Awareness is a cornerstone of this practice and towards living a life with optimal health and wellness. I believe everything begins with cultivating personal awareness. When we develop awareness we can then notice patterns that deplete us, interrupt them with care and are then empowered to choose patterns that nourish us. Awareness-Care-Empowerment (A-C-E).
I like to call our minds the theater of our thoughts because it is a constant parade of characters, voices and perceptions. We are masters in creating thought but not always at being aware of their influence and pervasiveness. Our thoughts compose our lives and personalities so thoroughly and yet more often than not we leave them unexamined. If you accept that you can change your life by shifting your thoughts, then paying attention to your thoughts is critical. It’s all about awareness and moving closer to your version of unconditional self-love.
To some extent we have forgotten how to be aware. This is no surprise considering we are constantly bombarded by information and conditioning.
‘Awareness practices’ allow us to possibly reconnect to ourselves and the world around us and within us. Through the ability of self awareness we can learn so much about ourselves and affect incredible shifts in certain patterns that diminish or limit us in everyday life. We can grow our ability to understand other points of view, engage in authentic communication and allow our awareness to bring us more gently into balance with ourselves, others and the world.
Through the engagement of awareness I feel anything is possible as we take off our ‘blinders’ and see more possibilities for how we choose to think, feel and live. How incredible to have the ability to grow (and possibly change) each day by directing this ability of awareness.
I see so many ways in which we are generally taught (or have learned) from birth that most of what we seek is ‘outside’ of us instead of within us. It’s almost like reaching into the dark looking for your glasses while all the while they rest upon your nose. Self awareness (along with so many of our skills) offers each of us a unique resource right there within ourselves. Why is the first place we look every day not within?
I rarely think you will ever find your ‘glasses’ out there but rather deep within yourself and the nature of being human……our capacity to cultivate awareness, engage thought, create choice and adopt change. All of these lie within each of us (along with our ability for love and compassion). Yes, it looks different for each of us but it is generally there within us all……at times ‘hidden’ but not necessarily more than a seed beneath the soil.
This also speaks to our ability to be in touch with our intuition. Intuition is knowledge or understanding of a situation developed through experience. This knowledge can manifest when there is a clear channel and the clear channel can only happen if we make space for it. This means letting go of agendas, attachments and expectations to the degree that they impede the practice of listening to the present moment. It is also letting go of judging our own intuitive process, that of others and the unfolding process. Being aware of your inner symphony of voices (judges, critics, cheerleaders etc) helps you be more fully present and able to make different choices. The commitment should be to what is happening in the present while bringing wisdom from the past.
I believe in the power of awareness, meditation and guided imagery for health and wellness. Often these tools can teach us about relaxation along with developing our awareness.
Many of us know that relaxation is good for us but we are seeing more and more comprehensive scientific studies to back this up. One study at Harvard Medical School discovered that, in long-term practitioners of relaxation methods such as yoga and meditation, far more ”disease-fighting genes” were active, compared to those who practiced no form of relaxation.
In particular, they found genes that protect from disorders such as pain, infertility, high blood pressure and even rheumatoid arthritis were switched on. The changes, say the researchers, were induced by what they call ”the relaxation effect”, a phenomenon that could be just as powerful as any medical drug but without the side effects.
The experiment, which showed just how responsive genes are to behavior, mood and environment, revealed that genes can switch on, just as easily as they switch off. Deep relaxation truly changes our bodies on a genetic level.
Just a few of the benefits of meditation/relaxation are: it is calming, anti-inflammatory, increases immunity and is emotionally balancing.
I offer many different tools but much of my practice is steeped in developing awareness and a balance of relaxation with active inquiry, whether through somatic practice or if it is thought based.