The Sleeper Must Awaken

The Sleeper Must Awaken

“Without change something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken.”
― Duke Leto Atreides, Dune by Frank Herbert

Two weeks ago, I talked about discovering what makes you You. This is the first step to true healing, discovering who you are and what your passions are. You can read the blog here if you missed it.

What comes after, that is the true healing.

I remember in college, when I broke up with my boyfriend of three years. He moved away to LA to become an actor. Strangely, I’ve just recently seen him in a couple of commercials. So, I guess that finally worked out.

Alex Ivashenko via Unsplash

It wasn’t until after he left that I realized how numb I had been those three years. I had been walking through the relationship as if I was a zombie. Life just was as it was. It’s crazy to me now to look back at who that Heather was and how much she disassociated from herself. I obviously wasn’t happy in that relationship. But I was so numbed out that I didn’t realize.

This is classic Enneagram 9 behavior, by the way. When an average or unhealthy 9 is in a situation they don’t like, they just check out and go through the motions. Because, being numb and going through the motions is much safer than creating a confrontation and changing the situation. It is unusual for a 9 to break off a relationship because of the confrontation it creates. This was the last relationship I was in where I was that unhealthy. Every relationship I had after that, I was the one to break it off. Why?

Because the sleeper had awakened.

After the college boyfriend left, I had this rebirth. My life was suddenly mine again.

Don’t worry. You don’t have to break things off with your significant other to find an awakening. It can be any type of change. And, according to this awesome quote from Frank Herbert’s Dune, you find this change from new experiences.

In the movie version, Duke Leto Atreides says to his son, “A person needs new experiences. They jar something deep inside allowing them to grow. Without change, something sleeps insides us and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken.”

AP Photo/ Daniel Morel

The first awakening I remember was May 21st, 1995 at a Dave Matthews Concert at Sam Boyd stadium in Las Vegas. They were opening for the Grateful Dead and it was the first time I had ever seen them play. The violinist, Boyd Tinsley, was amazing. I used to play the cello, so I love seeing stringed instruments played. But Tinsley was the happiest violinist I had ever seen. As my friend said, “He opened a can of whoop ass!” He was energetic and smiling and looked like he was happy to be alive. On the third day, he sang one of his own songs called True Reflections. It was the only one he sang. And that song rocked me to my core from the very first lines:

“When you look into a mirror, do you like what’s looking at you? Now that you’ve seen your true reflection. What on earth are you going to do?”

Which leads directly into the refrain.

“Find some inspiration. It’s down deep inside of you. Amend your situation. Your whole life is ahead of you.”

I was 21 years old.

It was also my last Grateful Dead show. Jerry Garcia died two months later on Aug 9th, 1995.

That song stirred something inside of me. I didn’t like the person I was. I knew there was more to me. I knew I wasn’t being true to myself.

That fall, my boyfriend moved to LA and I was free. But the sleeper had already awakened.

Hanna Skoromna via Unsplash

It took time, but I slowly remembered the spirited, opinionated person I had been in High School. Everything seemed to have more color and I felt lighter. I rediscovered my passions.

It was a slow healing process until I went to Europe, which I have talked about already. Traveling through Europe was a new experience that stirred something inside of me. The sleep had awakened.

And I think this is how it goes. I don’t think the healing process is a “steady as she goes” move forward. I think there are ebbs and flows. There are spurts of healing and times of rest. Which makes sense. We learn something new and then we walk in that newness for a while. At some point, it isn’t new anymore and it is time for a change. It is time for the sleeper to awaken, AGAIN.

I am always talking about layers of healing. Each layer is an awakening.  It’s like an “aha!” moment. Sometimes it is wonderful, sometimes it is painful. But, each time we become more awake, more present.

What do you do if you are searching for this awakening?

One way I already mentioned – discovering your passions, what makes you YOU.

Another vehicle of awakening is discovering your Enneagram number. Click here to read my article on the Enneagram and take a test to get you started.

As the wise Duke Leto said in Dune, new experiences can create awakenings. It doesn’t have to be a huge trip to Europe. It can be taking a class or starting a new hobby. Anything that puts you outside of you comfort zone.

Cate Blanchette as Elizabeth I

Honestly, I’ve had awakening from art, like the song True Reflections. Movies have touched me in ways that inspire me and help me see things differently. Out of Africa, Dead Poet’s Society and Elizabeth are all movies that have influenced me. And books such as Mists of Avalon and The Shipping News have affected my life.

There are many memoirs about awakenings such as Eat, Pray, Love, Wild, and I’ll Push You.  I wrote a blog about I’ll Push You that you can read here.

I can say from experience that if you feel like you need a change in your life and you put it out there to the Universe, the Universe will bring about a vehicle for that change. What’s important is that you be open to new experiences. Don’t walk around in a fog. The sleeper must awaken.

Have you ever felt like you were sleep walking through life? Have you ever experienced an awakening? Do you feel like you need an awakening? Unsure what to do? Email me at

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I am a yoga and meditation teacher, energy healer and I teach Enneagram workshops. I'm here to help people grow and find their true selves.

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