Wake Up! – Guest Post by Life Coach and Yoga Teacher Brett Avelin

sleeping kitty
Waking up is a real thing and possible for all of us.

The thing is, we really have to give ourselves to it first to get a taste for it. It’s a feeling that bleeds through every perception and is not dependent on anything to be a certain way. Not a feeling that is based on positive or negative thoughts or surroundings to be present…

…it shines right through even the cloudiest day or the dirtiest street.

…it has an effulgence even though it is also empty, strange that way.

spnning head2Many of my clients describe the inner work of waking up to their thinking patterns as hard to do. In some sense they are quite right, it is the easiest thing to have a little whirlpool spinning in our head. This is one of the definitions of vritti in yoga, a mental whirlpool that spins and draws attention to itself. For instance, I had a comparative thought whirlpool suck me in the other night, it was the full-deal–tantrum and all. At the same time, though, it only takes a moment to come back to our senses and get in tune again.

It only takes a minute of forgiveness and clear sight for whatever emotional upheaval to be healed and we are here again, unscathed.

The truth is it actually takes a ton of work to stay asleep to what’s really going on. It takes energy to stay on automatic pilot, unaware of the inner backdrop of our attitudes, beliefs and the like. No matter what we are doing life takes energy because it is energy, plain and simple. So therefore it comes back to a choice: make the effort to wake up or keep snoozing and annoy the neighbors with out snoring.

Arcade Fire & David Bowie – Wake Up


Something filled up | My heart with nothing  | Someone told me not to cry
But now that I’m older  | My heart’s colder  | And I can see that it’s a lie
Children wake up  | Hold your mistake up  | Before they turn the summer into dust
If the children don’t grow up | Our bodies get bigger but our hearts get torn up
We’re just a million little god’s causin rain storms  |  Turning every good thing to rust

I guess we’ll just have to adjust… 

With my lightning bolts a glowing  | I can see where I am going to be | When the reaper he reaches and touches my hand
With my lightning bolts a-glowing | I can see where I am going | With my lightning bolts a-glowing | I can see where I am go, going!
You better look out below!

Unless of course our strategy is try and avoid or the whole show.

We look to avoid the show going on in our head by numbing it with food, alcohol, TV, video games or such. Eckhart Tolle in his book A New Earth calls this dropping below awareness. Totally understandable and a good strategy while it works for you…until it doesn’t.

Some look to avoid waking up by just plain staying busy while complaining about how busy they are/the world is–know that one?


There is another way. The way of awakening to our mind games does take effort, make not mistake. The reason most experience this as ‘So much effort’ is that they are approaching it solely through the mind’s habit of controlling, in this case trying to control or transcend itself…ugh.

But fear not, eventually it becomes a habit that just like brushing our teeth. When was the last time you brushed your teeth and said “It’s so hard!”? My five year old acts like it is so hard sometimes and drags his feet all the way. Maybe we just love indulging our inner five year old when we say awareness work is hard. But from where I see it, what the hell else are we doing here on this planet? If anyone has found the true Breakfast Club “Gee Dad, isn’t life just great?” way then let me know, I’m all ears. Otherwise, may we each devote the time to drop in and out of our entranced thought whirlpools and devote mind to the essential.

Let the simple, the now reality peek through and let it shine it’s beautiful light…TODAY!

The real world is waiting…for all or us…even if it’s hard, it’s worth it.

horrizontal rule

 Brett headshot 2Brett Avelin is a Certified Master Mindfulness Coach, International Yoga Instructor, and Oriental Medical Practitioner. He specializes in optimizing people’s relationships and work life by harnessing their mindful brain which makes them inherently more adaptive, intelligent, and resilient. His web site is www.brettavelin.com.

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  1. Lori /

    All our beliefs come from somewhere, they did not just appear out of thin air. Did we get them from our parents? Our teachers? Our friends? Did we read them some where? hear about them? Did we jump to conclusions?

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