Tanya Younce, M.Ed., LPCC


Wake Up!!

Most of us live in a state of samsara, which in Buddhism means “wandering on,” or what I would call being on “auto-pilot” or “asleep at the wheel.”  We go through predictable daily routines, right?  Groggily offing the alarm, getting ourselves prepped for work, pouring coffee into our commuter mugs, making said commute into an office (or other), then spending the day engaging in pretty much the same professional activities and interactions at least five days a week.  We then travel back home, fix and eat dinner, do whatever else needs to be done with chores, children, or other choices, then we lay our weary bodies down on the Sealy Posturepedic with yawns and eye rubs, only to wake up the next day to do it all over again.

Sound familiar?

Some people take comfort in samsara — it numbs them and keeps them from feeling too many highs or lows in life.  They like being able to just put one foot in front of the other, day by day, with nothing too dramatic occurring on their path that they’d have to get worked up over.  Fine.

But auto-pilot living can lead to Depression.  It deprives us of a sense of real purpose and effort.  It keeps us from being awake and aware of where we are, who we’re with, and what we’re doing.  And sleepwalking through each day takes us away from experiencing a richer and more vibrant life.  It’s basically settling for black and white TV when you could opt for High Definition color.  Seriously.

I come from the belief that we were all born with a specific purpose that is stitched very uniquely into our DNA.  We each have the ability to be a conduit for something quite special, whether that is to create some work of art, build something of use, start a new business, invent a cool product, be an agent of change, give birth to and care for children, or to help those in need.  Depression can really suck us into feeling worthless and soul-sick if we don’t pay attention to whether what we’re doing each day is moving us toward or away from our intrinsic desires and talents.  It’s that pull that we all should sense deep within ourselves when asked “What would you reeaaally want to do with your life?”

But even if you’re not yet aware of that inner calling, becoming more awake and aware in your daily life is the best way to tap into it.  It’s what they mean by the admittedly threadbare phrase “Be Here Now.”

Pay as much attention to your interaction with the world today as you can.  When you catch yourself in a walking coma, find a way to shake yourself out of it so you can make better choices and move toward becoming a more authentic person.  That’s what this is about — being true to who and what you really ARE.

Wake up right now and ask yourself:  Who am I with?  Where am I?  What am I doing?  Am I happy?   What do I need?  How am I feeling?  What would keep me awake today?

Then when you hit the Sealy tonight, make sure you’ve done more things on purpose than on auto-pilot.

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