Don’t go back to sleep
Recently, I’ve completed a wonderful 4-week meditation program with the wonderful Peter Harper, aka The Drunken Monk. On this occasion we were focusing on the Wisdom of the Masters, some ancient and some much more current. Truth is truth, right? No matter how old or new the voice that utters it.
Towards the end of the 4-week program (20 days) we heard from the voice of Rumi, spoken by Peter of course. Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rumi, typically known in the Western world simply as Rumi, was a thirteenth century Sufi mystic and a great Persian poet. Colman Barks, a great translator of Rumi’s works describes him as:
“one of the great souls, and one of the great spiritual teachers. He shows us our glory. He wants us to be more alive, to wake up… He wants us to see our beauty, in the mirror and in each other.”
Personally, I highly recommend Rumi’s works to you, and if you can be introduced to him by someone like Peter, so much the better. For now, I want to share the few words that Peter shared with us. As we were at the end of our program, we’d be shaken and stirred and for all of us I’m sure, at least to some degree, we were more awake.
Many of you have had a similar experience of late. Those of you who attended the Vision Workshop with me for sure left more awakened. More awakened to what is alive within you and for you and to the ways to bring your vision to fruition. For others reading this, you may be more awakened simply by the energies of St Brigid and the start of Spring or Imbolc.
Some of you may have been awakened through art or literature or music or film or being out in nature in recent times. It doesn’t matter how it happens, what matters is that once awakened, you don’t go back to sleep.
From the words of Rumi:
Don’t go back to sleep!
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep!
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep!
People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open. Don’t go back to sleep.
Within your living being, there is a spirit. Search for it!
In the mountain of your body, there is a jewel. Search for it!
O, wondering Sufi! If you are looking for it, don’t seek it outside; it is to be found within you.
This makes the hairs stand on my arm every time I read it or hear it! There’s an urgency to these words, don’t go back to sleep! Live life. The answers and the way are within. It seems so simple and yet, as with much of what I teach to my own clients, it isn’t easy! Not because we’re not willing or not good enough, it’s just that we’re easily distracted.
So as well as sharing Rumi’s rallying call today I want to share with you some ways for ensuring that you don’t go back to sleep. Mary Morrissey shared these ideas recently as ways to live life without regret. I believe they also serve to keep us awake and I endeavor to show you how, in brief, below!
1. Ask What Would I love?
It’s so easy to fall asleep when we are living life on a thread mill, living by other people’s expectations or according to our limiting beliefs. Rumi says “You must ask for what you really want”. That’s what we’re doing when we ask “what would I love?”.
When you explore that and then really do everything in your power to achieve it, you wake up! You relish the results ultimately but you also relish the journey because you are on your way. When things go well you are celebrating each micro step taken in the right direction, when things are challenging you’re awake to the learning and the possibilities in the moment. No sleeping here!
2. Do What you can from where you are
Many people fall asleep in playing what I call the ‘when…then game’. “When I win the lottery, then I’ll buy the house I’d love/ go on that holiday…, When the kids leave home or go to college etc., then I’ll take up that hobby; “When I’m promoted, then I’ll show up as a leader…” you get the drift.
We sleep our way through life waiting for something to happen on the outside first. To paraphrase Rumi, ‘look within’! There is always something you and I can do from where we are, within our current resources and capabilities. Do that thing! And then keep doing what you can next do, take the step that’s yours to take. In time, you will have the result you love and you’ll have been awake on the journey.
3. Design your day
Be intentional! A great life is made up of great days and great days are made up of great moments. Spend a little time at the start of your day setting your intention for how you’d love it to be and then be awake to experiencing that throughout your day.
4. Befriend your fear
We’re hard wired as a species to be fearful in the face of change. Unfortunate, perhaps, but that’s how it is. So if you are willing to ask yourself what would I love and to shape a vision for that in all domains of your full spectrum life (health & wellbeing; relationships; career and sharing your talents with the world; and time & money freedom) I am sure it is going to bring change. And fear is going to be a player!
That’s a main difference between those who are successful and those who are not. The people who are successful take this on board! Fear is not a stop sign. Fear does not mean you can’t have your dreams. Fear does not mean you are unworthy. Fear is a sign that you’re human! So befriend it, be awake to it’s presence and keep going.
I think this is a big one! One of the ways we are all most asleep to life is when we are lost in repetitive patterns of cursing, nursing and rehearsing the people and events in our lives that are not to our preference. This includes our negative attitude towards ourselves and the regret we have about things we did or said or failed to say or do. It’s a dead weight.
I don’t mean to diminish any of our experiences by saying they are not to our preference, but here’s the deal, they have happened, nothing can change that. The only thing we can change is our relationship to those people and events.
The invitation here is to acknowledge that and to forgive yourself, others and to embrace the life you have now. If there are things you need to do in terms of making reparations yourself, do them and then let it go.
6. Listen to the voice of truth
As Rumi said “Within your living being, there is a spirit. Search for it! ….it is to be found within you.” We all have that voice within us, some call it intuition, some call it Spirit or God/Goddess or our Higher Power. What’s important here is that you realize that voice is there and available to you to guide you to becoming your best self, to live into your best vision for your life.
Gandhi said the Voice of Truth is as loud as our willingness to hear! Make a decision to tune into that voice within and learn to distinguish it from the voice of ego which is fear based and typically feels like it is admonishing, or critical, judgmental or forceful in its views in some way. The voice of Truth feels like the voice of a friend, your best friend, and is gentle in tone and often you’ll either feel relief or joy at what it signals.
7. Work with a mentor
I believe that working with a mentor or coach is one of the best ways we can catapult our growth and our results. The bottom line here is that we don’t know what we don’t know and can’t see what we can’t see on our own. When choosing to work with a mentor/coach, you want to choose someone who has a higher perspective than you, someone who is further along the path of personal and spiritual growth than you, so that they can guide you.
Ultimately your journey is your own, it’s just that working with a mentor makes it easier, shorter and frankly more enjoyable. On one level, I believe I have spent my entire life trying to understand how the world works and how to be my best self within it. I’ve read and studied alone and with direction.
Personally, I can honestly say that I’ve had the most breakthroughs internally and externally, when I’ve actively engaged with, and been supported by, my coaches and mentors.
Don’t go back to sleep! Use these 7 strategies to stay awake to who you really are and to all that is possible for you as a Spiritual being having this human experience.
If you would love to explore how working with me as your coach could support you, I invite you to book a complimentary strategy session here and let’s talk.