The key to truly living is to become aware. Awareness is the ability to perceive, to feel, or to be conscious of events, objects, thoughts, emotions, or sensory patterns. In this level of consciousness, sense data can be confirmed by an observer without necessarily implying understanding. More broadly, it is the state or quality of being aware of something.
Awareness in the moment, yes but even more so as a lifestyle. Awareness is dynamic and fluid. Often, awareness is used to recognize the present moment and promote mindfulness, however, awareness is also about knowledge. Knowledge that you acquire over a lifetime of practice, which builds and develops into wisdom. I like to be on my own. I will go to movies, on a hike, on a late night ocean swim, out to eat, to a concert, on a plane or on a road trip with me, myself and I. I always get the same reactions from friends and people alike “you’re crazy” they say or “why? I would never do that by myself”. Here, I find an opportunity to tell you why you can, you should and how it is crazy not to.
This is where you explore and only by exploration, you discover.
You explore the inner workings of your own mind: worry, stress, thoughts that come up or past experiences. You might notice how anxiety rises into your chest, or how you carry your nerves in your body. This is becoming aware, when you observe and notice you allow your subconscious to relax and let your conscious self lead the way. A good example of this is at the end of a movie when the credits start; everyone immediately gets up and heads towards the exit. Stay seated and just sit there. You may notice anxiety comes up and it makes you want to move, leave and go on to the next thing! But stay, sit, sit with these feelings and take a deep breath. There is no rush.
Another place this can happen is on your yoga mat. In class where you may or may not have mirrors in the room. Coming face to face with your Self, the thoughts and challenges that come up during class. Sometimes physical challenges, sometimes mental and at times both. You’ll notice your quick judgements toward yourself. Looking and comparing yourself to others in the room or judging yourself off the story that is your past….your experiences. Once, you bring your conscious attention to getting past yourself, you create room to breathe and you give others a chance to meet you there in that space and then you create your experience,you and the present moment and everything it brings.
“One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.” -Henry Miller
Life is ever-changing and the constant wrong here is believing that we are always right.
The absolute worst thing we can do is condemn ourselves to the point where we are missing out on some awesome, amazing parts of life.. living. You cannot see what you are not aware of, and in order to be aware you need to be open, open your mind, your heart and your eyes. Be conscious, be where you are. Don’t carry a victorious attitude feeling confident in the knowledge you hold because it can easily be ignorance.
The unknown, the unfamiliar and the uncomfortable to me is actually my idea of a good time. I explore different people, activities, cultures and I explore how I interact and maybe it’s awesome and natural. Maybe it is totally weird and a bit scary, but that’s okay. I notice it. I notice how I work with it or how I can handle it differently. It teaches and encourages you to find and celebrate these weird, unknown, unfamiliar, uncomfortable opportunities. Through my own experiences; With this key to truly living I will say you become more insightful, kinder and happier. You become more comfortable in the free-flowing movement of life and a little less satisfied with predictability. Stay hungry. You are the only common denominator to make any one thing the same, whether it is your consistent presence or your state of mind.
“Joy comes to us in ordinary moments. We risk missing out on joy when we get too busy chasing down the extraordinary.” – Brene Brown