What is the difference between being present and being asleep?
As human beings, we can only function in one of the following two states:
- Awake – being present and having full control of our thoughts, emotions, and actions.
- Asleep – acting based on conditioning and instincts with virtually no control over our thoughts, emotions, or actions; living life in automatic mode without controlling outcomes or circumstances.
Being present is part of what we call an “aware” state, which also means being awake and fully conscious of your internal and external environment. Conversely, when you are asleep, you are in a state of reduced awareness and have no control of what is going on around you. In this state, you allow your instincts and conditioning to take over your life. The price that you pay for not being present is all sorts of drama, including broken relationships, missed opportunities, loss of income and in some extreme cases even loss of life. It is important to understand that when we say that someone is “asleep”, we do not necessarily mean that they are actually sleeping. What it does mean, however, is that while the person appears to be fully awake and conscious, they are functioning in a state of reduced awareness, much like sleepwalking.
Being present has immeasurable benefits. First of all, it keeps you from reacting out of anger and frustration. At the same time it allows you to evaluate the situation with a higher level of clarity and act from a place of love and compassion instead of blind instinct. When you are fully present – unless you are facing imminent physical danger or pain – you become immersed in a loving and joyful state. You will find that your negotiations go much smoother and you are suddenly able to turn enemies into friends as well as build better and healthier relationships with interesting and helpful people. By being present, you create a truly harmonious state of joy and love for yourself and for others. It is truly a win-win solution, which keeps you stress-free and out of harm’s way.