Are you awake or asleep?

My Muse woke me up this morning with a list of the qualities of awake people vs. asleep people that really surprised me. She’s like that. Sound like a judgement? Yes. Am I going to get this wrong and piss someone off? Yes. Am I committed to raising this conversation. I think so. This is by no means a comprehensive list, nor is it intended to be, just some distinctions that got me thinking. 

I think we all have parts of both – so good to see both!


~Distinctions between being awake and asleep~ 

  • An awake person is a conscious being, open to what there is to see and be.
  • An asleep or unconscious person is not open to seeing, what they are not seeing, or being, and may not be interested in doing so.
  • An awake person knows their own bulls**t and can laugh about it, and work on it.
  • An asleep person doesn’t know their own bulls**t, but can laugh about it if they see it!
  • An awake person chooses to see something larger than their self, like the great unfolding, and participate in and contribute to it as authentically as possible.
  • An asleep person doesn’t believe they have a necessary part in the great unfolding, or that there is something called the great unfolding.
  • An awake person is generally aware of becoming conscious, and the time before they were awake feels different to them – there is a clear sense of before and after.
  • An asleep person may not know there is something called awake and asleep.
  • Awake people seek to wake others up so we can be conscious and curious together.
  • An asleep person is not seeking to wake others up, and may often be attached to their state of unconsciousness.
  • To an awake person, staying asleep doesn’t feel like an option anymore; they become attached and inspired by the possibility of thriving and presence.
  • An asleep person may feel like they don’t have choices and may not have considered falling in love with everything as an option.
  • An awake person knows that to have meaningful relationships, they have to discover not only compassion for others, but practice deep authentic listening, their need to justify themselves lessens over time.
  • An asleep person tends to be very ‘me’ focused, selfish even, wanting their needs met above others, can be lacking compassion, and justify themselves a lot.
  • An awake person may think they are awake, and while they may be aware of others who are asleep, will work towards understanding and service, instead of blaming the sleepers.
  • An asleep person may sometimes think they are awake, and that others are asleep around them, and easily move into blame.
  • An awake person is aware and inspired – by being in awe and in love with the universe and others, their own creativity, and they seek beauty.
  • An asleep person may not be aware that they have the power to impact their state of being, or even how to approach doing so, if they did know.
  • An awake person may try hard to be awake and become defensive about the places they are still asleep and not even know it.
  • An asleep person may find those who are trying to be awake humorous and airy fairy or artsy fartsy or new age, elitest or, not like them.
  • Awake people look for other awake people to hang out with (and justify and validate their views)
  • Asleep people don’t look for other asleep people; they just find themselves with them. They may however find themselves drawn to awake people, and not know why.
  • An awake person generally wants to have THIS CONVERSATION (about what awake and asleep is) and others like it about the nature of the universe, the soul and the fabric of reality.
  • An asleep person may not know this conversation is being had, or that they could choose to be a part of it, as a part of their waking up process.
  • Being awake is a choice, not a default setting, and can be called upon by a sleeper.
  • Being asleep is the default setting, and awake may not occur as an option, let alone a desirable one.
  • Awake people can choose happiness and goodness.
  • Asleep people can choose happiness and goodness.
  • Awake people know that the more they know, the less they know – and that it is never ending and there is always more to wake up to.
  • Asleep people also know there are a lot of things they don’t know, but might not spend their lives seeking it out.
  • Awake people are called to change the world.
  • Asleep people need to be woken up to their capacity to change the world. They know it needs to change, they just don’t know how important they are to being a part of the change.
  • Awake people reading this will find all kinds of things I got wrong and will want to write their own. This is the nature of awake beings. We see stuff.
  • Asleep people may wonder if they are already awake and what the fuss is all about anyway.
  • Awake people may see this entire inquiry as futile or, perhaps have them consider their own frame of reference, bias or opinion.
  • Asleep people will be sleeping when this comes into their inbox.

One day may those asleep and those awake, together, create a future worth living into.

Join in this conversation here

letters from the red thread cafe

shiloh painting with eye red madonna

Dearest Amazing Being,

Thank you for tuning in for a Red Thread Letter!

Yesterday I told a girlfriend who was heart broken about a breakup that I felt although it was really hard – it was ultimately a good thing. I love them both, madly, but my reason was simple. She is awake. He does not appear to be. So I said, I don’t think he is really awake. However, he is someone I feel I could say that to – “I don’t think you are really awake.” And while my words may not be a full wake up – it could be a part of it. This can be said with love and presence, and in some cases be heard. I am considering whether to say that to him, or not.

