The problem with being asleep at the wheel is that you don’t realize that you’re sleeping until it’s too late. It’s actually a terrifying reality.
When I was 11 or so, my older brother and I were in a car accident. He was driving, he fell asleep in stop & go traffic and we coasted right into the white Ford F-150 in front of us. When we made impact, he woke up and realized that he had been sleeping behind the wheel and panicked. When he panicked, he accidentally slammed on the gas… not the brake. We crashed into the F-150 a second time. The car we were in was totaled. I suffered years of neck issues & my brother suffered from years of a pesky case of “how the fuck could that happen.”
Years later, I started to have dreams pretty regularly of myself driving down this particular road and wrecking my car, full speed, into something or someone else. In hindsight I can see the parallel between those dreams and the lack of control that I used to have over my life. It’s hard to say whether I was physically asleep at the wheel in the dreams or not, but I definitely wasn’t paying close attention. Again, finding myself in a similar situation of “how the fuck could that happen.”
It’s true that life catches us sleeping, a lot. While ‘having it under control’ or ‘having our shit together’ is a fun-to-entertain perception, falling asleep at the wheel of our lives is not perception at all… It’s reality. Life is better at putting us into a sleep-state than we are at having life under our control. In other words, we’re painfully complacent.
There’s hope, though, while you may never actually have real control over your life, that lack of control does not equal constant chaos, disorder, trauma and negativity. All of the above “bad stuff” is just simply another layer of perception that we have all agreed upon as ‘real.’ Kind of like how you agreed that your 2nd grade playground marriage was real.
In the same way that your eyes would pop open to your alarm clock in the morning, you can awaken to the vehicle that is your life. The problem is, we’re hitting snooze wayyyy too many times. Or worse – we’re confusing the blaring alarm sound that we’re hearing (intended to shift us from one reality to another) for just another scene in the movie that is playing behind our closed eyelids.
Or even worse, worse; we don’t hear the alarm at all, sleep through it & then suffer the consequences later. Rushing through life in that never fully woke up/didn’t have a proper morning kind of state… Sound familiar?
I fell asleep behind the wheel of my life once. I wrecked full-speed as my entire world at the time watched with their jaw’s on the asphalt. I managed to drag myself to a hospital where I took about a year and a half to heal. People didn’t understand why I wrecked or how I could have. They couldn’t justify my injuries and eventually fell-off while waiting for me to get back to myself again; The person they were comfortable with me being. The witnesses at the scene all had different stories for the insurance companies as to what exactly happened and as a result, I received no coverage. Complete and utter betrayal. I lost just about everything that I knew at the time but I gained the rest of my beautiful life. All because I failed to wake up on my own to my car crashing. At the end of the day, it didn’t really matter what person, place or thing made me so exhausted and drained from life that I fell asleep… it’s my responsibility to wake up. As it is yours. My awakening could have been easier and way less painful, but it wasn’t. I was in a pretty deep sleep. That doesn’t, however, mean that your wake-up can’t be more pleasant.
We are given opportunities every single second to wake up to our lives. And unfortunately we miss about 98% of them. If you’re really lucky, you’ll experience something pretty heavy in your life early on enough that you get to live most of your days totally awake to the fact that this life that we live is a fucking miracle. Others, however, are stuck in autopilot in the movie Groundhog Day; living the same day over and over and over until so many of the same days are lived that it accumulates into their entire life. Still living on someone else’s schedule, by someone else’s standards, with someone else’s goals & for someone else’s purpose. Still thinking that everything is about them, everyone is out to get them, that pills are God-sent, that they already hit their prime & that things will probably be better with the next president. Still fighting the same fight with their significant other and still working at the same damn boring job. Living for the weekend, living for that nap after work.
If you think you were made to live THAT life, you’re currently in a dead sleep at the wheel.
I’m not suggesting that when you are driving fully awake that bad things won’t happen; sometimes a rock gets deflected over the median onto your windshield, despite how alert you are. But the ride is so much more smooth over all, as a whole when you are equipped to deal with challenges and dare I say… see them coming.
