Have you ever been driving on a long-distance road trip and not listened to the signs when you’ve started getting drowsy? Before you realize it, you begin to hear and feel the vibrating thumping of your tires as they begin to cross into the dividing lane. Hopefully, you wake up out of your daze and course-correct your tires to stay on course to overt danger. Your heart immediately begins to beat quickly as you realize that you could have been seriously injured or crashed to your death.

You realize that you’ve just experienced a serious wake-up call, yet have you to continue to drive with the commitment to reach your destination regardless of the blatant signs to stop. How often do we respond similarly throughout our daily life experiences? Beginning at an early age, we’re so programmed in Western culture to bust through all barriers in order to accomplish our goals…..but at what cost? There’s a fine line between staying faithful and with our goal and not listening to when we need to stop, rest and regenerate. Our culture is filled with millions of people either feeling stressed, tired, overwhelmed, depressed, or complaisant.

Whenever we go back to sleep, we are not remaining awake and alert to the healthy, conscious choices we can make in each moment of our lives.

Right now, take this moment and breathe in through your nose a full, vital force of oxygen and release it through your mouth. Practice this a few times and feel every cell in your body beginning to relax and rejuvenate. We must slow-down our constant busyness in order to listen and remain awake to making self-honoring choices. Our internal guidance is always present and will always direct us in ways that provide rich fulfillment and balance throughout our lives, but we must trust in its presence and not give in to all of the false illusions that take us away from our center.

The words below resound and penetrate so deeply throughout the well-known poem by 13th century Persian poet and mystic, Rumi.

“The breezes at dawn have 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
Don't go back to sleep!”

Stay alert to the thumping in the road and pull over when you begin to get drowsy. You have the choice. Don’t go back to sleep.

Carl Studna is a world-renowned photographer, inspirational speaker, teacher and multiple award winning author. Carl’s intimate portraits of influential people ranging from Paul McCartney to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, are published and known worldwide. Carl has taken his message and experiences to print in his newly released book, CLICK! Choosing Love…One Frame at a Time. Studna’s innovative work, the LuminEssence Method©, teaches a new paradigm for radiating the light that resides within revealing each person’s authentic gifts. www.CarlStudna.com.

(c) Photography by Carl Studna

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