Wake Up!

Originally published on Medium Jan 18, 2018

I had lost my way and fallen asleep on my spiritual journey. Then a very cheeky piece of cardboard woke me up. It happened at yoga.

The teacher brought around a little ornate bowl filled with tiny coloured cards. We were instructed to choose a card, ask the universe a question, then pop it under our mat and we would talk about them after our practice. After a wonderful class, we pulled the cards out and were asked to share our question and the card’s response. My mate Sal asked her card if she should retire. At 55 and a cancer survivor, she thought it was time. And voila, the universe (via the little card) agreed.

Go For It the chipper little card told her. Everyone was so happy for her.

I had asked mine if I should continue to pursue my idea to write and take groups to Paris for creative retreats, an idea I have been working on for years. A big ask for a small piece of cardboard. At first sight, my card wasn’t as kind as Sal’s. I flipped it over and those two little words written in gold told me to “Wake Up”.


Wake Up? Seriously, is that it? I made a joke (coz that’s what I do!).

Sal, can we swap? Ha ha ha. To no avail. She was happy with her card. Me, not so much.

I went home and talked to my hubby. I am a little embarrassed to admit that I cried myself to sleep. Over the ensuing days, I talked about the upstart piece of cardboard to a workmate and a family member. I was pissed off. {At a piece of cardboard.}

Then I started getting the messages. Every podcast I listened to seemed to have the words “Wake Up” somewhere in the dialogue. Songs on the radio told me to “Wake Up”. My dad left a message, thinking I was still asleep. He just said, yep you guessed it, “Wake Up”. It was everywhere.

I started journalling again around this time. I needed to get some stuff out, on paper, start writing again… It occurred to me that I had indeed fallen asleep, I was going through the motions. The spiritual journey I had started in 1993 had come off the rails. I had reached the tipping point.

I needed to do some work. Read, listen, write, learn…it all came thick and fast. I returned to books I had read years ago and wondered what the hell I was doing when I head read them last. How could I have read The Power of Now and not GOT IT? I own just about every Wayne Dyer book ever printed, and add to that Marianne Williamson, Dan Millman, Louise Hay, Don Miguel Ruiz… My head was spinning, but in a good way.

Then one day Ken Wilber blew my mind in a talk on Sounds True. Look him up, he’s still blowing my mind daily! He spoke of so many incredible things, most of which I am still unpacking on a daily basis. More on this from Dustin DiPerna. The more I learn the less I know…

So…here is a list of the things I learned last years. I originally posted these individually as 2017 drew to a close.

#1 Every minute of every day, I choose how I feel. I am responsible for my own feelings. I choose happiness, joy, contentment, enthusiasm and at the very least, acceptance. 

#2 Journaling daily is life changing. 3 pages written long hand, stream of consciousness, prompts are fine. Just write, don’t think. This is the one thing that I will guarantee for stopping the loop of thoughts in your head.

#3 What you resist persists. Deal and heal and move on, or stay on the merry-go-round.

#4 There are no “others”. We are all connected. We are all one.

You are not a drop in the ocean, but the entire ocean in a drop ~ Rumi

#5 Modern religion created a bizarro Wizard of Oz situation. Somehow man has managed to stuff the universal life force into a man-shaped box, and now guarding the box is a full-time job.

#6 Everyone is doing their best, but we can always, always do better through self-awareness, curiosity, and self-study.

 The unexamined life is not worth living. ~ Socrates 

The unlived life is not worth examining. ~ Robert McKee

#7 I am not my body

#8 Read your old books and you’ll learn new things!

#9 It’s okay to relax and have fun. Yes, I learned this in 2017. Finally.

#10 Success can’t guarantee happiness but being happy brings so much to our lives, often including “success” in so many forms.

#11 Indoor cats are proving to be more loving animals than those that are allowed to roam and hunt. It may be against their nature but they’re a)not native b)deadly killing machines

#12 We all do and say stupid things that we wish we could Undo, but it’s essential to forgive ourselves AND others because we all deserve compassion.

#13 Kombucha is the goods.

#14 Podcasts are a truly awesome gift to the commuter.

#15 If you change those around you change.

#16 Few people are truly nasty, most people are nice given the chance. Even people who road rage or write nasty stuff on the web just wants to be patted on the head and told they are good. (see point #17 below)

#17 There are only 2 things — Love and Fear. Everything we do comes from either one or the other.

#18 We overestimate what we can do in a day, but underestimate what we can do in a year. Have a goal. Baby steps. There are no mistakes just keep going. Nothing is wasted.

#19 even when our kids are grown they still need guidance. Daily. Whether they want it or not.

Thanks for reading.


  1. jordanquirkcole

    Thank you so much for your insight, it’s so wonderful to know people aren’t afraid to re-immerse into the spiritual journey when they notice they’ve lost the way. (It’s always a big fear of mine that one day I’ll wake up and forget everything I’ve been working so hard on!) Your words have inspired me 🖤

    1. Christine Betts

      Thanks so much for reading. It’s life, it creeps up on us really. I was so busy running a business, working… striving… I didn’t keep a spiritual practice and got lost Along the way. I keep telling myself it’s all part of the process. I feel as though I could have lacked humility if I’d been the “perfect” student of the universe 💫

      1. jordanquirkcole

        Well I think however the journey unfolds is your own definition of “perfect”, but that’s me. Sometimes you have to lose your way, and it sounds to me like you lost it doing all the right things. 😉

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