As human beings we have a sleep and wake cycle that is required for our survival, rejuvenation and over all well-being. The balance of these two cycles of life is growing in importance each and every day as we struggle to get enough quality sleep time in our busy lives. The Huffpost on Twitter recently launched a campaign bringing awareness to this very topic. As spiritual beings we also have cycles of awake and sleep but, these occur in the time of our human awakening.
Spiritual awakening according to Bruce Davies, Ph.D. in his article titled Life After a Spiritual Awakening, “is when you realize that you are the center of the Universe and the Universe is centered on you. It is the exact opposite of your ego and rather, are humbled by love as it unfolds and continues unfolding from the very center of your being.” Spiritual awakening is a requirement to notice the miracles occurring in our lives, the synchronicity of events, the surrender to our life purpose, the loving of ourselves as we love others. And while no one expects perfection, for we are far from perfect beings, I believe spiritual awakening happens in the trying, falling down and rising again. Resilience, faith, honesty and truth. Staying spiritually awake requires practice, patience and stillness. Time to hear your own thoughts and to connect with your soul, the voice of your higher power. Time to practice compassion and empathy despite your own suffering. Time to live outside your own ego fooling you into believing you are not good enough, your kind actions won’t matter, that you need to take more than you give. This is the sleep cycle of your awareness.
Choosing to stay asleep is like wearing blinders walking through your day-to-day activities. Someone says hello, you choose to ignore the greeting and continue on your way. You see someone struggling and you choose to keep going. You are given the opportunity to be generous and you decide not to share. You are able to conserve some of our natural resources and instead deplete them wastefully. The list goes on and on because I think, people still don’t believe their actions can make a difference. The thought continues that we are separate beings and our actions have no effect on others in some other part of the planet far away. If we cannot see them, hear them, feel them, then it is not real. I would ask you to ponder this, if in fact this is your belief. Does the water shortage in California where the bulk of our vegetables are grown year around affect your grocery bill? Can planting your own small garden reduce your footprint on the planet? When you choose your flowers to plant in Spring, do you choose ones that sustain our dwindling bee population? These are awake choices we can realize everyday. Ones we sometimes choose to ignore. Social media can be used for a good cause, to inform and educate regarding global and community issues, rather than the number of selfies we can post on our timelines.
I arrived at the Costco parking lot on a hot humid Friday late morning. Upon exiting my car I noticed a young man sitting on the boulevard in front of his car. He said, “Hello” and I replied back,”Hello.” We proceeded to discuss the warm weather and how he enjoyed this summer climate. I noticed the accent in his speech. I said to him, “You must be from a hot country”, to which he replied, “Yes, I am from Mexico.” Chatting back and forth about his home was interesting as I caught the gleam in his eye and upturned smile across his face. He has resided in Canada for seven years and loves our country, Canada. I welcomed him anyway to which he humbly replied, “Canada is a very peaceful country, that is why I love it so much.” I said goodbye and pondered his words for a while while shopping. Peaceful, yes. Something I had taken for granted and was brought to light by this young man. A hello had brought realization and gratitude for where I live and the rights and freedoms I enjoy. Simply responding to “Hello.”
It is not the giant steps we take but rather, the little baby steps each and every day that have the largest impact. We are here to make a difference, to care for ourselves and to care for others. To acknowledge one another. It is, once again, a healthy balance of give and take. Every day we are presented with opportunities for goodness amid the chaos of life, if only we would stop for just one moment to see and experience it. I recently learned that our atmosphere CO2 levels have doubled from 200 ppm to 400 ppm, from a report released by scientists in 2013. Never before has life experienced this phenomenon and what it means for everything living on this planet. Are we awake now? These are the big red flags amid the little ones waving every day. We all share the same air. We all sleep and wake. We all have a soul. Wake up! If you choose to sleep, life will surely pass you by.