In my work with clients I talk a lot about becoming conscious. What does that mean anyway and why should it be important to you?
Because that is where our freedom lies!
Freedom from the mind and its relentless untruths
Freedom from reactivity
Freedom from feeling like a victim
Now we have the power to choose in every moment.
So did you know we operate out of our unconscious mind a whopping 95% of the time?
No wonder we snap at our kids, fly into road rage, and work ourselves up into a frenzy at the slightest stressor (more to come on stress- stay tuned!) We are just a great ball of reactivity.
So how do we tap into that elusive 5%? The answer lies in awareness. Pure awareness. In shifting from doing to being. We are human <i>beings </i>after all. Some other words used to describe consciousness are mindfulness, presence, and attention.
Psalms in the old testament of the Bible says, “<em><span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>Be</span></em> still and know that I am God” That is a wonderful quote to repeat while deeply breathing to bring yourself into the present.
Minfulness is defined by John Kabat-Zinn as moment-to-moment, non-judgmental awareness. I like the simplicity of this description.
It forces us into the present moment. It yanks us out of the past and brings us back from the future. So often our minds are in one or the other, past or future. Rarely just the now. Now is all we have my dear reader!
So how exactly do we do this? We are just noticing what is going on in and around us without judging it or labeling it as bad <i>or</i> good. Eckart Tolle calls this being the “distant observer”. That you are the one noticing what is going on in your head and around you in your environment.
Imagine yourself coming outside of yourself and hovering in the corner of the room. As though there were 2 of you. One is immersed in doing with the inner dialogue of the mind going full speed ahead. The other one of you is the one observing you. That is presence. Awareness aware of itself.
When integrating mindfulness or consciousness you are the one that is noticing. This is your true self. The false self is on the other side of the room doing the dishes while ruminating over the comment your boss made and how you wish you would have replied differently.
You are that pure awareness who is observing without judgment. And in that moment, just by bringing attention to the moment, you are conscious. You have released yourself from the prison of your mind.
In the next installment we will dive into what comes next. Because after becoming present you open yourself up to release yourself from destructive patterns and slow their momentum.
Thanks for reading and I hope this helps to create an opening in discovering a different approach to relating to problems in your life.
Hilary Akman, LPC