As I was reflecting on my last post about ‘letting go,’ I realized that without a certain level of awareness, it is difficult to know what you may be holding on to or what needs letting go… For many of us, we act out of habit and routine, and it takes being able to pause and pay attention to make a different choice.
Cultivating awareness can be done in a different ways. For me, my practice is meditation. For some, this may feel a bit daunting. In our effort to want to do it right, we often end up overthinking things. If sitting on the cushion feels overwhelming for you, work on being present with what you are doing in the moment. We all multi-task as it’s part of the culture, but when you do this, it’s impossible for your mind to truly take in all the details of what’s happening. This can lead to numbing out and not engaging fully in anything you are doing. If you are eating a meal, then simply focus on eating and tasting each bite. This is a practice of awareness all on it’s own and it will likely be very tempting not to be doing something else at the same time. Notice if that desire to focus elsewhere arises and commit to only doing that ONE thing for a certain number of minutes. It will get easier over time.
When we begin to tune into our minds and bodies in this way, we notice the ideas, thoughts, and beliefs that are the basis of our behavior more clearly. As we notice what is underlying all the chatter in our mind, lots of insights may come up about why particular relationships are they way they are or why you may feel stuck in a certain area of your life…cultivating spacious awareness is like clearing the clutter in a closet. It definitely can be a scary task, but when you do it, you’ve gotten rid of what you don’t need and have lots of more space!