Monday, April 6, 2015

Awaken and Return to Consciousness

Oh, what a long, dark, cold winter it has been - and not just in a literal sense. But spring always returns! The natural world awakens. We awaken. And speaking from personal experience, when that happens - after however long we’ve been unconscious or distracted - it is the most joyous return! It’s like a homecoming, and as if unseen voices are cheering us on. It's like hearing the sound of the soul clapping or the jubilant sigh of a flower blooming. It is empowering.

Some words, sights, sounds, etc. are like flashes of awareness that (re)awaken us to the present moment like the smack of a Zen teacher's stick. It might be just a few words in the middle of a conversation that remain with you and seem to work on you like medicine even as you sleep. I am grateful to the people and situations that remind me to lean in to the present moment when it feels as if the ground beneath me is shifting and there is no steady, stable place to stand. When the sense of loss feels nearly overwhelming.

Rather than grasp for steadiness and stability, perhaps it is better to become a river or stream in springtime. Be fluid and flow with a fresh sense of adventure.

I believe we carry inside of us everything we need for this earthly journey. We just need to return to ourselves and access the wisdom and healing potential that is there. Just as the sap runs in the maple trees at this time of year, we can tap into our inner resources.

It doesn't matter how long you were unconscious. What matters is returning - again and again - to the source of your strength and wisdom, which is always available. Befriend this moment. Befriend yourself. Be aware of what is really happening, here and now, without adding anything to it - no filters of past, future, or thought. Listen to the voice that arises from stillness. Listen deeply and with presence to the person in front of you rather than perceiving him or her through clouded layers of personal history.

There is nowhere to go but HERE, which is where it all begins. You don’t need to spend any money or travel far away. You don’t need to do anything but return your attention to the present moment. That's where the road map is. It's much like mindfulness meditation, which emphasizes strengthening the return response. It's not about eliminating thought but bringing attention back to the present moment when it gets carried away by thought. In life as in mindfulness meditation, you can strengthen the habit of returning, noticing when you’re caught up in distractions or flights of fantasy so you can return to a clearer awareness of what is happening right now. There is so much power available in the present moment!

Return, return, return! Thank everyone who reminds you, everyone who guides you back. Thank circumstances that bring clarity. Thank the fall that jolted you into awareness when you hit the ground. When we have hit rock bottom, how exciting to wake up and remember - and to realize we have been dreaming!

The photographs in this blog (except for those attributed to other owners) and in my Flickr photostream are available for purchase as prints or cards through my Etsy shop by selecting a “custom print” in whatever size you prefer and indicating either the name of the print or the blog post and order in which it appears.

© Susan Meyer and River Bliss Photography, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including all text and photos, without express and written permission from this website’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Susan Meyer and River Bliss Photography ( with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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