I awoke with a start one recent Sunday night. I wish I could say I felt some Divine inspiration channeling through me, but really I just had to pee. Stumbling into the bathroom, groggy and a bit disoriented, I felt a jolt of excitement as I thought, “Is it time?” Finding my way back to the bedroom my bleary eyes caught sight of the numbers on the clock – 3:53. I felt a sense of relief knowing I had made it just under the wire. I sighed as I slid into bed and fell soundly back to sleep.
Just six hours earlier I had been talking to a friend who had called out of the blue. I told her I was feeling creatively blocked. She reminded me that if I wanted answers as to the reason why I could always ask God. We had discussions about such matters many months before, at which time she had mentioned that God likes to speak to us in the wee hours of the morning – in the window between 3:00 – 4:00 a.m. That time had escaped me as I struggled for clarity over the prior few weeks before her call. How interesting that she just happened to bring up that detail when I needed it. Although I can’t report that I got any clear answers from Sunday night’s trip to the bathroom, I did get one more sign that I am being watched over. The next morning I jumped out of bed feeling a greater sense of purpose as I prepared for a new volunteer role aimed at helping children with cancer.
The Student is Ready
One of my favorite quotes over the past three years, a period I believe has been an ongoing process of awakening, is “when the student is ready, the teacher appears.” It amazes me how that always rings true. Just when I was thinking, “Hey, I feel really educated on body and mind, but I could use a bit more on the spirit,” I stumbled across a book on finding spirituality. Then a few months ago when I was thinking, “Gee, I wish I could learn more about spirituality” an email appeared inviting me to a Mysticism class just 20 minutes from my home. On the morning of the first day of that class I read my horoscope as I often do. It told me I was about to embark on a period of intense longing. I’m pretty sure I actually LOL’ed at that. A bit dramatic don’t you think astrocenter.com? However, that night, as the Reverend spoke about the path of a mystic she must have used the word “longing” at least ten times! To make things even more unbelievable, before leaving my house for class I had said a little prayer that there would be at least one male present who would be willing to walk me to my car. I know that’s not very Feministic, but a girl’s gotta be safe even in a small city like New Haven. Much to my surprise I was the only woman with a group of three males. Although I had not said anything about my prayer, as we were leaving class, the biggest, toughest looking male in the group turned to me and said, “Where are you parked? I want to make sure you get to your car safely.”
On Waking Up
So, back to the title of this post – [forgive me if I’m rambling – I did mention I have been creatively blocked, right?] – I have been grappling with the notion of what it means to wake up for well over a year. I kept hearing the phrase in songs, reading it in books, and most definitely feeling it as I completed my master’s degree in Integrative Health and Healing. I included the song “Waking Up” by One Republic in a playlist I gave each member of my cohort prior to graduation. As soon as I heard the chorus in that song, “We’re waking up. We’re waking up. And right on time. And right on time,” I became emotional. Because as most students who attend The Graduate Institute understand, a veil gets lifted and a true understanding of what needs to happen to change the health care system, and more importantly the world, is revealed. To quote a line from the Hopi Elders which is shared with all students, “we are the ones we have been waiting for.”
How Does One Wake Up?
So, I was all ready to post on this topic two weeks ago. And, then zzzzzzzzzz. It seemed I had fallen back to sleep. I knew waking up to my purpose was important. I also knew that God is available for early morning consultations (and in all moments really) during the process. But, I still struggled with the everyday basics of staying awake to Spirit. Clearly waking up takes patience. Slowly I started seeing the signs and symbols everywhere. Things were a little clearer, yet questions remained. Today, I happened upon the answers I needed through a Huffington Post blog called “5 Essential Questions to Lead You to Your Calling.” In it author Agapi Stassinopoulos starts out relaying a conversation she had with a young man who said that our purpose in life is to wake up. I got a wave of validation, but feeling antsy I jumped ahead in the post to find the help I was really seeking, five questions to put one’s calling into perspective:
- What am I here to learn?
- What am I here to teach?
- What am I here to overcome?
- What am I here to complete?
- What am I here to express?
As is often the case, the answers come from knowing the right questions to ask. In fact, it occurs to me that once you start asking the questions, and feeling for the answers, you are already awake. Be it 3:00 in the morning or any time of day, being aware of what is happening around you and within you is the key.
What do you think? Are you awake to your purpose? Have you struggled as I have only to conclude that you’ve been moving in the right direction all along?
Songs to Wake You Up
Just for fun, here are some of the songs that have helped me see the value and joy of waking up.
Waking Up, One Republic – the entire album “Waking Up” is great. Marching On and Good Life are personal favorites.
Gaucho, Dave Matthews Band – “Please wake up. Please wake up. Please wake up. We gotta do much more than believe if we really wanna change things.”
Heaven, Live – “I don’t need no proof when it comes to God and truth. I can see the sunset and I perceive.”
Below my Feet, Mumford & Sons – “Keep my eyes to serve my hands to learn.”
Drunken Soldier, Dave Matthews Band – You need to fast forward to 4:17 to get to the powerful lyrics, “Make the most of what you’ve got. Don’t waste time trying to be something your not. Fill up your head fill up your heart and take your shot.”