January Challenge – My Awakening & Moving Forward

“A frog dreamed of becoming a king and became one”

Sharing a story of awakening is an interesting thing to contemplate.  Once we truly remember what we once did not know, I have found it a challenge to recall the nuances of the not knowing.  For me it is like continually just catching on to a remembrance at the edges of the whisps of a dream.  Upon opening the eyes and awakening in the morning, the dream fades.   I think that forgetting the fine details can be a good thing.  Not dwelling too much on where we have been frees up bandwidth for attention focused on what the future is bringing to our front doors now.

However, in thinking about what I would like to share, I recalled an art installation I saw last year.  This was the announcement for what was to be found within outside on the museum window:


The story of Maren‘s awakening is not really all that important or worth sharing… that is unless it can tell you something about your own.

So here we go.

Awakening within the story of M is not really about events that have occurred, but rather is unfolded within a pattern of evolving thought that assigns meaning to the events.  Looking at awakening this way means it takes place within what I am thinking and how this makes me feel.  And for me, my thought and feeling evolve over time due to a natural propensity I have for continuously questioning myself and the world around me.

As I question, this then gives awakening into the unknown being known more room to bump up against the experience of actually living.  I am living the life called M, but in a loosely held together space.  Oh the joys this brings testing out BEING who and what we actually are and are not!


We all have amazing experiences with intricate details making up the story of our lives.  However for me, it is our thoughts of meaning assigned to what has, is and will happen that create our true awakeningS.  This thinking about what has, is, CAN and will happen is the beginning connection point for sharing true awakening on the planet.  It is in our ideas about the happenings that we have the beginning potentials to trap us sound asleep and also to awaken us setting us free.

Boiling down the ideas and thought from the first 30 years of my life, I think it pretty much can be summed up with this sentence:

  • Maren did all the “right” things for mostly the “wrong” reasons.

There is a laundry list of externalized success defined and determined by western education in consumer culture and Judeo-Christian values within which I checked off most all the boxes on.  This left M at age 25 as a MSW summa cum laude, building her therapy practice, while teaching Sociology 101, living in her newly built 3500 square foot house, married her college sweetheart turned eye doctor.

I was firmly planted in a story of living superficially overachieving in an idea of “righteousness” while waiting to hang it all up when becoming a mother…at which point (complete with a pearl choker and child care help) afternoons are then spent out with the ladies who lunch from church, doing service and charity work.  That was the future awaiting me.

I had worked hard and by the world’s standards had it all.   I was the living proof of the fulfillment of the quintessential American dream.  At age 29 I could see the road ahead…years and years stretched out before me with every detail planned, accounted for and neatly organized in my Franklin-Covey day planner.  I had achieved everything that was dreamed of for me.

The only problem was, I was completely miserable.

Just one story from that time helps sum this up…

From age 26-29 there was an old Victorian house in the valley below on the road that lead to the home which my first husband and I had built in the hills above a beautiful lake.   Out in the front garden of this house near the road there was placed a statue of a duck.  Each day I drove down the hill and past this house, and each day the woman who owned it would dress this duck in a different outfit.  So it was, day in and day out, my life stretched out before me doing all the things I was raised to believe I was supposed to do.  I spent my time worshiping at the feet of the rat in this race.  And each day the only real detectable difference from one to the next would be what was found on this duck.  Over time, I found myself looking forward to seeing this fowl spectacle as it was one of the only changes and unknowns in my life flow.


one day

it happened.

I drove by this Victorian house and found that the statue was gone.

It turned out that the duck lady had moved.  The lady and her bird had flown the coop. In that moment of discovery, a light went off in my head and I knew in that instant that things can always be different.  Life and all potentials are always contained just a new thought away moving away from the known into the making of different unknown choices.

Years 30-39 are then basically covered with having the courage to leave Punxsutawney.  I attempted picking apart the ideas of any externalized right and wrong.  It was a moving of the location of living to a personalized inner one and then, transcending that.  It was relooking at the meanings in life:


In my questioning I had gone from an understanding of right and wrong as preset and determined outside myself, to a right and wrong personalized uniquely to me.  In seeking to meet the “you” (which I would describe as unconditional love knowing my truer self) in that field, I imploded my life as I had known it.  I preformed kriah at the death of the unreal life.  Doing this was completely liberating and utterly terrifying all at once!  I was standing at the edge of an abyss and CHOOSING to jump not knowing what I would find catching me.

