Awareness – step one to real change…
…and greater happiness!
The deeper I get into this journey of wholeness, and my personal transformation, the more important I realize one factor is: Awareness.
In my keynote speech, Put Yourself in the Equation & Transform Your Life, I talk about how once I became aware of what I was practicing in my life that wasn’t working for me, it got uncomfortable. And then almost impossible to ignore. That’s when I decided I had to do something about it.
When the unconscious became conscious — that’s really when my transformation began. Why? Because it opened me up to the possibilities and opportunities for change when they presented themselves. Before that, I wasn’t looking. I wasn’t open. And I had lost hope for a different life. I was just going through the motions of my day and my life giving everything to everyone else and believing I wasn’t deserving or capable of something better. I had convinced myself that this wasn’t so bad and maybe this was to be my life path.
It was only when I stopped long enough and was brave enough to ask and answer big questions that I became aware of the truth and was willing to face it. I realized that I wasn’t even in the equation of my own life. And, that continuing on the path I had carved for myself — working 12 to 18 hours days, 7 days a week in my start up marketing business, not sleeping, and living on a diet of fast and processed food — doomed me to a small and unfulfilling life. An unhealthy life that had cut me off from true romantic love and — worse — was likely to be cut short by stroke, diabetes, or heart disease because all three run in my family. I knew then that only I could change it. And I had to do something.
This morning two things came across my email that caused me to drop everything I had planned and blog about awareness.
The first, was this quote by C.J. Jung and subsequent question from my friend and leadership and life coach, Marcia Hyatt. The quote is: “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” – C.J. Jung. Marcia then poses the question: “What helps me be more aware?”
I love this question. What helps me become more aware now is to notice when I’m closing off or shutting down. When this happens, I become very curious about what is going on with me. Sometimes I become aware of what’s happening right away. Sometimes it takes days or weeks to process, and I have to really just keep noticing what’s happening. Curiousity helps me become more aware. And it’s kind of fun to be the explorer of your own life, if you’re brave enough to go there.
So thank you Marcia Hyatt for the reminder, the great quote and the question. It’s on my radar again this week as I face some big questions about the future for myself.
The second thing that came across my email this morning, was a blog on Positively Positive by Bethany Butzer titled: “Where are your blind spots?” I’m not sure why this one caught my attention at first but if you are feeling lost or stuck, I suggest you read it. What struck me was her learning/advice to: “Keep a Close Eye on Your Patterns. And Don’t be Afraid to Take a Different Perspective.” And this one: “Sometimes we get so trapped in our expectations that we don’t allow space for new opportunities to arise.”
In the blog, Butzer encourages us “Not to be afraid to ask for what you want. And expect it.” Yikes! I’m in the throws of practicing this one right now. Sometimes it’s scary to ask for what we want because we might not like the answer we get back, we might be rejected, or worse realize we have to move on. But if you don’t ask for what you want, how can you ever be happy or live a whole life? We all deserve that. So I’m choosing to go for it, no matter the consequences. And it’s not comfortable or easy.
I also love her list of questions at the end of the blog. I think they apply to becoming more aware. The list includes:
What opportunity am I not noticing that’s right in front of me?
Where am I getting upset when I could be focusing on the gifts that I have in this moment?
What am I taking for granted?
In what ways am I trying to force an outcome, as opposed to surrendering to what is?
What are my blind spots?
Where am I afraid to ask for help?
Where am I not trusting that I’ll be taken care of?
These two pieces were extremely helpful to me today. I hope you find them useful, too, and aren’t afraid to open yourself up to greater awareness. It is the first step on the path to getting what you really, really want.