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Waking up isn’t something that happens once

Sorry for the long delay between posts. I’ve been very focused on myself (I’m so selfish!) and have been diligently practicing being present, meditating and making mindful life decisions. Waking up is harder than I thought.

Waking up isn’t a singular event.

In my guided meditation practice (Tara Brach), something that comes up often is the idea that when you brain drifts into thoughts, all you need to do is “come back” and that act is in fact, “waking up.” What’s incredible about that is that it means that the act of waking up isn’t a singular, massive, black and white event.

Waking up isn’t binary.

Waking up is a constant battle. It’s a war that is waged in micro-moments, minute by minute. Day by day.

I journaled recently that “being present is a verb” and that it requires energy and focus. It’s not a natural act. For some it may be easier, but not for me. My natural tendency is to zone out, live in virtual reality, tune the world out and retreat into my own thoughts.

I think I see where I got off track. I had been looking to attain a sort of “god-like” presence, some moment in time when I can proclaim that I am “living in the moment!” And in that fantasy I would leave my present, unhappy existence and enter my dream world. A dream world where I get to sing and dance and skip off into the future a happy, fulfilled human being.

But it’s not like that at all.

Waking up is more like slogging through the Fire Swamp in the Princess Bride. It’s a step by step realization that I am either present or not. Awake or asleep. In control or on auto-pilot.

Waking up and being present is a battle, waged every second of every day – in every big and little moment of our lives.

2 thoughts to “Waking up isn’t something that happens once”

  1. SO EXCITED to see another post by you. I’ve missed reading your posts. 🙂 I still smile a bit at the self critical vibe in your post (“I’m so selfish”). I hope you’re doing well and life is good. I’ve been listening to some videos by Tara Brach as well – very relaxing, esp. the hour before falling asleep.
    Is being awake the same thing is being aware that you are not your thoughts, but the observer? As Eckhart Tolle puts it? Or is it a kind of “pure unadulterated joy” – because that seems to be harder to feel on a consistent basis. It could be something hard to define as it can’t be grasped by the ego based mind..

    1. Well thank you so much! How are you doing? Life is indeed good although I have to say, the choice to read “The Bell Jar” may have been misguided. Amazingly well written and poignant book – but not a happy story.

      I think feeling joy ALL THE TIME may be asking a bit much out of life. A more realistic view is to be present and find moments of joy in that presence.

      I’m not built for 100% bliss, not sure any of us are – that feels like something a robot could be programmed to do, but not a human!

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