At age 30, in a six month period, I:


I set myself FREE from the then known !!!

BUT TO DO WITH THAT FREEDOM???  I was not yet clear about what thoughts to set this inner compass guide by.

In my beginning awakenings, there was a little hijack attempt made by pleasures found in spiritual Las Vegas to keep me trapped in a new type of thinking about “light” and “love” being “IT”.  There were shiny new insights and warm fuzzies shared with others (also in their new, little life rafts) as we floated and huddled together while charting unsailed territory.  This was a period of time immersed in the delicious surface fluff of the happy-happy of what could be termed the “new age” awakening movement on our planet.  What an important role that particular port of call played in the story of the journey of awakening.  However, contrary to what many of my fellow travelers experienced,  it wasn’t a final destination for me.

What I had yet to understand was the importance of honoring my past and current ignorance by allowing of an ONGOING daily death of life as I now know it.  I also had yet to understand the importance of also loving the-our-my shadow. Not doing so back then created a void of sorts. It created a situation where half of life on our planet was not really dealt with.  It is a feeling of (as Tyler from Fight Club states):

“premature enlightenment”

We glimpse nirvana, but only fleeting as we are forced into continuing to cat nap quite often within our awakening because we are still out of balance.

**disclaimer:  strong language used in clip**

It is only after we have lost everything that we are really free to do ANY thing!

So years 40- to today have been about discovering the thoughts that lead to living in balance, to have gratitude for everything, staying with the pleasure and pain of life, and then transcending the need for anything at all.  It has been about more and more sustained time awake just being…allowing…being in love in the light AND in the shadow found here.  And within this being, we then cease the experience of polarity. Observation of events that happen in the life of M is still present, but the need to assign meaning in the same way isn’t.

For me today, awakening is about finding beauty and power in EVERYTHING… trash and treasure found as just the same.  It has been about a focus shifting from what is done in my life to how it is done in complete gratitude with the details of actually what is done having less and less importance.  I am remembering. I AM.  🙂


Just as an aside as well, Neil Diamond and I are eating cake today, the birthday kind…he for the 73rd time and me for the 44th.  I AM I SAY today and it is a good day to share our awakening all around.

Thanks Barbara.

Up next tomorrow, my beautiful blogging brother, the notorious BG over on the Middle Pane.

This entry was published on January 24, 2014 at 7:17 am and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

30 thoughts on “January Challenge – My Awakening & Moving Forward

  1. It was in looking into what was referred to as “the gates of awakening” that eventually gifted me the finding of my husband, so the invite by Barbara to participate in this shared blog experience about awakening has a very special and deeper meaning for me as well.

    • Thank you for sharing. This fits right into what I need to hear right now.

    • I really resonate a lot with what is said here. Let me ask you (or N or whoever) a question that has plagued me since I started even peeking down this path. If this three dimensional world is an illusion, then what does that make everyone else? I touch on solipsism, but that just seems too egotistical. Yet, my perception of this 3D world, is my own perception and not experienced outside of this frame. If everything is illusion, then I too am illusion, and maybe I don’t feel too bad calling everyone else illusion.

      • Working on getting caught up on work related stuff at the moment which needs electronic attention (my mandated FAA re-certification is at the beginning of March and I have hours and hours of on line class work and testing to complete in the next week). However, when done, I will sit with N and get you a proper response. Thanks for your patience. Hope all is well in your world! -x.M

      • No worries. Glad that you are doing better. I assumed that you were off traversing the planet or had other goings on. I was sad to hear that you had been sick and lost your fruit at the same time. A double whammy.

        We have received a nice snowfall here over the past week. Unusual for this part of the country. So that has been a nice change of pace. Many reminders of silence and impermanence.

        My best to you.

