Ever notice how much time we spend thinking about things that cause us stress? It’s such a habit to let our attention drift to drama. To allow our mental energy to slip into the fear zone where it becomes comparison, judgement, doubt, pessimism, etc. Can you relate? I know I can! I have to call upon my yoga practice multiples times a day in a multitude of situations to help me stay in the love zone. Here I not only feel better but I’m more effective in every area of life. In this blog we explore the concept of awareness and how to direct it so we’re reaping the benefits of health, happiness and service in this crazy world.
Awareness is the greatest agent of change.
A couple weeks ago I met with a friend to discuss some concerns she had about a situation we’re both connected to. This friend is someone I have deep respect for and I was excited to catch up and process what was going on. Much to my dismay, the conversation was painful. The details don’t matter, but I was met with judgement and micro aggressions that were so incredibly uncharacteristic. As we walked and talked I became more aware of what this was triggering for me and the reactivity that wanted to take center stage. At the same time, I was also aware of who I know this person to truly be and an intuition that there was something more going on beyond the topic at hand.
Drawing on my practice, I let myself breathe with the agitation I was feeling and directed my awareness to the truth within even though it was a more subtle sensation. Grounding into the moment through the five senses helped keep the discomfort from building into a compulsion to lash out. While we ended on a “good” note, things still felt unsettled as we parted. I tried to stay with the conflicting inner stirrings about the interaction with a focus on compassion towards myself and my friend.
The next morning in meditation, I realized my deeper emotion of hurt. I worked to feel through that and to stay connected to the love I know to be at the core of this relationship by practicing Loving Kindness Meditation. Early that afternoon she texted an apology for being “off” yesterday and shared that she was going through some other, unrelated things that affected our conversation. I felt a huge relief and was so glad I didn’t fall into past patterns of letting my pain take center stage and create conflict. This is just one example of how working with our awareness can decrease stress, progress our personal growth and enhance relationships. Had I not invested my awareness towards more that my agitation, I would have likely experienced a lose of friendship.
knowledge or perception of a situation or fact.“we need to raise public awareness of the issue”synonyms: consciousness, recognition, realization2. concern about and well-informed interest in a particular situation or development.“a growing environmental awareness”
The mind tends to focus on pain, on discomfort. It’s part of human nature to do so and it actually serves a purpose as far as basic survival goes. Problem is, this dynamic gets in the way in more complex scenarios like the one above, or say…POLITICS (lol). Think of stubbing your toe. A toe is one small part of the body but man can it take all of our awareness! The same is true for when we’re triggered, i.e.. when we are scared, hurt, angry, ashamed, etc. We want to know what’s going to happen next when we are in a vulnerable state and we want to know we are in control. Reality is, that’s not how life works. Acceptance of what is is another place to invest our awareness that gives us a big return of peace and empowerment. Here are some other places to focus your awareness to gain more grace and goodness in life.
Yes, I know this is obvious but I find most people can use the reminder (myself included).
1. a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.
synonyms: aspiration, desire, wish, expectation, ambition, aim, goal
2. a feeling of trust.
All facts, not just the ones that align with your opinions, privilege or fear.
Scarcity is an expression of fear and limits potential, yours and others.
Find the common ground, the lessons, the grace.
All this is not to say to ignore what’s painful. Notice in my example above that I fully acknowledged my emotions. This step is imperative but be sure to also widen your lens to all the other aspects of your experience and the world as it is. Meditation is the best way to expand and direct awareness. Work your way up to twenty minutes a day for best results. I offer a new meditation every month in the Membership Area in addition to all the chakra meditations in the free Body Peace eCourse. Let me know how things are going in the comments below and stay connected (if you aren’t already) through my free monthly newsletter by signing up through the image to your left. Thanks for reading! Namaste.Share