The following is a post by a new monthly contributor to this blog, ZF, about his view on awareness. Enjoy.
There is something fascinating about awareness, our abiliy to step back and see things in a different light – when we choose to, of course. So much time and energy is wasted in our daily lives when we are stuck in our ways, married to our beliefs, and therefore see nothing but what our heads tell us to see in front of us.
At any time, you can choose to view things from the perspective of the soul – the still part of you, the true “I.” You let your true “eyes” see things as they are, without panic, without letting fear and other emotions take you to places you ultimately would rather not go. How is this accomplished? By creating distance from your mind – your thoughts, your physical self – and letting the silent witness observe what’s there. Every time I do this, I realize there’s more to the picture than I am seeing, and what a difference that makes! I may still be afraid, or angry, or sad, but then THAT becomes the thing (the emotion) that needs my attention, not the reaction to it. I am then able to pay attention to what I’m feeling rather than being consumed by the reaction that wants to take over (the mind, the ego).
It’s not easy, of course, at least not at first, and requires practice to strengthen the muscle. But next time you are spinning out of control – thinking too much, talking too much, doing too much, reacting in a negative way to the smallest things – ask yourself what is truly happening, how could it all be so convoluted if not for your actions and your own perspective? Who is the “Convoluter” creating all this chaos? The mere asking will create space and allow you to see better what is going on. To see that you are not your thoughts, you are not even your emotions – those are all a part of our false identification. We are beings – beings who have experiences, who feel, who are here to evolve. Our true selves are much grander and much more expansive than we even allow ourselves to know.
The more you practice this, the more you will begin to see life differently – your work, your time with people, your time alone. This isn’t to say that you won’t feel things in the process! Of course you will, but by spending time with your emotions – without letting them consume you – you will have an opportunity to learn something about yourself.
It’s a different way of looking at life and a way to live it more richly and fully. Relationships blossom and the world around you is very different, because you’re different and you start seeing everything in a new light. This reminds me of the following quote:
“When you change how you see the world, your whole world changes.”
It starts with you.
It’s a work in progress, no doubt, and it’s completely useless to bash on one’s self because one is not yet “there.” Getting there takes time and patience. I’m living proof and there’s no rushing it, only gently trying to create that space over and over again till it becomes the normal. After all, practice doesn’t make perfect, it makes normal. And what a wonderful way to live when full awareness is our everyday norm. ZF.