Cat From The Mat

Are you sleep-walking through life?

I love naps.  I'm a big fan of sleep.  I am highly entertained by the chaotic narrative of my very vivid dream life. My mind seems more interesting while snoozing than when awake. I wish I could sleep all day long.  It offers healing and the ability to process the events of the day. However, sleeping has an appropriate time and place.

When your foot falls asleep, you feel the pins and needles, before it goes numb.  But it's not dead.  A numb foot just isn't useful.  It takes some time for your appendage to become participatory again.  In fact, the process of getting your limbs back into action can be downright uncomfortable. So is the process of awareness. 

Consciousness has three main states: awake, dreaming, and deep sleep.  When you are asleep, you can be in a dream state or a deep dreamless one of awareness, which is different than death.  When you wake up, you are in a yet another state of that you recognize as reality. But just because you are not asleep, doesn't mean that you are awake.

Sometimes life can get so overwhelming that you choose to numb yourself and remain unconscious.  It can feel easier to coast through the doldrums of a relationship than to rock the boat.  Or maybe you choose to be groggy in the safe routine of each day, like the Dunkin Donuts "it's time to make the doughnuts" commercial.

Being unaware definitely has its benefits.  You will be just fine.   Life will continue on as is, until it doesn't.  The question is whether you want a good experience while here or a great adventure.  Should you choose to accept the mission of an extraordinary and perhaps slightly uncomfortable life, what can you do to lift the fog of complacency?

For me, yoga helps raise my awareness.  Yoga doesn't necessarily mean the physical asana practice.  It can be anything which helps you check-in with yourself, like meditating, biking, cooking a meal, or enjoying a quality conversation.    Yoga is whatever helps lift the anesthetized veil and feel life fully.  With practice, the yogin becomes more skillful at flowing through each of these states of consciousness to become more sensitized while transacting with the outer world.  To recognize each level of cognizance in all realms is a tall order and a very rewarding one.

As summertime lifts the confines of your familiar schedule, it's easy to check-out.  It is also a time to stimulate your awareness and shake things up.  It gives the ripe opportunity to have great escapades of awakening amidst the sleepy heat of the season. Becoming aware means using all that you experience, so that no limb of life becomes dead weight.

Wakey, wakey!  Embrace the stimulating season to turn the good into great.  Enjoy the restful deep sleep while being fully observant in the world. Your dreams just might become your reality!

Cat McCarthy


July/August 2012