TOP 1O TIPS FOR TRANSFORMING YOUR LIFE - TIP 4
Mindfulness is such a popular buzzword right now. A similar word that I prefer to use is awareness because it not only embraces our thoughts, it also connects us to our emotions, our bodies and to how we perceive the world around us without imposing judgements upon them. Awareness is about being present in this moment right now. Many of us get caught up in the confines of the past, or in our concerns about the future. The past is the past and it’s important to let it go. The future may be bright, but it too is just thought. What matters most is what is happening NOW because the present is all that we can control. Worry is a wasted emotion. Instead, practice awareness. Take charge of your future by shaping your present.
OPENING OUR EYES THROUGH AWARENESS
Once we are truly walking with our eyes open, we can begin to slow down and appreciate the beauty around us. There are tiny miracles occurring literally every minute of every day that most people miss because they are simply unaware. The same is true of speech patterns and behaviors which can have a huge impact upon our relationships. If we are more aware of how we speak, we might be prone to speaking more kindly.
Awareness is the greatest catalyst to growth in our lives. It allows us to push past our constraints and move toward our greatest freedom by learning new things, becoming open and growing our consciousness. If we are unaware of a problem or a bad habit, then we cannot fix it. There is great power in awareness because once we are aware we can work on ourselves and become better.
Awareness is about the internal learning process, as well as about being conscious of what is happening around us. Although we want to grow into our best selves, we also want to tread lightly and walk compassionately along our path. It is so important to be aware of those around us along the way, because what we do impacts others. As we grow in our awareness, it is sometimes necessary to shed some folks who want to hold us back because our growth scares them too much, and that is OK. Please, believe me when I tell you that those who TRULY love you will always find their way back to you. They may initially be uncomfortable and even insecure when you begin to make changes in your life, but in time they will most likely come around. My experience is that they do.
CREATING AWARENESS THROUGH YOGA
One of the reasons that I love yoga so much is because it is a beautiful practice for developing awareness for your mind, your body and your spirit. Yoga truly is the journey inward to the self. It is not about being flexible or doing fancy arm balances. It is about becoming the best versions of ourselves. As a yoga instructor, developing awareness within my students is one of my responsibilities. As I lead my yoga classes I often give three verbal cues that get my students into each pose and one verbal cue to help them understand how to feel or allow themselves to go where they need to go. For example, if I am leading them from downward dog into the warrior one position (photo above) I might say, “inhale stepping your right foot toward your right thumb, exhale lift arms and torso to gaze at the sun, knee directly over your ankle, now feel your legs with your hips squared forward. Sink a tiny bit lower continuing your steady breath.” As you hold this posture you will begin to feel something different every time that you practice it. Perhaps you are distracted and looking around the room at first, but soon you will be solely focused upon your body. Sometimes your legs may be shaking after three to five breaths and you cannot wait to move to the next pose. Other times you may feel mighty and strong. This creates a deep awareness on the mat and a body/mind connection. Over time that awareness begins to carry with you off of the mat and into your daily life. Not only does yoga create awareness, but it also improves many other aspects of your life. Click here to read my top ten reason to practice yoga!
Here's my Top 5 list to help you create more AWARENESS in your daily life:
- Start your morning by thinking of five things or people that you are grateful for. Before you even get out of bed spend five minutes just thinking about those thoughts and only those thoughts.
- Take five minutes on your lunch break to close your eyes for a moment. Just breathe in deeply and breathe out deeply. Keep repeating this for the full five minutes, but on each inhale take in a positive thought such as inhale acceptance, and then with each exhale let go of a negative thought. Release it with your breath letting go of judgement. Inhale Peace, Exhale chaos…..
- Look around all day. Really observe your world without judging or holding negative thoughts in your mind.
- Start a journal. Take notes of little the things that you notice each day. Your feelings, things you see, hear, smell, taste, like….
- Do one new positive thing for yourself and observe how it makes you feel and how long it takes to make that a habit in your life. For example, if it is a 30 minute walk by yourself without kids, or a date once a week with your significant other, or maybe a twenty minute power nap. Whatever it is that you feel would enhance your personal life.
Our goal in life in to be balanced, whole, healthy and happy. To achieve these things we must first practice awareness. We must be aware how we stand, the tone in which we speak, how we respond to others, how stress affects us… We must be aware of our future goals and our intentions. This is an important piece of the puzzle for that forward momentum. The quality of our lives depends so much upon us developing a strong level awareness both within our minds and our bodies, and with the world around us.
P.S. - You may also notice that your intuition begins to strengthen as your awareness grows. Nothing is a coincidence in my humble opinion. Everything is connected. What do YOU think? Please leave questions and comments below, and click on "Likes" if you enjoyed this post. We would love to hear from you! In our next blog post, Paul will show you why forgiveness is so important for a Total Soulful Journey.
Watch the short video above to learn more about creating self awareness in your life.
Next on up on the blog:
Forgive Yourself, and Then Others
Here's a reminder of what we are covering in this 10 part series:
Top Ten Tips for Transforming Your Life
4 Deepen your awareness
5 Forgive yourself, and then others (do not hold grudges)
6 Accept what you cannot change without judgement
7 Take the masks off and be authentic (vulnerability is a good thing)
8 Let go of what no longer serves your highest good
9 Practice gratitude
10 Trust the Universe