The benefits of awareness
If you were one of my clients, you would probably be hearing me praise the merits of awareness all the time.
Awareness is the number one tool that we use to create change and transformation.
Here is but a starter list of what you can gain by practicing awareness:
- You will see reality more clearly and objectively
- You will uncover where you are contributing to the problems you are facing and increase your power to solve them
- You will find multiple avenues to improve and change things rather than get stuck in either/or situations
- You will develop more compassion and understanding for yourself and the people around you
- You will be able to get in touch with and process your feelings rather than stuffing them down to a place where they will drive your behavior without you even realizing
- You will experience your life more fully
- You will develop a stronger presence
- You will see through the stories that you repeatedly tell yourself, understand how they affect you and gain more authority over them
And I could keep going.
The bottom line is that wherever you want to go, having awareness is like having a map instead of trying to get somewhere blindfolded.
What does it take to develop the skill of awareness?
A willingness to slow down and pay attention
An attitude of childlike fascination and curiosity to your experience and the world around you
A choice to allow the discomfort of eliminating distractions (even if just for a few minutes at a time)
And finally, how does it work concretely?
Everytime you are fully paying attention to something, you are exercising your awareness muscle.
It can be applied to anything at any given moment. The only requirement is that you bring your full attention to the object of your observation.
Here are five spaces where you can increase awareness in your life:
The world around you: the space around you, whatever your senses are picking up in this moment, any facts and data you are receiving, the exact words that another person is saying (distinct from your immediate reaction and interpretation).
Your mind: the sentences that are crossing your mind at any given moment, how activated or slow your mind is at any given moment, the speed of your thinking, the tone of the voice in your head, how urgent and important any given thought feels at any given moment.
Your body: the sensations in your body, feelings of cold, heat, hunger, any pain or tension you might be experiencing at any given moment, the sensation of your feet touching your shoes or the floor, the sensation in any other part of your body, any emotion that you might be experiencing as a vibration in your body.
Your behaviors: what you do, the actions you take or avoid taking, the words you say, the tone of your voice, your body language, your face expressions, your habits.
The effects of your behaviors: the link between your actions and the result they create, the impact your behaviors have on your environment, on the people around you, on yourself.
I hope this will be helpful and that it will inspire you to look at things a bit closer.
Enjoy, and remember, a little goes a long way!
A few seconds or minutes at a time make a difference already.