Awakening to the truth of yourself is the most important opportunity of your life.
In my recent book, Awakening From the American Dream, I introduced nine specific recommendations to begin shifting from the dream state into reality.
Give Up Hope
Yes, it seems completely counter-intuitive, but that would make it sensible in this upside-down world! The American Dream is an illusion. All dreams are illusion. Trying to make the American Dream work, in real life, is like trying to turn one of your nighttime dreams into a waking reality. No one has ever done this and they never will.
Give up hope in the Dream, immediately, so you can fully embrace reality. I recently came across an amusing and inspirational story from author Andrew Harvey who recounted the exchange between a wealthy Indian businessman and Mother Teresa. He threw himself at her feet, proclaiming his admiration for this woman who had, as he said, “given up everything.” She began laughing and finally exclaimed that he had it backwards. He was the one who had given up everything, like oneness with God and deep peace, in favor of the transitory enjoyments of a material life. She ended up bowing before him and pronouncing him the “true renunciate.”
Give up hope in the Dream and embrace reality. It’s as practical as getting out of bed so you can live!
Who Are You?
That’s a heavy question. Try this variation: “Who are you choosing to be right now?”
The circumstance presents itself, complete with challenges that invite you to respond a certain way. Someone offends you, you feel offended and may respond accordingly. Something unfair happens, like a Supreme Court decision or a bad call that causes your team to lose. How do you react?
Remember the story of King Solomon who was given the opportunity to ask for whatever he wanted? He asked for “a discerning heart …to distinguish between right and wrong.” How about choosing to be a wise person, one who is slow to judge and quick to open mind and heart to discern an appropriate expression in every circumstance? That sounds like some kind of powerful leadership by example!
The Awakening Impulse
This phenomenon-in-consciousness may truly be the most unreported story of our times. Humanity is evolving, and rapidly. Millions are waking up, whether we call ourselves cultural creatives, seekers, spiritual activists, or whatever (and regardless of what others may call us!). I describe three ways we can feel this evolutionary stimulation. First, as a catalyst. We can be stirred in our slumbers, as if someone is grabbing our shoulders and shaking us. “Wake up.” That often comes in the form of adversity. Second, the impulse shows up as a contemplation. You encounter some form of inspirational information or behavior that motivates you to see or do things differently. Finally, you may experience what I call “confirmation.” You read, hear, or see something inspiring and respond, “Yes, I know that!” Of course you do, but witnessing it directly through someone else helped elevate your unconscious knowing into conscious experience.
Beware of Intellectual Enlightenment
Awakening is an experience, not a concept. It’s customary to read and keep on reading, skipping over words and meaning without dropping deep enough to let the power of what’s being conveyed sink in. Slow down. Even now. Just slow down your reading. There’s no hurry. The answers you seek are not further along in this text… they’re right here. Actually, the answers you seek reside within yourself; these words can only point you to what you already know. But that’s the magic in them.
Of course, intellectual enlightenment is very popular. It makes for scintillating commentary. Strong opinions are impressive. But let’s remember Socrates, considered the wisest of them all. He was proud to say that he knew nothing.
Shift Identities at Will
You can be anyone you choose to be. So many rich opportunities for enjoyment and growth are missed simply because we write off the task at hand as menial and insignificant. Making a sandwich? Choose to be a world-class chef. Mowing the lawn? Now you’re a landscape architect. Reading these words? You’re an impassioned student of truth.
Pick a name for God, any name, and someone is bound to react to it. My choice is “source intelligence.” That’s what/who you are, whether you feel like it or not. Central to growing up spiritually is to embrace this truth about yourself; it helps to have a teacher see you that way before you are able.
Ask Questions, Don’t Expect Answers
The real purpose of asking deep questions is to challenge existing beliefs and then not replace them with new ones. But the ego-mind feels compelled to leap forward with convictions. Instead, imagine posing a question to yourself, for instance, “What is my most important contribution?” and then not needing to find an answer right away. Imagine just sitting with the question, letting that wisdom Solomon asked for have time to percolate.
Reconnect with your wild rebel, beyond your domestication
All of us have been tamed; it started soon after we were born. Society demands that we conform, behave ourselves, fit in. But society is increasingly Godless… a swarm of deluded humans fighting over scraps, trying to make a success of life without regard to God (source intelligence) or nature. Take a walk. Reconnect with the wild outdoors and let all that life force flow into yourself. This is your nature too!
Find Your Perfect Starting Point
It’s not much of a search, really. Here it is! This moment is it, always has been and always will be. Yes, the grass is always greener over there, at a seminar, with more money in the bank, in a better relationship, etc. But that’s all illusion, imagination. This moment is what’s real. How deeply can you embrace this truth, right now? If you can focus this way, and take the commitment to now from this moment into the next and the next… well, you’ve got yourself well set for the next phase in our awakening adventure.
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