I realized, after sharing this with her, that this is a big frame of reference I walk around in, and see people through.  Is this a judgment, or an observation? Fair or unfair? True or not true? Does it matter who is awake and who isn’t? After catching myself in the frame, and realizing yes I did indeed make this assessment all the time, I asked myself what do I mean by awake? Who am I to say who or who isn’t awake? Am I just being judgmental? Elitist? Don’t I get mad at people who act awake and say they are awake but aren’t? Am I doing the same thing? Maybe. But it is worth writing it out to explore this further.

That is part of how Intentional Creativity works as a tool for self discovery – you write, paint, dance, dream from a perspective of seeing what shows up.

I am sharing my ideas above about the differences between asleep and awake which are in my own book. In your ponderings you might ask yourself –

What frame of reference do I see by?
How would I name, awake or not awake?
Do I consider myself awake?
Or rather, where do I still need to awaken?

It is our last day in New York City, time to get on the plane for San Francisco. The past two weeks have been epic, and I have so much more to say, but this is what wants to be said today. Being at an event like CSW – United Nations Commission on the Status of Women and being surrounded by awake women and men dedicating to serving others, makes me feel surrounded by beings who are making change possible. 

Awakening is an essential ingredient in creating a future we want to live into and would be proud to share with our children and elders.

Creating a sustainable future and being with conscious community, is not just a choice, it is a matter of survival for our species and planet.

This is important to me, personally and professionally because:

I want to be around a tribe who is awake.
I want to be a part of waking up those who are not awake.
I am tired of living in a ‘world system’ that seems to be asleep to beauty and sustainability run by people who are either asleep, or awake and choosing not to regard humans and the earth through awake eyes.

I don’t think awake is good or bad – it isn’t a moral issue. Although I would hope that those who are awake would choose good. I think we can also be awake – and choose something other than goodness for one’s own or one’s companies own gain, and even play on the minds of the asleep ones to get them to keep sleeping (and or buy the system solutions they are selling) 

What do I mean by asleep or awake? In these Red Thread Letters there should be a big disclaimer banner saying, just because I think this doesn’t mean you should! Please think your own thoughts – however if my thoughts can help at all in your own process, here they are! And of course I hope, always that my process sparks something within you. I write and paint for our mutual pleasure and awakening!

Jesus knew about this very well – here are a few things he said to indicate that:

Let those who have eyes to see, see, and those who have ears to hear, hear, let them hear.

Forgive them, Lord, for they know not what they do

The asleep awake conversation felt amazing to write down my own framework and lens through which I view others and the world. Now whether someone is asleep or awake may not change how I love them, but it does inform who I invite to my dinner table, or who I choose to collaborate with. All that said, I really truly see why people would stay asleep, because to wake up means to face the ‘what-is-ness’ of ourselves and our world, and it is not easy – or pretty. But once you start falling in love because your eyes are open, then it makes the being awake part tolerable, and even a celebration. The beauty we see is the antidote to holding the suffering – they are held in the same medicine basket of those who choose to be awake. 

I think people can be woken up by others around them. In fact, I think that is how it happens for the most part. Perhaps from a book, or online class experience, but even those are still through people. Sometimes it is a Divine insight or spark of lightning, however that is often too rare to wait for – although we are grateful when it happens.

The thing about doing big things like I’ve done in the last two weeks at the United Nations, is it helps put the other stuff in perspective. What I thought was big two weeks ago, based on the level I was required to show up for on this trip, doesn’t seem too big or overwhelming now. Saying yes to big, even forcing the contents under pressure, is part of the growth pattern of anyone desiring to serve, and to live out what is theirs to cause and create – your piece of the red thread. 

yours in red thread, 

shiloh red signature

UN panel group photo 2016Carmen Baraka, Patty Melnice, Shiloh Sophia, Lois Herman and friend for UNCSW60

Each day that I wake , I will praise, I will praise.

Each day that I wake, I give thanks, I give thanks.

And the day that I don’t wake up, and the transcend the holy make up.

I am capable. I am powerful.

I’m not a leader, just a creature seeking the features of a teacher,

whether you follow whether you lead,

all the mysterious ways of nature, and I’m into it.

Changin’ management.

And there are various ways to conquer this monotonous metropolis.

My stubborness is bottomless. My fearlessness is talkin’ shit, and I’m wide awake.

And I’m takin’ names.

Nakho Bear