“Awareness is the first step in transformation. Awareness can lead to change. So what is it we become aware of? Ideally, we become aware of our own conditioned mind. We become aware of the chronic ‘less than glorious’ thoughts we think and speak.
Hopefully, we become able to recognize that which limits us and holds us back from being, doing and having what we want. We realize what the prior ‘bad’ conditioning is so we can drop it, move beyond it or change it. What happens if we don’t become aware?
We stay as we are. We don’t know what we don’t know. How could we be aware of what we aren’t aware of? If we don’t realize there is a problem we wouldn’t do anything to make it different, would we? So awareness must be that which precedes changing.
Awareness Precedes Change – Acceptance Follows
This is a bit tricky. How do we become aware of what we aren’t aware of? Somehow, something comes to our attention. If and when it does it presents us the opportunity to examine it and potentially alter it. Just becoming aware of something first might alter it.
If you were in a dark room, no light, and didn’t know there were any doors and windows, but somehow you safely made it over to a wall, you could feel your way around the room until you discovered a door or window you might use to leave from. Right? Get it?
The discovery makes new choices available. Prior to this awareness you might not have any idea you could leave, even though you may have wanted to. Anything is possible and I could belabor this point but I hope I don’t have to. Once we become aware we have choice.
Become Aware Of The Space Between Your Thoughts
We have new choices. When we decide on one of the choices things may alter. When they do, how they do, what they do, prior to choosing is unknown to us. Once we make the choice and act we are accountable for what happens. After all, it was our choice. We acted.
We decided and whatever follows our decision, follows our decision. While we might want to know the consequences in advance of choosing, often we can not. We find out only after the choice is made. If we made the wrong choice we can choose again. Hopefully.
The mirror reflects what it is in front of it. It may not realize that it reflects anything. It misses that it reflects because it has reflected for so long. Reflection is what it automatically does. It is habit for the mirror. It is not conscious or aware that it reflects. It just reflects.
Become Aware Of The Silence Between Your Words
If it could become aware that it automatically reflects, then it might have a choice whether it wanted to continue or not. Does this make sense? It isn’t a perfect analogy, of course. Hopefully, you get where I am going with this. We project. Automatically, we project.
We automatically assign meaning or value or motive to other people’s words and actions. We project our narrative onto their statements and twist them to our ways of thinking without realizing we are doing it. We do this to ourselves as well. We project on us.
We assign reasons and motives to our thoughts, words and actions which, according to research, which I don’t have space to get into here, may not be accurate at all. Reference research and conclusions made in split-brain operations. See Michael Gazzagnia et al.
Become Aware Of The Space Between Musical Notes
We have a narrative that we unconsciously, habitually, automatically, use to assign meaning to our thoughts and behaviors. We may not even realize this. It is too close to us. It is so close! It is our thoughts and our self talk. We just ‘DO IT’ albeit without choice.
IT IS our conditioning AND we can’t see it. We don’t realize what our conditioning IS because we are using it to navigate the world. So we do it repeatedly day in and day out UNTIL that moment we become aware that we WERE and ARE conditioned to think and act in ways.
THEN, possibly, ONCE noticed, we can choose whether to continue or not. Either we drop it or we don’t. OR we attempt to drop it only to discover it isn’t as easy as we hoped because we find ourselves operating from that which we want to change again and again.
Focus On Your Breath – Be Aware When Your Mind Wanders
Get it? We attempt to drop it and break free but it is a deeper, more ingrained, issue than simply changing a shirt that got stained. We try to remove our programming only to find ourselves ‘doing’ our programming again and again. AHHHH the beginning of awareness!
That is what we become aware of. Those times we fall back into our habits and our conditioned patterns. After a while we begin to realize when we are doing ‘the old thing’ yet again. Time after time. It requires practice, this awareness, just as juggling does.
Over and over again we toss balls up. We get so far and then we drop one or more. Again we do it. Again we drop some. It is called practice. Eventually, we drop fewer times and keep balls up in the air longer. Eventually, we get better at it. Then even better and better.
Become Aware When Your Self Talk Is Negative And Stop It …
As long as we continue to practice correctly, we can continue to improve. If we practice the wrong things we won’t get as good of results as we hope for. We will practice and get the wrong things . If we quit at any time we won’t the results we want. We have stopped.
We can practice awareness. We can practice choice. We can get better at it the more experience we have with it. First, we must become aware. That is what we are MOST blind too. That is what we notice least, but when we do, opportunity abounds. It always does!
Opportunity is always there we just aren’t aware of it much of the time because of the blinders we wear. Our blinders ARE the conditioning we live from. Again, we don’t know what we don’t know. We can’t know it. PLUS, what we know may be wrong!
… Gently Change Your Self Talk Into Positive Self Talk
If we think it isn’t we are misguided. If it is correct and we think it isn’t we are also misguided! Accurate thinking is very difficult to achieve because few, if any of us, have been exposed to it, or taught it, or condition to it, growing up. Most of us were conditioned well.
Well, but poorly. We learned limitations and reasons why ‘we can’t’ over reason why we can. We learned to doubt, to fear and to be anxious. We learned to excuse, find reasons and blame ourselves, others and the world for why we aren’t enough. We learned wrong.
We got bad information, without realizing it was bad info, and we continue to live from it 10, 20, 50 years later. Many continue because they never become aware that they were well-programmed with bad info. It is like having a great computer with faulty software.
Notice When You Feel Less Thank Glorious And Change It
Unless, one realize the software is the issue the bugs, glitches or failures continue. The computer doesn’t know it is running faulty or bad software it just runs what it was provided to run. This is similar to most of us. We just run on and on and on the same programs.
Unless, or until we become aware that we don’t have to. Then, we can seek to change it. Perhaps, that moment, of awareness is explosive enough transformation and everything changes in an instant. Perhaps, it is only the beginning of a whole new way.
It may only be the beginning but it may be a powerful one. A small opening can be powerful. A small, tiny degree change in course, can lead to hundreds of thousands of miles difference over time and space. A baby step can lead to monumental change. Its an opening!
Stay Positive – Stay Gentle – Nurture And Encourage
Become aware! How? That is the question. That is what we will continue to explore in these blog pages. As always, your comments and questions are welcome. Awareness is the beginning, the first step in change. If you want to change awareness is critical.
The second step is acceptance. Future posts will explore these key concepts. Meanwhile, become aware of the power of gratitude. How? Through practice! If it remains only a concept it will remain only a concept. Practice it and you can discover many new things.
Find more and more to be grateful about. Notice it. Notice why you appreciate people, places, things, activities and information in your life. Write it down. It helps to write things out. List them. Do it daily. Scan you experience, past and present, and discover what is good and new you can feel grateful for. Celebrate everything!” Rex Sikes
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Horizons photo used with permission of Phil Koch.
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