How Awareness Can Change Your Life
Simple yet profound
Could the simple act of awareness change your life? The simple answer, yes. Specifically awareness of your inner world. Turning your attention inward to your thoughts and feelings is essential to making any sort of change.
I remember the moment that I understood that we are the watcher of our thoughts. We are not our thoughts in the literal sense. We are also not our feelings, they are just visitors with a message. Yet, without awareness thoughts and feelings can run our lives. Ideally we want to be in control of our state(feelings) and thoughts regardless of the external circumstances. Awareness is the first step in achieving this inner peace and control of our reality.
The way I started practicing awareness was picking a topic or reoccurring thought I was having. Then I would have hyper awareness all day long and when one of those thoughts would pop up I would take notice. I would also note what was around me that may have triggered that thought. This is how I overcame depression. I was hyper aware of all the thoughts I had about “being depressed” etc. One day, I interacted with some people in a bubbly, outgoing way and I caught myself thinking afterward that I shouldn’t act that way because people wouldn’t think I was depressed! What the fuck! That blew my mind and was a huge breakthrough in letting go of what I now describe as “choosing to depress”. That would not have happened without increased awareness.
Another wonderful way to practice awareness is just sitting. Sit in a quiet room with your eyes closed for just 5 minutes with the intention of noticing all the thoughts that run across your screen. You’ll be amazed at the minds ability to jump from concept to concept, future to past and everything in between. Make no judgements about what you think but just notice. Just this alone can be a very informative practice. If you want to take this a step farther you can challenge yourself to try and stay in the Now.
A way to practice feeling into your body would be to pause at any point in your day and close your eyes and take a deep breath. Focus on the breath going in your belly and out. Then just check in and ask, “how am I feeling”? When I first began this practice of awareness I was surprised by how much tension and stress I was holding in my shoulders at any given moment. With that awareness I could then consciously relax and take my body out of that tense state.
If you don’t know your inner world, you can’t control your outer world. You will constantly be reacting to things around you. The beauty of this practice is that it’s so simple and yet so profound and essential. With the power of awareness you can begin to get in touch with your intuition. You can also start to see patterns in yourself that may be causing discomfort. Only with awareness can you then do something to change. You can start to question if a thought is serving you or making you miserable. The seat of power is now moved back to you not the wild world of the monkey mind. The truth is, you are in charge of absolutely everything in your life. Your thoughts, your emotions, your relationships, your career and everything in between. That’s exciting!