What is Awareness?

Let's begin by asking the question, "what is awareness?" The Oxford University Press dictionary tells us that awareness is our "knowledge or perception of a situation or fact." A great definition, but let’s dare to take it a few steps further. Let’s define awareness as the connection we feel with the world around us. Let’s also include in the definition the satisfaction we feel with our own lives. For it is awareness that directly influences both of these things - the connection we feel not only with ourselves, but with the people with whom we share our lives, our jobs, the tasks we carry out each day, the Earth, our higher selves, and our sense of purpose. Awareness is part of it all.

Room To Grow in Awareness

Do you flow through life in auto-pilot mode?
Do you feel as if you’re walking through life with tunnel vision?
Do you feel disconnected from yourself and others?
Are you grasping for a sense of peace and purpose in life?

The answer to each of these questions and more lies with awareness. This knowledge and perception we have with our life situations can be honed in on, sensitized, trained, and utilized with amazing results. You can start today, right this very moment.

About Awareness

The ability to be aware of ourselves and our surroundings is an incredibly powerful gift. So powerful, in fact, that when move our awareness completely into the present moment, our entire being seems to wake up. The mind quiets, the spirit activates, and we are able to experience the sensation of intense inner stillness.

Let us remember that the only moment we have is right now. We do not have the future, we do not have the past. This moment is the only one that means anything.

Why then do we spend most of our lives identifying with the past and worrying about the future? These things do not exist and so do not matter. They have only the meaning we assign to them, and nothing more. Liberation comes instantly when you become truly present in each "right now" moment of your life.

It sounds so easy, and yet most of us live our lives in a perpetual state of non-awareness. Our bodies, minds, and spirits are so focused on other things that we fail to notice or even enjoy the only thing we know is true, the only thing we know we have for sure: right now.

Awareness tends to build in increments. It most often begins in the body and moves up to the mind before entering into the spirit. However, when faced with extreme circumstances, we can literally jump into a state of supreme spiritual awareness. You may have experienced this incredible jump into awareness if you've ever been in a highly dangerous situation or have been rendered speechless by an intensely beautiful scene. This state rarely lasts for long, as the mind and body take over almost immediately and bring us back into our habitual state of unawareness.

When we’re in this state of heightened awareness, however, our focus is trained entirely on the present moment. Past doesn't matter. Future doesn't matter. All that matters is right now. Colors seem brighter. Sounds have more depth. Smells are intensified. The mind quiets and even the quiet sounds of the breath or of a beating heart are intensely incredible things. Sounds great, doesn't it? You can learn to live in this way by beginning to strengthen your awareness. You can begin right now.

Beginning Awareness

Bring your awareness to the movement of your eyes as you read this sentence. Become aware of how often you blink, of the movement of your face, the position of your arms and legs. As you move through each mundane task in your life, move with complete and utter attention. Even the simplest of things - brushing your teeth, smiling - become extraordinary when done with awareness and exactness. The more you practice, the easier it is, and the more intense the feeling of awareness becomes.

Your work with the body will be complete when you begin to notice gaps in your mind’s constant, internal dialogue. When you notice these silences, begin to live in them. Close your eyes and be still with the silence that surrounds you and fills you. The lack of sound is overwhelming at first, and the mind’s chatter will inevitably jump back in to fill the stillness. Be patient and honor your place in the process. The gaps in dialogue will grow with practice.

It is important to use this mind-awareness to focus on releasing the identity you have with your mind. For it is the mind’s dialogue that keeps us trapped in the past and future, unable to fully move into the present. When your practice with the mind is complete, you will be able to use the mind only when you need it. No longer will you endure long nights of worry and inability to shut of your thoughts so you can go to sleep! You will be able to use the mind’s incredible ability to focus on the present moment in life and recreate those things that are no longer useful to you.

When you gain this control over the mind, you will find yourself able to move into intense spiritual awareness. This is the beginning of internal transformation, of complete spiritual bliss. You feel connected to everyone and everything. You feel a sense of heightened alive-ness. Every moment of every day turns in to something extraordinary, no matter what you’re doing, because you’re doing it with awareness.

As you move through your day, focus on practicing complete and utter awareness whenever and wherever you are.

Recommended Reading

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

Before You Go

Let us remember today to always honor our place and our process. Everything you need and desire is already within you.

Author's Bio: 

Katie is the creator of the Becoming Alive program – a program designed to transform your life from the inside out. For more information, visit www.becomingalive.com