It’s no secret there are a few things I’m afraid of. These things typically include (but not limited to) being robbed, earthquakes, large non-human animal predators, and escalators (please leave this be). These things pale in comparison to what terrifies me the most – falling asleep. The kind of falling asleep that occurs in consciousness and afflicts most of our world. I’m afraid of waking up in several years only to realize I’ve been sleep walking through my life. That somewhere along the way I forgot who I really was and to value my divinity and the sacredness of life.
If I fear falling asleep, the question then becomes how do I stay awake? I wait patiently for a pill that gives me enlightenment for eternity or access to a higher plane without a crash. In the meantime I read spiritual books, do yoga, meditate, and sit in prayer. In these still moments my sacred soul reminds me I’m awake right now. In these moment birds sing outside my window and I renew my commitment to this world to get out of my coma and into life.
A wall hanging as I enter my apartment (although it would probably be more useful upon exit or above my bed) with words from His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama reads, “Everyday, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to have woken up, I am alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it, and I am going to use my energies to develop myself. To expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings, I am going to have kind thoughts towards other, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others, I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”
Just as I rise everyday with the sun (or several hours after the sun), so must I respect the patterns of my consciousness and the coming back to grace. I understand there will always be times of sleeping in my life – where I will make decisions based out of fear instead of faith or forget about the joy of the present moment. It will happen over, and over, and over again throughout my life – the important thing isn’t that I avoid falling asleep, but that I wake up at all.
Today I’m grateful for sunshine, lazy Sunday mornings, and fresh laundry smell.