Don’t go back to sleep

It takes energy to embrace change. Repeatedly. But it’s natural to transform because the universe isn’t static — even when we pretend our lives are somehow cemented in place. After navigating a traumatic past year (lost writing job, broken foot, mangled car, multiple deaths), it was painfully obvious to me that “reality” could shift. The end result, however, is that I now feel a heightened sense of importance to living from my core right now.

The urgency isn’t based on fear. It’s based on the happy discovery that none of the material possessions and societal goals we’re taught to cultivate can pad a life. Not a one-bedroom Portland apartment. Not a paid-off car. Not a seemingly secure job. So why cling to those things? Why not hula hoop and live in the midst of art and laugh all the time and love deeply? Why not wake up to what we really want? We’re here for a limited time, and that time can be spent sleepwalking through someone’s else’s dreams or living our own truth.

With all the recent global jitteriness, I wanted to post a poem that helped me understand that fear is a sleeping mask. The world is transforming because that’s what it does. Do we react by continuously rebuilding the past? This is a good time to open our eyes, ask for what we really want — and through a process of change, stay awake long enough to receive it.

The breeze at dawn

Has secrets to tell you

Don’t go back to sleep

You must ask

For what you really want

Don’t go back to sleep

People are going back and forth

Across the doorsill

Where the two worlds touch

The door is round and open

Do not go back to sleep

~ Rumi

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6 responses to “Don’t go back to sleep

  1. Jennifer Connell

    Thanks so much for this beautiful reminder! I’m pretty much in the same space:) Love to you on this collective journey:)

  2. Oh Revolva, you cannot imagine how much this resonates right now. Quakes internally and externally, we are in the midst of change right now. Thank you for this. You are someone who inspires me like no other.

  3. I LOVE Rumi and I love that you put this feeling into words. Just enjoy the hoop, roll with the punches and surround yourself with people you love. Nothing is permanent. I hope the coming year brings you everything blissful 🙂

  4. Thanks for sharing your feelings about change so eloquently, Kari. This has been a big year for me too, and it can be a lonely time, until you hear that friends, like yourself, are going through it too. What I’ve discovered is that the hardest year of my life, has brought the most beautiful gifts. It’s good to be alive!

  5. Giancarlo Campagna

    thank you for the hula and for the friendly nudge

  6. You’re welcome, Giancarlo! Thanks for being a good sport in the finale to my street show. Performance is an *exchange* of energy (I give out something fun/funny, and then the audience responds by laughing or clapping— and it further fuels my next move). I had a great time at the Ferry Building on Saturday, but I think it was because I had great crowds that day. So I appreciate your participation. I’m glad you and your family stopped by.

    I saw your other comment on my “Revolva online” page about feeling a bit exhausted as the caretaker for your son — and then having a surprise morning in the sun, picking up some greenery and catching a hula hoop show. I had a crazy year last year (as mentioned in this post), and when I was really struggling, a woman I respect gave me the advice that the best thing — the only thing — I could do to emerge from a harsh time was to continually direct my attention back to things for which I’m grateful. I had a little cold when I woke up Saturday, and I was really tired. But I passed the migrant workers on the way to the BART station and felt grateful I at least had the opportunity to make some money *hula hooping.* And the weather was glorious. And then I met all these awesome people, like your family.

    So, yes, if you’re a fellow artist (as you said on the other page), you must understand. Let’s keep creating art! And finding ways to be grateful. Sometimes, it means taking chances, like emerging from our houses in the morning and just — seeing what happens. Here’s to more sunny days and fully awake, present moments on the horizon!

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