Have you ever woken up, looked around and wondered, "How did I get here?!" I am speaking not of alcohol and/or blunt force trauma-induced amnesia but the still startling and equally bewildering phenomenon of suddenly coming to from a long stupor. I woke up the other day and experienced the heart sinking realization that, despite my best intentions to have an ultra-conscious 2011, I had been asleep for weeks. Embarrassed, I had to admit that I had been living in a finely crafted alternate reality where the important things didn't affect me, although they did so very deeply. Unable/unwilling to engage with my actual reality, I far as I could get, with no intention or plans, so far outside my natural flow that I completely lost myself. What really bothered me was that, unlike similar times in the past where everything was hazy, I knew clearly in my mind and heart that I was not behaving consciously but stubbornly barreled ahead. "It'll all work out. It always does," I told myself. But that only works when you're working with dharma, destiny. And wandering desperate arms flailing into the dark is fate- what happens when we don't learn from our own histories. We are doomed to repeat the past, to wake up wondering, "What happened?!"

This is starting to feel a little heavy and dramatic. Really, what transpired was a beautiful, highly valuable learning experience for which I am grateful. It's a pretty incredible gift to be woken up and it takes a special (and brave) person to be able to do that for me. Thank you for waking me up, Friend. It's also exciting to note that although I slipped back into an old, defensive habit, I was conscious of my unconsciousness. Not conscious enough to make choices better in line with my best interests, but still...we have to celebrate all our victories, however small, especially when they're victories over our own monstrous egos. Rawwrrr! Oh dear, ego, please be quiet.

Wahe Guru is my favorite mantra in Kundalini yoga- "Consciousness is Ecstasy." I fell in love with Wahe Guru when I heard that translation. How lovely! I want to live and breathe Wahe Guru, to be able to joyfully celebrate every moment, no matter how uncomfortable, because every moment is God- and the realization of God in everything in every moment is the Joy. There has been one moment in my life thus far when I really GOT Wahe Guru- my heart was split, bleeding all over the place, tears streaming and I was able to thank God because I FELT so ALIVE!

I am ALIVE! I FEEL it! Thank YOU!

It's easy to Wahe Guru when we're stoked on life and so much harder when we're not. Who wants to say thank you after being punched in the face? But here's what I'm learning: Sometimes the face punching will be sustained over a long period of time and we have a choice. We can either embrace our life exactly as it is and live it completely in every moment (even when being punched in the face) or we can (attempt to) run away from it and end up sleepwalking. The problem with sleepwalking is that we're not really living and it's hard to wake up again when things turn around. Our whole experience of life becomes dulled and who wants that? It's like my dear friend Dave has said so many times, "I'll take a pint of pain for a shot of pleasure."

All I know is that I don't want to wake up ever again wondering where I am and what's happened. I want the full experience of my life, even the dark, heavy stuff. It's hard to say how things will ultimately turn out, so I might as well start celebrating because it's just as likely that being punched in the face now is going to make for some kind of beautiful miracle later. Call me a hopeless optimist but I'd like to be engaged in, or perhaps even be married to, my reality- staying alive and awake for every moment and finding the hope, value and God in everything and everyone.

"have hope, take heart
nothing is written
we're not yet forgotten
anything could happen"


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