TRAINING OUR ABILITY TO WAKE UP
A lot of people who show up at my door start out believing that we are training our ability to resist being caught in the mind. The truth of the matter is that resisting being caught is a fool’s errand. It is the nature of humans to get caught in our stories. We have been doing it forever, and we will do it forever more. It will happen, period, and we aren’t trying to prevent that. What we are doing is training our ability to Wake Up.
If we train our ability to Wake Up, the result is that being caught matters a lot less. If we are skilled at Waking Up, we won’t fear getting stuck in the caught place. If we dont’t fear getting stuck in the caught place, then it just becomes another shitty thing that happens sometimes - like stubbing your toe. As it becomes just something shitty that happens sometimes, you let go of worrying about it. How often do you think about preventing yourself from stubbing your toe? It just happens sometimes, you deal with it, and you move on. It doesn’t rule or ruin your life. This is what begins to happen with being caught as we train our ability to Wake Up.
In order to train our ability to Wake Up, we have to be willing to suspend judgement about getting caught. You are not bad for getting caught. You didn’t do anything wrong. It’s not that you haven’t made progress. It’s not that you haven’t practiced enough. If you are a human being, you will always be susceptible to getting caught. It will happen less and less the more you train your ability to Wake Up, but it is inescapable. It will always happen. When it does happen, if you beat yourself into a pulp for it, you’re not training your ability to Wake Up. You’re training your ability to beat the shit out of yourself. This not only doesn’t help; it hurts. We are not training our ability to shame, criticize or punish ourselves into doing it “better”. Learning doesn’t work that way. We are training our ability to Wake Up. The more quickly we wake up, the more quickly we have access to changing our behavior - there are no steps in between Waking Up and changing behavior. That’s the full process over and over again.
If you believe you’re training your ability to not get caught, it’s going to be exceptionally hard to suspend judgement around it. If you understand that you are training your ability to Wake Up, every time you do it you get to be proud of yourself. When was the last time you were really proud of yourself? Feeling proud is the fuel that keeps us on the path. Progress, not perfect. Are you seeing your progress? Do you notice when you wake up? Or in waking up, do you only notice that you were caught? If you only notice that you were caught, you are missing the best parts of the process. You woke up, and that in and of itself is extraordinary – a tiny miracle that was made possible by your intentions. We should be celebrating every single one of these instances.
It’s not fun to get caught, and deep, deep down inside of each of us there’s a secret hope that someday we will be free of that state. And… we WILL be free of it for longer and longer periods, but if you’re doing it right, there will always be something new that will catch you. If something new is catching you, that means you’re using your waking up powers to go deeper, and further than you could before. If you are going deeper and further than you were before, you will encounter new material that will scare the shit out of you. That’s just how it works. And when you break out of that cage, if you keep moving forward, there will eventually be another one. That is called “healing” and “liberation”.
How many of us walk around wishing we could be free of the fog that seems to have settled itself over us while we weren’t looking? Training our ability to Wake Up is exactly how we do that. It happens slowly over time, and in a nonlinear fashion, which can be confusing and frustrating. But it’s happening, nonetheless, and if we stay with it, the fog will get lighter and lighter and lighter. Eventually the fog will roll in and out and there will be days where you can feel the sun so clearly it’s like nothing has ever been wrong in the world. And with even more time and practice, the sunny days will outnumber the foggy ones – so when the fog does come (which it will) it won’t be as scary. You will know that it will pass, and you will understand how to hold yourself until it does.
Remember that we are not training our ability to not get caught. It’s an impossibility, and a lot of people lose a lot of time trying. (Hi. Trust me.)
For a few weeks see if you can keep a little notebook of all the times you wake up. When you wake up, actually celebrate yourself. Waking up is not easy. That in and of itself speaks to a deep intention that can’t be faked, or gamed. If you’re waking up, it’s because deep down you want to. Put a little more attention on that, and a little less attention on the fact that you got caught. Everyone in the whole world gets caught – like 100% of the human population. Apologize, repair, and celebrate yourself.
And if you want someone to help you through the process - give me a shout :)