The Art of Awareness #2 – How to Build Awareness

I am taking most of today’s post from a good book called: Taming Your Gremlin: A Surprisingly Simple Method for Getting Out of Your Own Way by Rick Carson.

The key and core of what Rick talks about is this: Simply notice.

It comes from the ZEN theory of change, which is:

I free myself not by trying to be free,  but by simply noticing how I am imprisoning myself in the very moment I am imprisoning myself.

In addition to this Rick mentions the following (translated) phrase from Lao Tsu (generally considered to be the founder of Taoism 2500 years ago):

Simply notice the natural order of things.  Work with it rather than against it.  For to try to change what is only sets up resistance.

Awareness, Rick says, is not about “trying” or “figuring out”, because these more ‘active’ methods tend to only get to mired deeper in the “crap” of your life.

Instead, do not try, simply notice. Do not ‘think about’, simply notice.

There are three “realms” into which we can choose to simply notice:

  • Your Body
  • The World Around You
  • The World of Mind

Awareness of all three is needed to live a full and healthy life.

Also you can only ever be aware NOW.  You can ‘think about’ the future or the past, and be aware that you are doing so, but awareness always happens in the here and now.

So be careful about how you enter the world of mind. As long as you are entering it by choice and with awareness, then there is no problem. Otherwise, it can be the realm of gremlins who want to make you “think about” all sorts of things that will affect you in any number of negative ways”.

There are many steps to building awareness and the book goes through them in detail, but I’ll summarize them here.

  • Be aware of your body – your skin – which is where you end and everything else begins.
  • Be aware of your emotions (and how you respond to them) – no emotion is bad but it is instead our responses to them that dictate how we think about them and what we then do with them as a result.
  • Be aware of your habits for responding to other people.  This is how you will act given a certain situation with a certain type of person.
  • Be aware of your self-concepts, this is what I referred to in the last post as the “personality” you put on over your “crap”.  Rick refers to it as simply an act, and it is OK to have ‘acts’ but we need to be aware that it is just an act and not our true selves.
  • Be aware of your beliefs (Rick calls them “concepts of what is so”).  These are the things you hold to be true (whether they are or not).  I say that last part in parenthesis because very rarely are any of our beliefs based purely in fact, they are instead based on our perception of fact.

This is not as simple or easy as it sounds (if it does sound simple or easy).

This is a process that takes time.

The key to remember is to … say it with me now … simply notice.

And in our busy, rush-around, results-now society I hear you say …”But what good is all this simply noticing?  What can I DO with it?”

The answer is simple.  You can find yourself.

Because once you have noticed all of the above, and become aware of your gremlins and your “crap” you can start to discard it and simply notice the wonder and beauty of your true self!

THEN – you are at choice and can decide what you wish to DO  with this amazing new discovery.

If you want any help along this road of awareness, simply noticing, and discovery, I am here to help.  Drop me a line and I’ll help you through this process.  Honestly, this is the part of coaching that I really like working on.

Because you can’t really have a life of lasting joy, until you know who you are, and are living in accordance with that.

Keep laughing.

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