The Art of Awareness

I challenge you to do nothing but be still and aware of everything that is going on inside and around you for the next minute.

It’s not easy.

As I take a moment to do this now I notice:

  • A dog barking in the distance
  • The hum of my computer
  • The tap of my fingers on the keyboard
  • The computer screen in front of me
  • My feelings of anxiety of the state of my business
  • My feelings of hope and anticipation over the possibility of new things to come from some emails this morning
  • The “oh thank god it’s done” feeling of having finally done my year end and prep for taxes
  • I am a little hungry
  • my breath

And that was just a less than one minute slice of life.  Chances are there were more things, but that gives you a bit of an impression of what a little awareness can give you.

And this is just surface awareness.

The deeper you go into yourself the more you discover and the juicier the discoveries tend to get.

There is a visual representation of “self” that I have seen done in several different ways, all of them essentially saying the same thing. Here is my favourite interpretation:

Imagine a diamond.

This is you, the true you, the core of your being. It knows your purpose in life and what you were meant to do. It knows the answers to all of your deepest questions.

For a while in life it was pure and there for all to see … then life happened.

Over the years the diamond gets covered in crap. We are told how to behave, what to do, when to do it, what to learn, what we are supposed to know and what we are supposed to pretend like we don’t know. So on and so on as society, parents, teachers, and others influence us and tell us who we should be.

This crap covers our inner diamond so thoroughly and completely that we forget our true selves, though we have this faint memory of what we once were, what we could be.

We don’t like this crap that is all over us, it feels icky and wrong so we create a layer of “personality” a false front that we show to the world so that they don’t see our crap. It could be a front of “control”, or “politeness”, or “nastiness” or any number of things, meant to protect us from having others see our crap, which by this point we start to think is who we really are.

And this is how most people go through life, with a false front that covers the “crap” they think is who they are, but is really the influence of everyone else, and having completely forgotten their true selves.

Kind of sad isn’t it.

Well when we start to build awareness, we start to notice things. The cracks in the facade, that the crap is really not us, but our gremlins and fears and history.

If we are diligent diggers of our awareness for long enough we hit pay dirt and find our true selves again.

THAT is the power of building awareness, the joy of discovering who you really are, underneath all the crap.

I think tomorrow I’ll go into how you can do a little of this digging.

Until then, keep laughing.

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