  2. January Challenge Schedule…

    1st Barbara –
    2nd Paddy –
    3rd Emanuel-
    6th Julianne –
    7th Sarah –
    8th Shree –
    9th Dace –
    10th Korinn –
    11th Sindy –
    12th Stefanie –
    13th Mick –
    15th Megan –
    16th Pat –
    17th Marga –
    18th Kimberley –
    21st Heather –
    23rd Sue –
    24th M… –
    25th Brian G –
    26th Dotta –
    27th CW –
    28th Laurie –
    29th Debra –
    30th Linda –
    31st Michael –
    1st Leigh –
    2nd Shaman –
    3rd Joss –
    4th Jenna –
    5th Shelley –
    6th Elisabeth –
    7th Michael –

    • Hi dear Maren! I love the post again! ( what’s new) ? 🙂 I don’t know what’s up with that list Hi M, I don’t know what’s up with all the peeps, but do I read that’s it’s your Birthday today?
      If so, HAPPY B-DAY MAREN. May your day be lovely and sweet! Love Pina
      I’m not feeling so well today, so I will listen to the music another day. Hip hip hip hooray, there is joy in every day. Louse Hay.

  3. Dear M,
    I so enjoyed reading this wonderful share from your heart to mine. You and I do share a number of parallels, especially that 30 year old life itch that eventually cracked open the cosmic shell.

    In some ways, you took the path that I wanted to take, but my crazy rebellious nature steered me away from. I wanted to be therapist, but honestly, I knew I was way too messed up to help anyone as it was obvious that I couldn’t even help myself 🙂

    And the duck…how incredibly true it is that these little totems placed in our path speak to us in ways that surprise us with what they tell us.

    You reminded me of one of my fave songs:

    “There’s no double-lock defense; there’s no chain on my door.
    I’m available for consultation,
    But remember your way in is also my way out,
    and love’s four-letter word is no compensation.”

    Please know your share was really a breath of fresh air today, so timely…

    Happy Birthday!


  4. I so so enjoy your writing M… and Happy Birthday, we are both aquarians… original, wild and love our freedom… I love it that everyone writes so uniquely… Our Free E Book of a selection of awakening experiences will be an inspiration to so many people… In the meanwhile… we are being, allowing, loving and living in balance with all… Thank you so much for sharing your awakeningS with us all… Barbara

  5. 7 of 9, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix Zero-One on said:

    What an incredible story. Glad to have had the privilege of sharing in it. I love you. N

  6. First Happy Birthday! Thank you for sharing your story and day with us. When we are pushed to the edge of what we think we can do, that is when we are able to move beyond ourselves. And what a good taste in movies. 😉 This will take me a while to go through all of your linked stories. 🙂 I am glad you are here M. Thank you.

  7. This was an excellent post. I am noticing that many of us have used reinvention as a spiritual practice ( intentionally or unintentionally). I am a LSW and therapist and while I still find meaning in my career, I am reworking how I serve, guide, heal, empower, motivate, inspire ( insert your own verb) others.

    thank you for sharing your story.

  8. There is a moment after the symphony finishes, when the audience continues its in breath from the experience, when the audience has become one through the movement of the music through their bodies, when they are not yet ready to applaud. I am indwelling in your “story” with all of the eyes that have heard the movement of these harmonic words, still in the in breath of them. So loving the power of the M trail. xo! m (toasted and treated the arrival of M last night, happy returns to N and your Nest!)

  9. Thank you for sharing your story and I love how you described it as “awakening into the unknown being known more room to bump up against the experience of actually living” because it is all about our daily living and the joy we find in it. Wishing you well on the journey.

  10. Happy Birthday, M! Thanks for sharing this inspiring bit of meaningful awareness.


  11. Witty post! Really enjoyed it. The image at the top of the post is exquisite 🙂 .
    This sums it up for me : “I was standing at the edge of an abyss and CHOOSING to jump not knowing what I would find catching me.” If you could do this you can do anything! xox
    p.s. hope you had a great birthday and enjoyed that yummy cake 🙂

  12. recognition — awakening never ends

  13. The eloquent voice of a life breathed. The poetic fervor of a life lived. The transcendent aura of a life shared. And back again.

  14. Beautiful and enriching message in this post. I guess my thoughts too resonate on the same frequency. I believe in the wisdom of Lao Tzu ~ “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be”!

    Thank you and good wishes always 🙂

    • Dilip,

      Thank you for the kind words of support and those reflecting such important wisdom in return. I wish you many joys on your journey in return. -x.M

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