You know… with your eyes… that would be open if you were awake and not sleeping through the days of your life.
Of course I’m going to circle this all back around to meditation. Because meditation is a window into your inner world and a Google Translate to your outer world. Hear me as a I type this loudly; WE ARE NOTHING WITHOUT SELF AWARENESS. We are nothing if we are not awake to our own self.
Do you know the percentage of people that are sleeping through the alarm clock of ignored emotions or unresolved pain, unforgiveness, resent, regret and are eventually shaken awake to a cancer diagnosis? 100% of those diagnosed. It’s not your deodorant that causes cancer… your deodorant is expediting the havoc that living unconscious triggered. You know how we’re all born with those genes and cells that could one day be a problem? Why is it that for some people it’s a problem and others it’s never even a thought? In my opinion, it has everything to do with how we label what happens to us. We’re either asleep & calling it like we see it from that perspective or we’re awake to what’s really happening here.
I would venture to say that if you traced every ‘bad thing’ that has ever happened to you back to the root, it would have everything to do with lack of self awareness. We say things like “I’ve grown so much” or “I don’t even recognize the person I used to be” but what we really mean is that we woke up to who we are; peeled back those flakey onion layers and got to the juicy stuff.
If you’re feeling stuck in your career/relationships, frustrated with how your time is being spent, unheard by people who’s opinions/advice you value, misunderstood, unsure what the next step is or you’re experiencing any kind of physical ailment that you’re having a hard time finding a diagnosis or direction on – then it’s very likely that you’re hungry for an awakening. When it’s time to wake up, the signs will be everywhere. You just have to learn what to look for.
Start auditing your life – harshly. Where are you asleep? Where are you letting things slip through the cracks? What areas of your life feel out of control, even if just a little bit? Address your physical body – sit with yourself… quietly, without distractions. Take a few breaths and notice first how quickly your thoughts start to dart. Every time you notice that you’ve trailed off, reel it in. Then start to scan your body; notice where you’re holding onto tension. Notice how quickly you’re ready to be done with this little experiment. Your ability to sit still says a lot about where you’re at in your discipline life. If you can’t control your own ability to sit and be with yourself – the person you should know above anyone else in this world – how do you expect to come across your soul mate?
The problem is, we suck at sitting with ourselves. Because we don’t like ourselves. Because we’ve been living life ASLEEP. We’re making all the wrong choices, attracting all the wrong people and manifesting all of the wrong challenges. As a result, we attract the wrong spouse because we’re acting out of our sleep-state, not our woke-state. Then we hate ourselves even more because we’re in a toxic relationship on the verge of divorce. Oh and we hate our jobs, our bodies are sick, our kids are on depressants, the word orgasm and rest become words that you’ll probably have to Google for the definition and if we had to pay off our credit card debt tomorrow we wouldn’t be able to.
When you audit your life and start to make some changes, you will more than likely feel some discomfort. You may lose some relationships, you may lose some opportunities, you may even experience some worse trauma than anything that your sleep-state previously conjured. It takes time to undo years of doing. But I promise you the peace of mind that follows is forever satisfying. Living each day knowing and not just assuming is everything you’ve been craving. My personal favorite – the ability to have life happen without totally throwing you off. Problems become more like minor potholes than major craters. You start to cares less about things that really just TRIGGERED you and you really start to give a lot of fucks about things that actually matter. Like plastic. But finally, things happen FASTER when you’re awake in life… Your transformation is seemingly expedited. The right kind of people start flooding into your life, abundance is all of the sudden within reach, all of these ideas on how to heal your body start to fill your brain. It’s beautiful.
If you’re still with me, please know that you can change your entire life (and therefore, really the entire world) if you could make efforts to waking yourself up before the universe decides that you’re important enough for it to step in and do it for you. If you’ve experienced trauma and it has since changed you, please try to see your trauma as a wake up call instead of just something bad that happened to you. You must have something really great to offer if the universe decided to kick YOUR ass. There’s a lot of sleeping people in this world… I am humbled to have been shaken awake and am committed to making sense of it for everyone else that is ready to live the woke life.