People often say, “I don’t have time to sit. I don’t have time to listen. I don’t have time to free write.” To which I respond, “You must deliberately take the time.”
Setting aside time to be aware—to listen to your inner dialogue, to be curious about the stories that have dictated your life thus far, to begin to understand the way your thoughts and words and beliefs can hold you back from being all that you truly are—that’s not a luxury; that’s not a negotiable item. We must do this to be well, to live fully and completely, to thrive.
The resistance that comes up when beginning mindfulness practices usually comes from the ego, the conscious mind panicking. Because the ego knows that if you go deeper into your subconscious, the ego will no longer play the role of executive director.
The ego wants to keep its job. And the ego thinks its job is to keep you safe. But true safety comes from within; true safety comes from our inner voice, our inner knowing, our inner wisdom.
When we resist awareness, it’s often because we are comfortable (or at least we think we are). It’s easier to not look or listen to our inner dialogue. It’s easier to just run on autopilot, telling yourself everything is FINE as is.
Is it though? Is “fine” what you want? Is “fine” good enough?
Fine leads to a linear, one-sided experience. “Fine” goes through the motions, gets things done, yes, but ultimately leaves us feeling unfulfilled, unsatisfied, and disconnected—not only from ourselves and our truth but from everyone we encounter.
If we can sit with ourselves and notice, breathe, be aware, and listen, then we can begin to transform on a deep level—true, revolutionary, expansive changes. An introspective, inquisitive, childlike curiosity stimulates this transformation process.
“Oh, what is this feeling? What do I notice in my body when I feel this? Why do I think this? How can I shift my perspective? How can I be open to other ideas? Be open to reframing this old story? To operating from my heart instead of my mind? What can I learn from this?”
An inquisitive, exploratory nature as we connect with our inner listening—without judgment, without beating ourselves up for whatever it is we believe or think we know to be true (which is usually based on formative experiences and subjective reality or perception)—helps us zoom out and gain clarity and awareness from an observer perspective.
We are multidimensional beings. We have a physical self, an emotional self, an intellectual self, a spiritual self. These are all equally important facets of our being, of this human experience. We encounter challenges in our life to encourage our evolution, our growth.
We can learn and grow more from challenges—and our responses to them—than we can by coasting through our experience without awareness and deeper thought. Creative thought. Expansive and exciting thought.
Awareness is everything. My hope is this: that you gain an appreciation and understanding of the inner workings of your mind and heart and soul; that the next time something happens and you react quickly and intensely, you hear a little voice inside your head asking, “Why did I react so explosively to that? What’s going on for me? What am I feeling that this was my knee-jerk reaction?”
Because that, my friend, is how we shift, that is how we begin to transform: by asking the questions, by being curious, by becoming aware. That’s all it takes.