Though the world is fast asleep
Though your pillow’s soft and deep
You’re not sleepy as you seem.
Stay awake don’t nod and dream…
—Stay Awake from Mary Poppins
by Robert B. Sherman and Richard M Sherman
I’m thinking about how tomorrow is September 11th, and remembering, as many of us do, where I was & what I was doing that fateful morning in 2001. I was sitting at my office desk, looking at tasks for what seemed to be just another ordinary day and 6 months pregnant with my daughter. Then my administrative assistant called from her home in shock and horror and told me to turn on the TV.
Some events change us forever; we never look at life in the same way again. We see, know and deeply understand how precious every second, every relationship, every kiss, every conversation, every laugh really can be. But life goes on and sometimes we forget. Before we realize it, we go on autopilot; into the messy, crazy now of what’s for dinner and which bill is due and a crabby child or co-worker (or both.)
We are challenged to:
- stay conscious, to stay awake and aware of what is genuinely important and meaningful in our lives
- to capture and savor moments of pleasure and joy as talismans that bring us strength when times are difficult
- honor our feelings and instincts and Divine Spark and the information they have to share and better our lives
Those who know me are aware it’s very important to me to practice what I preach and walk my talk and be in integrity, but I confess I absolutely remain a work in progress. In preparation for the JOY Factor retreat 10 days from now, I’ve been focusing on these questions.
What are the daily practices that I am cultivating to stay awake and conscious of what I truly, deeply value?
How do my actions reflect my words and intentions?
I’ve studied and read, and taught and pondered and written and obsessed a little and watched TED talks and You Tube videos and teleclasses. (Yeah – I take this stuff pretty seriously because I’m just wired that way. Us contemplative/seeker/mystic types can be a little odd, but it helps to have a sense of humor about it.)
I believe there’s no one formula, no magic pill, but here are some Key Thoughts to Ponder (and then take action on one)
Paulo Coelho (author of The Alchemist) was quoted on Super Soul Sunday with Oprah this week as saying one of the most important questions to ask yourself is this: Have you loved enough?
(“Enough” is often a trigger word for me, but it’s still a decent question.)
Looking back over life, people express many common regrets, including:
- It is better to regret something I did than something I didn’t do. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
- I never pursued my dreams and aspirations.
- I should have made more time for my family and friends and said “I love you” a lot more.
- I wish I’d spoken my mind more instead of holding back, not feared rejection, judgment of others, and had the courage to live truthfully and authentically.
Please comment below. How do you Stay Awake? How do you stay present and aware, experience wonder and awe?
If you desire support, help, encouragement, companionship on your journey – and I believe we all need that in SOME form, or we get self-preoccupied and paralyzed – consider attending the JOY Factor retreat on September 20th or getting some individual or small group coaching as a starting place. Email me with any questions or call 214-796-7002.