"Be aware of your surroundings."
How often have you been told those words or said a similar statement to someone you care about?
For most of my life, awareness implied hyper diligence regarding the behavior of others. It was an effort to protect myself, to ensure safety, to keep others from harming me.
You and I are missing an expansive understanding of awareness if we are only concerned with what others are doing. Would you join me for a few moments to take it inward?
As we ponder together words such as vulnerability, courage, and resilience, you and I begin to shift our consciousness. As individuals, we begin to think about what we are thinking. We begin to feel what we are feeling. We start to make sense of what motivates us. We begin to ask ourselves why we think, feel, and act in particular ways. You and I become aware. Our behaviors move out of the territory of reacting to others unconsciously and move into a state of responding consciously from our deepest beliefs, convictions, principles, and priorities.
Awareness is critical for the conversation we are having as a Living52 community. As we listen to others, we each have our inner dialogue about how the topic resonates and how we will knit the word of the week into the fabric of our being. We might stumble onto a concept for the first time. Maybe there is a shift or new way of seeing. Some of us are finding confirmation in the journey of self discovery. It is also possible that some of the ideas will irritate or cause discomfort among us.
Taking this dive together, with self awareness, we each become a more honest expression of who we are as individuals. And we learn how to more fully embrace each other in our differences.
Self awareness is a pause for going inside, and it will not take place without compassion, curiosity, and courage. Self awareness lends itself to agency, meaning you and I get to make choices for ourselves. Our behavior becomes more aligned as an outer expression of who we are on the inside- not as a group but as a unique individual.
Unlike a habit, self awareness is a practice. It requires a disciplined effort that happens on purpose. For some of us, the practice is new and we do not know where to start. For others of us, perhaps we are skeptical of its value. Today is as good a day as any to take a pause and initiate awareness.
Let’s carve out some time today to sit with a few questions for personal reflection. Grab a journal, a sheet of paper, or even the note app on your phone. Be honest with yourself as you reflect on these prompts. If it doesn’t come naturally, give it some time. And don’t forget to give yourself grace in the process. It takes courage to dig deep. Stay curious and try not to resist what bubbles up. Discover that it is okay to feel the big feelings that might emerge. We are not looking to criticize or judge ourselves as we recognize some tendencies. We are looking to grow and move into our wholeness.
What am I feeling in my body right now? (Ex. exhaustion, tension, energy...)
What am I grateful for today? (Be specific)
What is giving me energy today?
What is fear keeping me from doing today?
What is dominating my thoughts and attention today? Is there anything I can do about it?
What are these thoughts showing me about myself? (Ex. my feeling, my values, my reactions...)
This week's featured blog writer is Jennifer Mosburg. She's a wife and mother of two amazing boys and lives in Clinton, Oklahoma.