“Awareness is like the sun. When it shines on things, they are transformed”
– Thich Nhat Hanh
What are the benefits of being aware? What does it actually do for us? Does it matter?
Yes. Awareness matters! The benefit of being aware is you are being mindful about how you live your life. Sharon Salzberg ,meditation teacher and New York Times best-selling author says, “mindfulness allows us to see our thoughts and feelings as they’re beginning and with mindfulness we choose what we will strengthen and bring into action and choose what we gently let go of.”
Without a doubt, something will happen during the day that is unexpected, unwelcome or makes us feel uncertain. When this happens, we can pay attention to how our body feels. Was our body tense? Butterflies? Anger? Fear? Aggression? Insecurity? Jealousy? The intention to pay attention to our emotions in any given situation is the practice of being self-aware. Self-awareness is defined as conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives, and desires.
Operating throughout the day in a state of awareness allows us to actively choose actions or ideas that are fair for us and those directly involved. If we allow negative emotions to control our choice of words or actions in a knee-jerk response, are we really living life purposefully? Is it bringing happiness into our relationships both personal and professional? Any time we allow our emotions to run our life without having the capacity to stop the unpleasant thoughts or words or actions from coming out of us, this is a sign. A sign that we’re ready to pursue new tools to navigate our daily life so that we can simply have a more pleasant day.
How do we shut down the unwanted emotions?
- Breathe. Breathe deeply as many times as necessary to disengage from the emotion. Feel the emotion becoming smaller, less significant and manageable.
- If unable to release the distressing emotion, gently remove ourselves when possible from the situation so that we are able to disconnect from the situation causing the emotional response. Our so called “trigger”. We are not a prisoner. We have a choice!
- Acknowledge our feelings. No judgment. Just say, “there is the anger” or “fear” or jealousy” and as Eckhart Tolle teaches, just watch it like an observer.
Remember, any emotion that is no longer welcome needs to be identified when it shows itself. Shine the light on the dark areas and when we do this, it can no longer hide from us! Addressing any unwanted emotion that disrupts our day will slowly help us fade it out completely, benefiting ourselves and everyone in our life. Is this not a desirable place to be?
Keep it simple,