“When you contain control of the internal direction of your attention, you will no longer stand in shallow water but will launch out into the deep of life”, as written by Neville in the Power of Awareness.Recently working with a client, she was so joy-filled in her practice of awareness. Awareness, as she described was like opening gift after gift. She couldn’t wait to see what the next gift contained.We went on to discuss how amazingly simple is the concept and practice of awareness, and how the gift of awareness is an incredible tool for leadership and life. Sure, becoming aware and practicing awareness may seem awkward at first, but it is like a muscle that hasn’t been exercised for a while. And with practice, awareness will become well-developed and second nature for you.How do we practice the art of awareness? Below are a few simple steps to move from the shallow water into the depths of life:
- Develop an awareness mindset. Think of awareness like breathing. Breath is required for life, just as awareness is required for living. Without awareness, we just go through the motions.
- Begin with self-awareness, going inward instead of observing outward.
- Just stop…thinking, doing, planning, and just be still (start with just a few moments and build your time each day).
- Write or journal every day. Don’t worry about editing or even what you will write. Just write whatever comes to you. You will see some patterns emerge.
- Sit with those thoughts and reflect on what you have written.
- Expand your inner, self-awareness to the external world; only this time, look and listen to the small things like the hum of the air-conditioner, the chirping of the birds, or the very tiny ant moving in front of you.
- Listen to what is not being said at the next meeting you attend. Observe the way your team members talk and move. What comes to light that you previously missed?
When you start practicing these activities, you will start to notice a completely new world. You will wonder when the birds moved into a tree near your back yard, notice how exquisite the mountains or sunsets look, and a host of other gifts that previously went unnoticed. You will find the beauty in new gifts arriving to and for you daily. You will find the extraordinary in the ordinary.I would love to hear your thoughts, which of these steps could you most apply in your daily life?All my best,Maria