Waking Up Is Hard To Do

Have you ever heard the lyrics “breaking up is hard to do?” Well, there are many days I would counter those lyrics with “waking up is hard to do.” To stay present to myself, to those around me and the events of the moment requires a myriad of skills and tools that, frankly, I’m still learning and often forget to practice in the moment. And, while volumes of material have been written on the many waking devices available to us, I would like to explore three with you today; self-compassion, a daily practice, and community.

Why self-compassion? Exactly for the reason that we forget, we become occupied and get distracted from our true purpose. Indeed, waking up requires lots of determination and, indeed, a commitment of intention is needed to stay the course, but I often find that this determination overrides the self-compassion needed to allow waking up to truly occur. Self-compassion gives us the room to unfold at the uniqueness of what we are. It grants us the space to reflect and, yes, laugh, at all we think we are and all that we are not.

As for a daily practice. I’m sure most of you, like me, have many practices that nourish your waking soul and, on many days, we are able to incorporate these into our daily routine. But during busy times, when unexpected events or visitors arrive, when life slips off the rails, when the car or cat have just died we find that we are unexpectedly catapulted into the tumble of existence. What then? Certainly our dedication to our practices pays off and because we have awakened our souls to the point of today we are often held in peace despite these life events. There is, however, also wisdom in recognizing that we need daily that one practice that is our go-to. Taking the time to practice this one go-to in the midst of turmoil is itself a good awakener.

Finally, we need community. I believe no one will quibble that it is, in fact, within community where we are most often challenged, or triggered, and where the need for waking up is intensely felt precisely because of our interconnectedness. But, it is also in this eclectic convergence that we find the encouragement and love needed to journey on towards a fully awakened soul. We need one another, as role models, to see what next steps are required, when we fail or succeed, and we need one another for support and affirmation to see the hidden nuggets in our soul and in becoming the fully awakened persons we desire to be.

In this New Year may our desire for awakening be renewed, may we observe a healthy dose of self-compassion as we commit to one practice despite a harried day and may we engage with a community, like Pathways of Grace, to find the encouragement and support our souls require.

-Kim de Beus