Songs of Awakening

Anybody know any waking up songs? I know a lot of lullabies to help people go to sleep. But what are the songs for waking up? “You can get it if you really want…” That’s a good one. “Oh, what a beautiful morning.” Exactly. There you go. That’s so good. Because, you know, “They say that waking up is hard to do…”  

And it is sometimes! You know, I’m from New England. It’s not like below the Mason Dixon Line, where the spring comes like Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony just exhaling out of the ground. It’s grouchy up here, up North. Right? Spring seems to growl, “I don’t want to wake up.” The ground is groaning, “Springtime, where’s my coffee?” 

There’s this deep sense of grudge around the awakening to freedom and possibility: “Possibility of going back to sleep! Oh, don’t bother me!” 

There’s a certain amount of really needing to look at, in the Wood element, how do we wake up? What is our waking up style?   

I need to stretch. I notice I haven’t been moving for a while, but it’s really hard to get moving. Or is it like, Tigger? Hey, I’m ready for a new day…! And exploring that, because this is so relevant to our Wood element. It’s the Great Awakening and Getting Out of Bed Time. 

We are exploring it also for the sake of our clients, who may not wake up quite the same way we do. We’re definitely being the voice of the coach here, the voice of, “Okay, no matter what, you’re awake; you’re here. It’s time for the game. Are you gonna show up?”  

Show up. Wake up. Because lullabies are very sweet and earthy and tender and filled with kindness, for going to sleep. However, the voice of the coach for waking up is not tender and sweet. It is loving. But it is not tender and sweet. It is not about nestling down and being cozy.  

It’s about actually going outside of your comfort zone, and literally stretching. It is about discovering resources you didn’t know that you have, and bringing them to the engagement.  

Why? Because life is moving; the game is happening. If we don’t come into our Wood element, and show up with our hand extended to shake hands with what’s going on⁠—if we stay in passivity⁠—the next thing that happens is that our Wood element becomes all about victimhood. We become an angry victim, because we’re in passive mode, and they’re doing all these things to us.  

This happens when we haven’t woken up to the other 50% of the equation, which is that we could be doing things, too. What’s my half of the handshake? 

It’s crucial. You’re hearing it in my voice right now. It’s not the voice of mama putting you to sleep. It’s the voice of coach saying, “We still have a few more innings. Yes, they are leading 60 to 3. But we have a few more innings.”  

What is crucial for our clients, for those around us, for ourselves, is the practice of physically creating a “readiness body,” long before we have any idea what we’re going to do, so that the ideas that we need will awaken in us.  

This is counterintuitive, from a Western perspective, we think, “I’m going to sit like a potato on my couch, in Water mode, wondering what the hell I’m going to do. And after I figure it out, then I’m going to mobilize.”  

It doesn’t work that way. Our bodies are the context in which our thoughts take place. Get up! Get out of bed. Dragging the comb across your head. Start moving, start creating “readiness body.” Do you have that downward traction? Do you have that upward loft? Are you in handshake mode with your life? I’m showing up and I’m shaking hands. Do I know what’s going to happen after that? No… It’s a lot like ping pong: get your racket up, get your sail up, show up.  

A lot of what we’re working with, in ourselves and in our clients, is how to be a good coach: coach to a losing team, coach to a chicken, which is different than being coached to a turtle, coach to a wounded chicken, or a wounded turtle that we still, from love, are not going to allow to slip into passive victim mode: “We got a few more innings. Let’s play.”  

This includes coach to a tired person, coach to people who genuinely do not have many resources or many choices. What, are you going to lay down and die? No. We’re going to get up and do something different than if we’d slept well the night before. That’s true. Something different than if we had a million bucks. Something different than if we’d had a different childhood. Okay, fine. We are rising to the handshake, showing up for the handshake. 

We may be possibly staying in that physiology for a little while, especially if it’s unfamiliar, because many people are living in⁠—I hate to say it⁠—something like a “watch it on TV” mode, or a movie mode. It’s a passive mode, where things happen, and are bought to us, and we just go “Oh, whoa…”, like we’re jerked around. We’re bounced around. That’s not a handshake. 

Here in the Wood element, the most important thing about how we wake up is that we wake up⁠—that we embrace springtime, and we are coming to life as a 50-50 dance partner with what’s happening around us. 

Here are the Wake-Up songs that I thought of—got any to share? Post them on the Perennial Medicine List-serv. All are welcome!

Judy Collins: Lark in the Morning 

Everly Brothers : Wake Up Little Susie

Cat Stevens: Morning has Broken 

Nance Petit and David Wilcox: Awake My Dear 

Harry Nilsson: Gotta Get Up 

Singin’ In the Rain: Good Morning 

Oklahoma: Oh What A Beautiful Morning 

Joni Mitchell: Morning Morgantown 

To join the discussion, find us on my Perennial Medicine discussion listserv (all are welcome).

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