“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.”
Thich Nhat Hanh
Are you asleep, slumbering, becoming awake, or fully awake, alive and vibrant?
Most of us spend most of our lives asleep; we get caught up in the stories playing
out in our heads, we look out at the world and think “this is it.” We go along with
the mind herd, are influenced by the media and others whose thinking is often
biased and ill-informed.
Many times a day, thousands of times it is said, we ruminate on our repetitive
thoughts, behaviours and experiences in an attempt to find relief, to soothe our
discomfort so that we can get on with life and focus our energies on work,
relationships and getting what we think we want but about which, in truth,
we have no clear idea. Whilst these strategies may enable us to get by day by day,
living in such a way is full of effort and never leads vibrant living nor long
What we are really after is to find meaning and purpose, to know there has to be
a point to this existence; we seek the peace available in this moment, to develop a
heartfelt compassion for ourselves and others, and to experience the joy and
fulfilment of living, of being healthy, in happy loving relationships, with a
measure of prosperity. but our dream is shattered because we notice life sucks;
life gets in our way. We then blame life out there and all the people responsible.
It’s all their fault.
Whether we like it or not, in this world there is corruption, warfare, greed, terrorism, poverty, malnutrition, suppression, control by banks, governments, corporate big brother, the advertising industry, big pharma, and the media. We think it’s all too much for us to handle so we push the snooze button and head back to sleep. Someone else can take responsibility.
We need to STOP and no longer just accept it all, or ignore it! And it’s not just others who need to stay stop; we are in this world together and we each share a responsibility to STOP look and consider what we can contribute.
To wake up is to live in awareness in every aspect of life and living; in our inner world, our health and well-being, and the outer world. It means being aware of what is “not quite right” and questioning the social norms; the things that feel uncomfortable to talk about, or seem too uncomfortable or dangerous to confront.
But we need to wake up and look through the lens of what is really true, of eliminating the biases and exploring what is possible. Above all, we must start with Self, we ourselves must Wake Up and be responsible for our actions, take responsibility for our circumstances, and not live in the hope that one days things may miraculously change. Things change to the extent we do.
And it is not as tough and difficult as it may seem, as Thomas Merton, Trappist monk, poet and social activist said, “You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.”
It boils down to awareness first and foremost. Only when we are aware do we heed the call to “WAKE UP!” Only when we are sufficiently down do we heed the call to rise up.
Being awake is a process and means:-
Cultivating self-awareness, not just once, but ongoing - always taking stock of your life, what is and isn't working
Noticing what is going on in the world, developing a consciousness for compassion and service of and to others
Exploring options for change and making a commitment to action, even if that is influencing someone else to act
Letting go of unhelpful thought processes and beliefs, ones that simply do not serve
Embracing, not resisting, all of your emotions, allowing them to inform you, dialoguing with them, learning from them
Fully utilising your gifts, strengths, and values.
Meeting your emotional and physical needs, knowing when you are not, and taking action to get them met
Always being open to and seeking insight and inner wisdom; a mind is like a parachute, no good when it is closed
Thinking, being, behaving in ways that are in alignment with the direction of your true self - heeding truth and authenticity
Developing healthy relationships – with yourself and others
A blessing to yourself - and to the world - is to be open to increasing your awareness.