It was 4:34 a.m. when the back of my brain hit the front of my brain and I realized I was wide awake. “This is not fair!” my now-conscious brain screamed. “I’m off today! I should be sleeping in!” Instead I find myself up, going to the bathroom, rummaging through the fridge, and then checking my email (as if there would be anything life-threatening or life-changing since I last checked it just before climbing into bed at midnight less than five hours ago).
So what does one do at 5:15 a.m. and still wide awake? It’s still dark out. Most of the world around me is still asleep. I could hear a few songbirds awakening and coaxing the morning sun to broach the sea of night and bring the dawn to light. I tried to curl back under my covers, wishing for a few more hours of sleep, but my mind would not settle down. So I reached for a book from my nightstand. “Maybe if I make my eyes tired, I can fall back asleep,” I thought to myself.
So much for that idea. The book I grabbed was Quantum Wellness by Kathy Freston. As I wiped the dust from the cover, I realized it had been a long, long time since I had originally read this book, maybe even a decade or more. I was not going to go back to sleep now.
Sometimes you just know. You are looking for something. You reach out and try something on, but you know instantly that it doesn’t fit. So you continue to search for the solution to what is nagging at you. You try one thing after another. As you stretch out your arms, you realize that it (whatever it is) is too tight, too big, not the right color, just doesn’t taste good anymore. The list goes on and on.
You’ve found yourself in a space where you are not comfortable and it’s time to change—but how? That’s what this book is about . . . conscious living. It’s about making life-altering decisions that will affect the world we live in. It doesn’t matter how small those choices and changes may be. It’s about choices. What we choose to eat. What we choose to use in our homes on a daily basis. What we are passionate about. It’s about how those choices will impact the world we live in, on, support.
Due to autoimmune diseases, I live in a “high maintenance” body. Due to uncontrollable life circumstances, I struggle with severe PTSD. I have been told, “If you live through the night, we will talk in the morning.” I was given a 25% chance to live another 3 months. It’s been almost 6 years since then. I have to make choices every day that affect not only the moment but the next day, week, even month. I have to be very careful about food choices. I have to make sure I get enough sleep. I have to be aware of what cleaning products and chemicals I use in my home. I have to. I have no choice if I want to not just survive but to thrive.
So what does that have to do with conscious living every day? It's how I make those choices and the attitude that I use in choosing that has made the difference in my life. I could be bitter about the circumstances of my life, but I choose to truly to live a life filled with gratitude. If I had not gone through what I have, I would not be who I am today—and I am grateful and celebrate who I am today. Each morning before I even get out of bed, I breathe deeply and say "thank you for another day.” I make a conscious choice to begin looking for the unknown blessings and miracles that I know are already on their way today.
This is how I make my heart sing. I get up every day, make myself something healthy to eat, and give thanks that I have good nourishing food to eat. I go outside and feel the sun warm my body, the wind blow through my hair. That connection with the physical world around me helps to heal my mind, body and soul. I dig in the dirt and plant my garden. This gives me hope for the future. I grab my camera and photograph the gifts I have been given to look at each morning. I become still and meditate. I sit on my deck and watch the neighborhood birds trade places at my bird feeders. I listen to music. And when chaos calls and wants to trap me in, I stop and breathe. Just breathe. I find my passion being filled back up.
Yes, there are days when it’s one step forward, two steps back. Days when baby steps are necessary. However, when we do allow ourselves the space to discover what makes our heart sing, we start to follow our heart’s passion. We begin to heal, and we move toward becoming whole. Life doesn’t always have to be changing all or nothing. Try making one thing better every day. Take baby steps. Be still and listen. This is how we grow. This is how we heal. This is how we make our hearts sing.