I have been talking about raising our inner awareness. But how do we actually do it?
I was reminiscing the other day about an incident during my childhood or rather this memory during my professional studies days. I was taken to see many doctors to understand the cause of my chronic stomach ache issues. Numerous tests and changes of medications did not really help. Western medical science does not consider stress or tension as a factor for physical pain. So finally it was written off as stress being the cause of my chronic pain. I was advised by well-meaning people to try yoga or meditation? Learn to relax etc. Not one of them explained how to meditate or not get stressed or how one should relax? It was a puzzle. People gave me advice but didn’t help with understanding the process. It took me a journey of challenges to apprehend it.
But dear readers, you are soul crafters – because you decided to take charge of transforming your own life. You have already set yourself on that path. Do not get bogged down with terms like awareness, mindfulness. Agree, It is simple yet challenging to master. Sometimes we have things right in front of us and we do not realize their potential. We work and discuss complicated matters of the world, politics, war, and send space missions but when it comes to mastering our own awareness, we fall short. It is just a belief or mental block that it is difficult and is only for spiritually progressed people. I thought so too till some years back.
What is self-awareness?
Self-awareness needs auditing ourselves. If we are willing to do it, we have your awakening right here, today, and not sometime in the future. Self-awareness is also an important quality for emotionally intelligent leaders. Consciously and intentionally observing our thoughts, patterns, beliefs, actions can be developed with regular practice.
Anything that we practice becomes a habit and habit becomes ingrained as second nature which we do even without conscious effort.
How to develop the muscle of self-awareness?
Let us see simple ways where we can practice developing our self-awareness is in our daily routine activities which may seem mundane and needs to be ticked off from our checklist everyday.
- Activities like brushing your teeth, taking bath- You can feel the water, how it feels from head to toe while taking bath, is the water warm or cold to touch. Does it alter your state of mind, does it put you in a relaxed state, how does the water flow on your skin. What is the sound of water when it flows?
- Are we aware when we are eating or simply gobble up our food for lack of time? In India, we eat with our hands. One of the important practices why it is beneficial is because it raises your self-awareness and gratitude for the food we eat. Try doing this every time you eat your meals. Start with a small prayer. Touch the food, feel the texture of the food. Our digestion starts right from the time when we see, touch, smell not when we put it in the mouth. Eat small morsels and savor every bite and make a paste of the food before your swallow. One should chew your food at least 32 times before we swallow it. Physiologically it helps in digestion and you will have excellent gut health. At a sensory level, you satisfy all the senses of smell, touch, taste deeply improving the awareness in your being. You will end up eating lesser quantity but feeling deeply satisfied and fulfilled. This was the exact takeaway that we heard from our guest Velu Jayaprakash in the Episode 4 Soul Sunday series (Podcast). You can add more activities to this exercise and increase your level of awareness.
- Increase your focus while walking, running, or any physical activity. Be there, be present.
Let us go a step further and not just talk!!
Let me keep aside the information and concepts about energies and let’s jump into doing a short guided meditation.
The best and easily available tool for practicing our awareness is our breath. This is a simple meditation that you can understand and practice anywhere you are. Use it before you are entering into that important discussion, interview, meeting, or presentation. You can use this as a calming, relaxing technique if you feel restless, agitated, irritated, upset, anxious, or angry. Once our awareness develops, we can start apprehending the change in our energies around us better. It will just take a maximum of 10-12 mins to do it. With practice, you can extend the time as per your convenience. This is the meditation that I use in my programs too called the Focus-breath meditation. This is a small gift from me to my readers.
Sit in a calm, undistracted space on a comfortable chair. Follow the instructions in the guided meditation. There is a part in the meditation where I will not be giving any instructions. Keep your eyes closed & Use that time to get your focus to your breath. Be gentle to yourself. The mind will wander but gently remind yourself back to bring your focus back to the breath.
FOCUS BREATH MEDITATION
You can skip to 11:14 in the below video where the Meditation begins.
Stay in this space for as long as you like!!! Peace, Love and Light!
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