Sleep is crucial to living. If we didn’t sleep we wouldn’t dream and that would lead to psychological distress. Sleep is also pleasurable and a way to rejuvenate the body, one of the key ingredients to health and healing. However, physically sleeping is very different than emotional or spiritual sleeping. Like me, if you’re living life trying to stay in the question, then the question we need to ask is, “What will awaken you to the fact that you’re asleep?”
The self-help books and your therapist would probably equate emotional sleeping with denial or detachment (as a possibility). What if being emotionally asleep were deeper than the need to separate from our experience? What if being emotionally asleep was actually something along a continuum. Is it possible that the emotional sleep scale runs the gamut from coma to exhilaration/mania?
On the other hand, what about being spiritually asleep? So many in-industrialized western societies lead lives of quiet desperation, according to Henry David Thoreau. What keeps us asleep? Are we culturally driven to be spiritual narcoleptics? Similar to emotionally sleeping, does spiritual sleep live on a continuum from spiritual narcolepsy to spiritual insomnia? Again, what will get you to ask, “What will awaken me to the fact that I’m asleep?”
Unfortunately it often takes a negative experience, even to the extreme of a trauma for many of us to awaken from that sleep. There is a jolt to the body, mind, and spirit that begins an energized projectile to the awakened state. If you go to any bookstore look at the number of books that speak about the transformation experienced after being diagnosed with a chronic or life-threatening illness, the numbers will astound you.
The awakened state can be a scary experience. Living in this state of heightened experience and awareness fills us with questions. These questions are the path to freedom. The great thing about questions is that they get you to come up with different scenarios, answers, or possibilities. Questions keep us engaged in our own life experience. They are the carrot on the stick that draws us forward until we develop the ability to be self-propelled to mind-body-spirit transformation/healing.
What awakened or will awaken you? Share your awakening experience in the comments section below and let’s start a conversation.
For more information on living with chronic or life-threatening illness go to http://www.survivingstrong.com