How do you stay awake?

Last week I called my therapist in the midst of a low point. Panic had creeped in, and my next appointment felt too far away. Maybe she had an cancellation. Maybe she had an appointment for someone who really needed to sit on the couch in her office. She must have heard the panic in my voice, because she called me back immediately. There was no secret appointment to claim. No one had cancelled. But she told me if she could write me a prescription for anything, it would be to take some time for myself. It would be to find my quiet. She reassured me that I have all the tools I need to calm myself, but I need to use them. I don’t need her to do that. I don’t need to sit in her office to feel safe. I can calm myself. I can heal myself.

I took a few inhales and exhales. I took a few more. I carried on.

Tonight I found a moment of quiet, and I sat down to watch Elizabeth Lesser on Oprah’s SuperSoul Sunday.

How do you stay awake? Oprah asked Elizabeth this question, and I felt myself exhale. I rid my body of my panic as I waited to inhale her response. How do you stay awake?

Elizabeth’s answer didn’t come quickly.

I stay awake by paying attention to the amazing feedback loop that is always there. There is an amazing system in the world. It’s called karma, but its happening at every moment. Who you are, what you just did, what you said, its reactions are happening all around us to other people. Stay aware of your effect on other people, of your effect on the earth. Don’t be afraid to admit mistakes. That’s how I stay awake. I stay aware of my effect on the world.

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Summer has never been my season. It is rare for me to pass through this season without wanting to stay asleep. This summer I’ve craved more sun than I’ve ever craved, but I’ve also craved more sleep. I’ve needed to feel settled. I’ve needed quiet.

Last week, at the same time of my panic, a full moon lit up the night sky. This moon cycle encourages us to reflect on the energetic space we carried with us at the beginning of the year. What ever we needed to learn from that space is clearing and shifting to make room for something new – something that will require us to be ground, stable, and hard working.

I welcomed 2018 with a full energy. I was awake. I felt engage, alive, aware, and in tune.

*********

The moment I read the first page of Elizabeth Lesser’s book, Broken Open, I knew I was receiving a gift. As I listened to her speak with Oprah, I was reminded of what she taught me. We can be broken, or we can be broken open.

Over and over, we are broken on the shore of life. Our stubborn egos are knocked around, and our frightened hearts are broken open—not once, and not in predictable patterns, but in surprising ways and for as long as we live.

In my moments of panic, I feel broken. When panic creeps in and I loose my breath, I feel like I’m breaking apart. But breaking doesn’t equal broken. This will always be my lesson to learn. Breaking is an opportunity to open. It’s a place for breath. It’s a place for growth. When things break, they create a vibration. That vibration effects the world. That is how I stay awake.

You can watch Elizabeth Lesser on SuperSoul Sunday HERE.

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