February 2, 2012

Wake Up This Year. ~ Sarah Lesch

Photo: Alan Cleaver













There is a certain exciting and mysterious energy to these words that are so full of possibilities. So, how can you live your year more awake?

Ever wake up in the morning and wonder what your dream from the night before meant? Did the crocodile dream mean stay out of rivers or go swim and conquer your fear? Or was the crocodile in your mind because you saw one at the zoo a few days ago? Did the dream mean something, or nothing? Hmmm…

Photo: Rhys Asplundh

The other night I had a dream that left little room for questioning. As I was sleeping, I felt two hands shake my shoulders and yell “Wake up!”. I did just that—jolted awake. After finding peace and quiet with everyone in the house, I was left to wonder where in my life I had been coasting. I decided this must mean something—time to wake up! Areas where I have been stagnant and stuck signaled that it was time to wake up and be bright! Words that have been sleeping that need to be said signaled that it was time to wake up and be heard! Goals left unattended, time to wake up and do!

Begin by evaluating all your best qualities.

This can be really hard to see within ourselves. It’s often easier to remember the behaviors from last year that didn’t serve us well. Marianne Williamson says, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate but that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not darkness that frightens us most.”

Often it is easier to think of our negative attributes instead of what makes us good people. I felt this reality at my teacher graduation ceremony. We were asked to write one word that would describe each student within our group—something we admired in them. I found this task easy. All these women were so wonderful, it was easy to come up with one thing that made them special.

When I got my list with 15 wonderful things about me, I didn’t even know what to say. These were not even words I would use to describe myself, nor things I thought other people viewed me as having. It made me uneasy and I had to open myself up to the fact that I may not be seeing my own nature clearly.

Photo: Nick Carter

You don’t need a dream to shake you awake to see your own magical qualities. As yoga teacher, John Friend says, “Look for the good”.

When you do this, the things that are negative and cause you strife will begin to dissolve on their own.

I try to practice this with my kids telling them what I love about them and what they did really well that day. Just like adults, they already hone in on what they do wrong. As they hear these positives, I can see their bodies soften and their eyes sparkle with confidence. If it works with others, it stands to reason that it can work within ourselves.

Take some time to make your own list of good. Recruit others to help if you become stuck. Meditation can be a tool to clear the mind and harness our own inner strengths. Set aside five minutes every morning to be quiet and still, focusing on your breath flowing in and out. Use a mantra (a word repetition) if your mind wanders. This may help you to see clearly all that radiates within you. Rumi writes, “You are the lock on the door, but you are also the key that opens it.”

Make this the year to unlock the door and become more awake to the good that is already within you.

Shine a light on the moments of your life you are sleepwalking through. Like tetonic plates grinding together, it may not be easy, but what will emerge will be something new and beautiful—alive, firm, and strong.


Sarah Lesch is a 500- hour registered yoga teacher and contributing writer for Yoga Tampa Bay. She teaches at The Lotus Room where her classes are an intuitive expression of movement and breath, skillfully guiding students to draw upon their own inner strengths. She leads meditation, parenting, and advanced asana workshops throughout the area, as well as Stand-Up Paddleboarding adventures. Sarah enjoys poetry, art, music, and family. Following the wisdom that the individual epitomizes the universe, she promotes self awareness and personal growth.

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