Awakening in Progress

Maybe it was turning 40 last year or a period of expanding awareness that encouraged me (us) to step off into the unknown.  Looking over the past decade, while filled with events and changes, I felt as I had slept through several years on automatic pilot.  Much of my life was filled with only semi-conscious hours and it was moving quickly.  Life had developed a predictable rhythm; it was comfortable and easy to keep in synch.  I had routines to fill the hours and the same thoughts filling passing days.

There is no escaping it, 40 is middle age.  Though I still feel young, approximately half the time I have been given has been used up.  Dreams have come and gone, success and failures too, none of it quite working out like I had thought it might.  Even the moments of great ego satisfaction were so transient they did little to erase the feeling I was missing something, a subtle underlying discontentedness. I felt like a passive observer, instead of an active participant.  The culmination of feelings resulted in my ability to listen and trust that we (I) get what we need, not always what we want.  I took my fingers off the microphone and listened to the receiver.

It was only a small observation barely noticeable that changed my life radically.  On most days I would have been in such a hurry or thinking about the future or past that I would not have been curious about the RVs parked on the side of the road.  A year later we are living fulltime in an RV, and realize that many things had already happened to make it possible.  I just had to be willing and listen.

The rhythm of life has changed.  At times there is no discernable rhythm or it seems out of synch, this can be uncomfortable.  Newness and change is uncomfortable, but it also serves to wake me up.  One of my favorite spiritual writers Anthony De Mello says, “The purpose of life is to wake up!” to develop our awareness, not to simply sleep walk through it.

Time is a human construct and it is not the same for all things or people.  Upon returning from our 3 and half month cross country road trip earlier this year, several people remarked that it seemed like only a few weeks since we left, I felt like it had been a year.  My sense of time had slowed down because each day was full and unique.  That perception continues even as we have taken up short term residency on the Outer Banks.

I have no idea of where we will be this time next year, and not knowing can make me anxious, but this is happening less so as I learn to trust and live each day with fullness.  I no longer feel that days are something to get through to get back to some elusive place of comfort, but each brings opportunity and experiences for growth and enjoyment.

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2 thoughts on “Awakening in Progress

  1. Ric Nyborg

    Christian –
    What a very well thought out and composed reflection of your last six months or so. It was very refreshing and encouraging for me to see your changes. I will continue to follow you guys. ! Here’s a book I’m reading for the second time which may add to your search for being ‘aware’,
    Awareness, the Perils and Opportunities of Reality, By Anthony De Mello S.J., Image Books Doubleday. I lent it to a recent client and he really said it changed his life, so I’m reading it again and see this also.
    Ric Nyborg

    Reply
  2. Uncle Jay and Aunt Pat

    Continuing to enjoy your writing style and the information therein. Braden Dunn was 14 yesterday and the Pat and I were there. He keeps growing and is starring in football, as is Tyler (now 11). There is no other game in southern PA.

    Reply

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