Entering into a New Year gives all of us an opportunity to think about who we are, and where our life is going. More than any other time of the year we are invited to dream; to think about what is possible in our lives; to awaken our consciousness and move more intentionally into the future ——before we get caught up living our day-to-day lives and begin our certain-to-happen slide back into unconscious sleep walking for another year.
Before you return to the unconsciousness, zombie like sleepwalking that our culture encourages, I would like to offer you two things that might change your life—– one simple metaphor, and one simple insight—-two small mental seeds that could help you remain awake and more present to your life as you move into this New Year.
Let me start with the insight. Without this insight it is almost a certainty that you will fall asleep for another year of your life. Don’t be fooled by its simplicity. All life altering insights are simple. That’s why they are so powerful. Before you dismiss it as an obvious “duhhhh” I would encourage you to sit down and give yourself permission to let the wisdom of the insight seep into your consciousness for a few minutes before you move onto the metaphor.
The Simple Insight That Could Change Your Life
The simple insight or wisdom that has the power to change your life is the awareness that authentic spiritual growth “is” growth in human consciousness—–and all growth in human consciousness “is” authentic spiritual growth. They are directly related to one another.
Why is this insight so important? Why is it a seed that has the power to change your life? The answer is very simple for several reasons. First being, that most people assume that growth in spiritual consciousness requires adopting the beliefs of a specific religion. Not true. The second is that most people assume that spiritual growth requires a life changing, life altering spiritual experience. Not true. A blinding flash of light or insight that awakens a person to the spiritual path is extremely rare.
What is Spiritually Awakening Consciousness
But the true power and wisdom of this insight is the simple reality that awakening our consciousness is not something that happens to us——growth in human consciousness, authentic spiritual growth, and the human ability to change the way we think—–is a choice that is available to all of us.
We all have the power to awaken our consciousness and begin paying attention———not to the world around us, but rather by learning to pay attention to ourselves; the ability to intentionally become self-aware and explore who you are inside.
All true change, and growth in life, begins when you awaken and change the way you think. To say this very simply, the willingness to become intentionally self-aware is the most important New Years resolution you will ever make.
All growth in human consciousness is the result of growth in self-awareness. So if you are waiting for a spiritual flash of light to awaken your spiritual journey; the flash of light that most people are passively waiting for; the flash of light that will bring meaning and depth to their life—– you need to begin fluffing up your pillow because you are about to fall asleep again——-for another year of your life.
Awakening your consciousness is an intentional decision that “you” have to make. The moment you do, your consciousness will begin to grow and evolve, and your spiritual journey toward an awakened, authentic spiritual growth will begin. The moment you do, the life you were born to live will begin to unfold.
And the power of this simple insight is ”knowing” that only “you” have the power to “make” that decision.
So lets’ take a look at the metaphor.
The Simple Metaphor That Can Change Your Life
Like the simple insight, be careful not to be fooled by the simplicity of this metaphor. It too contains deep wisdom in its simplicity.
Picture a little child playing at night, in a small sand box, on an ocean beach, surrounded by a very heavy fog. Got the picture in your mind? Let it seep into your consciousness. Let it become a seed.
Now picture the child awakening its consciousness through self-awareness. As its consciousness grows it becomes the warm night breeze that clears away the fog that has blinded the child’s awareness to the knowledge that the sounds it has been hearing were the waves of an immense ocean beating on the shore. As the fog clears, the child looks up to ”see” the moon and the stars of the amazing, awesome universe it lives in. As self-awareness dissipates the fog, the child becomes aware that it has been playing inside the confines of a small sandbox—-a tiny sandbox that is sitting in the middle of an immense sandy beach that extends in both directions for thousands of miles.
As the morning sun clears the horizon, we see an empty sandbox and a child’s footprints in the sand disappearing into the distance.
The wisdom in this metaphor is not simply the realization that it describes virtually all of the unconscious, sleep walking, unawakened people in the world——the profound wisdom of this metaphor is the knowledge that “you”, and you alone, have the power to choose whether it describes you. Only you can make the choice to awaken your consciousness.
The power in this simple metaphor is the realization that the choice to become self-aware and awaken your consciousness is yours——-and it has always been yours. Only you can choose to blow away the fog. Only you can make the choice to step out of the sandbox. Only you can choose to open your eyes and “see”.
There is an old saying that spiritual teachers share with those who are on the journey to awaken their consciousness. They remind their students “anyone can awaken. That’s the easy part. The challenge is learning how to stay awake.”
When we have the courage to embrace the insight that awakening is a choice; and staying in the sandbox is also a choice——staying awake becomes much easier.
The journey into a New Year can be a powerful moment of awakening consciousness, but the intention to “stay” awake is a decision best made before the drone of our culture lulls us back to sleep—-for another year.