Stay Awake

By Sunsue Fleming



Dreams are a magical time. They can be scary, confusing, sad. They can also be like dancing in heaven. The possibilities are unlimited. There is freedom in my dreams.


Sunrise is a magical time. The birds know it. They stretch their wings, sing songs, celebrate.


I was married at sunrise on Easter. I Am Blessed to have been at the ocean's edge for 30 years, to be present on Easter morning. It's ok if I don’t see the sun rise from the water. One of my favorite mornings was when it was so foggy we couldn’t see water's edge. But how spectacular it is when the sky is ablaze reflecting in the water. I show up to honor the new day. To sing praise to the life I have been given. Sometimes the moment is spectacular. The earth says wake up there is beauty even in the fog, there is beauty to be found.


Easter is special but every sunrise is special. It was special when I was a little girl in my backyard. I get to be reminded everyday at sunrise if I am awake and notice.


Sleep is always pulling me back. Sleep rocks me like a baby and lets me fly. But at sunrise I am reminded not to go back to sleep


I am needed here


I am blessed to be here


I am reminded at sunrise to stay awake


Don’t go back to Sleep by 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!


Participants’ Reflections

  • Thank you. That really spoke to me this morning. I’m thinking about how being awake and being conscious of the truth within. It’s hard because once awakened to those truths, I want things in my outer life to express them. Sometimes that means hard decisions in my outer life, changing relationships, changing parts of my lifestyle. In some ways, it’s easier to go back to sleep. For me, I’ve stayed awake long enough to make the most important changes. But the physical world moves so much more slowly than my consciousness, spiritual world, and so there’s still a lot of under changes in my life to reflect the inner. It’s tempting to go back to sleep. I think that’s the thing. I’m thinking I’ve been half sleeping now for several years because it’s taking so long. I really appreciated the reminder to stay awake. Thank you.

  • That was wonderful. The image of all those Easter Sundays you spent on the shore was very powerful. The other thing I thought interesting was the Rumi poem. One of my favorite things is how the new day is an opportunity to start all over again. Just because yesterday was a certain way, it doesn’t mean today has to be. I thought it so interesting the door you mentioned is round. Round is such a powerful symbol, a continual loop and continual renewal. Now our understanding of doors that Shirley has made so much bigger is even deeper. Thank you.

  • Thank you. That was beautiful. The sunrise is one of my favorite things to do. I’ll get up in the dead of winter and drive to the ocean to see the full effect. I just love it. I look at it as a reset as well, it’s a new day. No matter what kind of mood or emotion, it’s not the same as when I leave. There’s something about it. I stopped for a long time. I used to visit the beach with my dogs. I had to put down my golden retriever yesterday. I haven’t been going to the beach, it didn’t feel right. I hope to get back to going to the beach.

  • I want to say how sorry I am, I know how that feels. I like to say I put our dogs up. Passing that along. I’ve spent many times on a beach with my dogs. I miss that so much still. My heart is with you on that. I also wanted to say I’m a sunset person. I was getting excited listening to that beautiful writing and thinking I can’t wait til sunset tonight. I realize how much of my day is planned around the sunset. I will change plans. I get disgruntled if I have to be somewhere during the sunset. I live near a body of water and the sun sets in winter right over it. I’ve been missing out. Someone said something about being alive. Those twenty minutes before and after, I feel so connected to every one and every body and I want to call out to people, are you looking at the sun. So it makes me really happy. I really appreciated your reading, and maybe I’ll get my courage up to get up in the morning and watch a sunrise.

  • I’m with you about your dog. I’ve had to do many pets, two very recently. I do for sure believe I will see them again, but it doesn’t ease the heartache. I want to thank you for your reading. I’m overwhelmed and tired. I haven’t been praying as much. I did pray today. Things you said reminded me of something I read. It was a Jewish prayer. What I took away from it was thank you for my feet being on the ground this morning, going forth for another day.

  • Thank you. I loved your reading. I love sunrises. I remember the first one I saw over the ocean many years ago. It was so beautiful to see and be awake to that. When I moved to the West Coast, I knew I would miss sunrises over the ocean. I got to appreciate sunsets into the ocean. I lived a block from the ocean and would walk over and watch it. It was gorgeous. When the sun sets into the ocean, there is a flash of green that shows up. Thank you for the reminder. And I loved the Rumi poem.

  • I love to call it dawn and the dawning of a new day. When I was studying to be a life coach, I knew in my heart it would have something to do with dawn. I came up with a name that had dawn in it. The dawning of your true self, the self that is in you, not the external. The internal one waking up, like someone said. It’s a wonderful time of dawning and waking up to who we are.

  • Thank you. I really loved your reading. I found myself thinking about your name and my experience with you and my connection. I always liked your name but never thought about it in any context. And now with what you described. I appreciate your reminder of awareness being a choice. It is a life choice that we make. When I go through my periods of feeling stressed, I tend to want to go to sleep and rejuvenate. All of that is true, and yet, what you described spiritually when you are at a sunrise, it gave me a different perspective and a context to think about. Thank you.

  • I want to say something about the sunrise and even the sunset. I’m really struck by what the Earth and the world does at sunrises and sunset. The Earth wants us to notice, the sun wants us to notice life. Life is really saying, hey, look at this. Wake up! It’s not subtle, it’s spectacular.

  • Thank you everyone. One of the things that I love about each and everyone of you is that I know you. I know each and everyone of you. I do not know your name, or what you like, or where you live. But I do know you. Thank you. It’s an amazing connection.

  • To continue the last sentence of the reading—I heard this the other day and love it. Pay attention. Attention is the true source of wealth. And the sunrise and the sunset today, every day, are the true source of wealth as is everything we really pay attention to. Thank you.

  • I’ve just come back from a vacation at the ocean, being several blocks away. I’m partial to mountain sunrises. It’s so gorgeous, it calls out and yet it’s so silent. The timing of tuning into the great outdoors. This morning the sky was a combination of rose and plum. I was struck by the beauty and stopped to drink it in. A line that stood out for me was treasuring the magic of the foggy morning as well. The fuzzy, unclear. I embraced that in my spirit of treasuring the unknown, treasuring the moment. During the meditation, I spent time thinking about what does it mean to really be awake. It’s letting go of the past, letting go of the future. It’s really being in the present. Being in the fog and the mystery. Thank you so much. It was a beautiful reading.

  • I wanted to add that this beautiful reading linked back to yesterday’s meditation staying awake and being in the moment. To understand whatever you are depending on or addicted to is keeping you from really being awake.

  • It’s true. It’s learning to really get great sustenance from something like the sunrise or sunset. We think we need that sustenance from alcohol or food. It’s replacing it with something better. That’s the challenge.

  • Thank you. That was painfully beautiful. I’m taking an Eckhart Tolle workshop. He says awakening is not in the future. Awakening is a realization of what is already there. He talked about how when we are in the present moment, we are conscious. We are consciousness. Being consciousness. We are the whole because we are a microcosm of the whole. And that is awakening. That is enlightenment. It doesn’t have to be such a big goal of I want to be enlightened. (see blog on this). I could see sitting with the sun and being present. Thank you. Eckhart Tolle talks about being with your breath. That is a conscious state of being aware. Consciousness is God. There’s that connection.

  • Thank you for your wonderful reading today. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and Rumi and making us more present to sunrises and sunsets. Our hearts are with you. We hold you in the pain of your pet’s transition. Thank you everyone who has shared. Thank you for being present here in this community where we are searching for our authentic selves and are connecting at a deep level even though we don’t know each other. It’s a true gift I feel and I’m sure you all feel. Thank you so much. I hope you have a gentle and blessed day.

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