what went down

Night 1 they were up several times, crying. Night 2, they were up a few times and the crying was short lived. Night 3, last night, they slept from 7pm to 6am. Without waking up, without crying, without doing anything but sleeping for 11 hours. For the first time in their precious lives.

Our friend, Patrie, had told us, ‘When it’s your truth, it will be theirs as well.” In other words, when we were really ready and when we felt that in every cell of our bodies, the kids would make the change easily.

Looking beyond the words

She was right. These people that don’t know as much as us, a.k.a. our children, look to us not only for our words, but for the meaning and the feeling behind them. Do you believe this is a good thing? They ask with their eyes, ‘Because if you do, then we will too.’

Isn’t it the same for our readers? Whether they’re reading our blogs, our books, our copywritten ads, websites or white papers. Words are great, but the meaning and the belief behind them – the intent – is what moves mountains, gets people to buy, to hire you, to change their lives. It’s why people like Chris Brogan succeed and spammers fail. It’s why Obama is our President and McCain isn’t. When you write (and live) for real – feeling your truth in every cell in your body – you are an influencer, a maker of change.

True writing (and living), then, can make the difference for your business, your relationship, your life. It can get the book published, the project off the ground and the children to sleep. I’m here to tell you that I’ve witnessed it first hand.

This morning, when the reality of our little miracle set in, I swear I looked out and saw pigs fly right by my window. And they were smiling.

Image credit: olaerik

Join the discussion 10 Comments

  • It’s been more than a couple of years since the sleeping miracle happened in my house–feels like last night. I think the strongest part of intent and belief we are all striving for is that in those moments when we’re there–we can see the smile on those pigs because we’ve relaxed enough (confidence in our truth) to see it.

    Thanks for a great one!

  • Solveig Engh says:

    Our children are older than you at this point in time, but anyone who has lived your story remembers it well. What a victory! I rejoice with you.

  • Edgy Mama says:

    Having a 4 and 3-year-old sleeping through the night in their own beds is impressive. My youngest didn’t do that until he was 7!

  • --Deb says:

    Sleep is such a good thing!

    Now, I don’t have two-legged children, but I remember when I got my puppy Katy in 1999 … the first time we’d had a baby puppy in the house since something like 1978 … she had a couple nights of whimpering before settling down to actually sleep for as long as her bladder would let her. But, the funny part was when my brother-in-law, who had never had a dog in his life, asked me when she was about 3-4 months old, if she was “sleeping through the night yet.” I tried very, very hard not to laugh in his sweet, uninformed face while trying to explain that, while puppies and children really do have many similarities, this is not one of them!

    Congratulations on the full night sleep … here’s to many, many more!

  • Mary says:

    this is so true

  • Brigitte says:

    I just stumbled upon your blog today, and I will definitely be back. I agree that our actions and intent must be aligned to live effectively…and it can be difficult to do so!

  • Andi says:

    I think this is what makes a good leader, the fact that he or she has millions of people looking up at them with the question in their eyes…”is this the right thing?” A good leader will look back with confidence and say, “yes.”

  • Julie Roads says:

    Thank you all for your fantastic comments! Deb – that is hysterical. But, I remember when Silas and Balou were puppies and we hard our 3 sleepless nights it felt like the worst thing ever! Little did we know, right?

  • Julie Roads says:

    Good one, Andi. Funny…I wrote about leadership all day for a client. I might have to work that concept in somewhere…xox

  • Loved what you wrote. I teach parenting classes, and when the subject of stress comes up, so often I hear people say that they are able to hide the stress from their kids by their words. Nothing could be further from the truth. Like committing to bedtime in your house, committing to being de-stressed, not just saying things, is what makes for stress free living. Thanks for sharing, glad I came across your work, and enjoy those flying piglets!!
    kristen race

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