By Martha O’Regan
Apparently, as a small child, this was how I nudged people in my family to get them to stir, but my mouth couldn’t form the “w” well so it sounded more like “ake up.” Don’t you just love those family stories about experiences that you can’t even recall and haven’t a clue whether they are true or not? Either way, they have landed in the legacy file that we carry with us throughout life only to pull out from time to time, sometimes when we least expect it, like right now as I write about awakening.
So, are you awake? If not, what will it take to nudge you? And, if yes, then how awake are you? I believe each one of us goes through many stages of wakefulness in our life experience, often dancing back and forth through those phases based on our perspective of what is happening at that particular time.
There are times we feel like we just woke up from a long, hard slumber and it takes a while to get our bearings on where we are and how we got here. Often, our surroundings don’t feel familiar and we have a difficult time focusing. Maybe we feel a little stiff and sluggish as we begin moving our body in an attempt to get clarity of the moment. As we proceed, we feel like we are still in a dream or, at times, a nightmare and spend the rest of the day wishing we could go back to sleep where we don’t have to think or be what we don’t authentically feel is real. This state of wakefulness can last a day for some or weeks, months, years or decades for others.
The next stage usually begins when something really big happens in our life, like an illness, a tragedy, a job loss, divorce or financial failure, but awakening usually doesn’t happen right away. At first, as we seek help from family, friends, counselors, sermons or books, we will begin getting information on how to deal with our particular problem and through that begin to see a glimmer of hope and trust that life doesn’t have to be so hard and that healing can occur. Then, we begin feeling our own nudges within to learn more, prompting a desire to take action, resulting in an awakening to our personal power to create change in our lives. Maybe we begin by fueling our body with better nutrition or moving our body in ways we never knew we could move or begin hanging around with more joyful people. Whatever the catalyst, there comes a time where we begin to look at that really big thing that happened as a gift that prompted the next phase of our growth and evolution as a human being and we feel alive again.
Once truly awake, we notice that we move through our day with a little more ease and focus, we find we are more grateful for the simple things in life, enjoy learning new things or taking on new activities. We generally feel better than we thought we could just a short time ago.
Then, as life will happen, we often find ourselves getting distracted and falling away from those things that helped us to feel better or we just feel “stuck” and have a hard time remembering how good we felt just a short time ago and suddenly we are back in our slumber again as the cycle repeats. But the good news is that it usually won’t take another huge life event to create the wake-up call, but rather the ability to sense and follow the nudges more clearly and quickly to get back on track with what we know helps us to feel better. Life is so much more fun when we are awake, so wake up, wake up, wake up, I say! Live Well … Have Fun!