What Does It Mean to Wake Up?
Over the years, I’ve come across many students who have a bit of a misperception of what it means to “wake up.” I think sometimes we believe it’s a sort of epiphany event that hits us out of the blue and BAM, we’re enlightened! Some of us believe the ability to “wake up,” “become enlightened,” or any of the other phrases we use, is a process reserved only for a select few.
Essentially though, to “wake up” really just means to be aware of everything around you. It really means devoting yourself to going beyond your everyday routines, beyond the secondhand beliefs and options we’ve adopted, the expectations we cling to, our agenda.
Waking up is about living in a higher state of consciousness, in other words, it’s about deeper awareness.
And, the good news, it’s not a far-away goal. And, waking up isn’t just possible for some of us. It’s possible for each and every one of us.
It can be your daily reality starting right here and right now.
I think though in the present state of the world and all of its challenges, sometimes, it’s all we can do to just get through our daily routines. It’s hard for some of us who still don’t realize how all-important awareness is.
To be aware is simply to notice something you didn’t notice before.
Like when you notice the room is getting too warm and you turn the thermostat down. Or your friend hasn’t called in some time so you make a point to call them and see how they are doing.
Nothing can be changed in your life unless you first become aware of it.
That may seem super obvious but I think there’s a depth, power and possibility in awareness that people don’t really understand.
What you can do with awareness will literally change every part of your life.
Unfortunately, as humans, we are trapped in a level of consciousness that fuels chaos and confusion. Through the gradual development of bad physical, mental, psychological and spiritual habits over the years, we’ve essentially walled ourselves in. We’ve gotten stuck in our habitual patterns of behavior and think perhaps that we can’t change or our situations can’t change.
It’s as if we begin to live each day as if it were Groundhog Day. Over and over again, following a fixed set of patterns that we don’t deviate too far from. By and large, I’m not sure we even notice that we’re pretty much living on automatic pilot. .
The bad news is that a significant portion of your day is spent being a robot of routine, repetition and habit. And, worse news, many of us don’t even know we’re doing it.
Do you really want to live like that?
The process of waking up and paying attention to our patterns of behavior and doing something different in life needs to become continuous. It essentially needs to become a lifestyle because there’s so much unconscious behavior in everyone’s existence.
We’re all fascinated by our mind’s activities, the constant stream of desires, fears, wishes, hopes, dreams, plans, expectations…
We’ve become seduced by our thoughts.
In comparison, awareness is silent and still. It doesn’t involve thinking. You can’t watch it in motion. But we pay little attention to awareness which just leads to a vicious cycle – the less aware we are, the less we can even begin to shape our personal reality.
Seeking escape for the world has diminished our motivation for awareness. Scrolling mindlessly through our social media accounts, binge-watching shows we aren’t even interested in. Perhaps overeating, oversleeping, drinking too much or just doing everything we can to run from ourselves and our cyclical lives.
It seems that even the most basic spiritual practices have become optional. People often meditate to escape worldly concerns or to find something “higher.” Somehow, this misses the entire point.
But, as Thich Nhat Hanh says:
“Meditation is not an evasion, it is a serene encounter with reality”
There is such a thing as your best lifestyle. It is an awakened lifestyle. Nothing that’s good in your present life has to be sacrificed. Waking up expands every aspect of the good life.
What’s really at stake is making the decision to wake up, here and now.
That’s the first step in the direction of a future that really works instead of a present that threatens to defeat us.
You’ve got that gut feeling that this is the right step for you, but not sure where to go from here? Click HERE to book a FREE online coaching session where together we can discover your path and formulate a plan.
If you’ve already started this journey and are in need of support and connection, I highly recommend joining us for one of our online or in-person meditation gatherings. Click HERE for more details.
Isn’t it time to live your life awake and conscious?