So many of us sleepwalk through our lives. We’re creatures of habit, being mindlessly shuffled along on a moving walkway that carries us through our days without much thought about the bigger picture, namely, what we want our lives to look and feel like … what we hope to both experience and contribute during our precious time on this planet. Self-awareness and living intentionally and mindfully take a back seat to everything else.
It’s really not surprising that for many of us, sooner or later, a sense of dissatisfaction and unease begins to emerge. It comes on slowly and tends to come and go at first. Eventually, the feeling that our lives have gone off-track takes hold and cannot be ignored.
Dissatisfaction in your life … on any level … is a call to greater self-awareness.
The Price We Pay for Shunning Mindfulness and Awareness Is Far Too High
Giving into mindless distractions to numb our pain too frequently (over-working, over-sleeping, over-eating, over-shopping, watching Netflix addictively, gambling too much, drinking too frequently, and more ) is a sign that we’re living mindlessly instead of mindfully.
We must look at ourselves over and over again in order to learn to love, to discover what has kept our hearts closed, and what it means to allow our hearts to open. -Jack Kornfield
Whenever you feel unsettled, unfocused, unsatisfied, unfulfilled, and unhappy … as opposed to feeling calmed by a deep sense of peace … your first questions should be, What’s going on? How am I living a life I don’t want to live and what do I need to learn about myself and my situation in order to change?”
Self-awareness informs all aspects of your life; without as strong sense of self-awareness coupled with a strong intention to live mindfully, you’ll live your life adrift … constantly longing for meaningful change, but never able to bring a life of deep satisfaction to fruition.
We do not have to improve ourselves; we just have to let go of what blocks our heart. -Jack Kornfield
The Power of Awareness and Living Mindfully
To be honest, I’m no expert on living in awareness and mindfulness. I’m just another person on the path who messed up on an epic scale and now I’m sharing what’s helped me find more peace and deep satisfaction.
It’s been a slow process yet I know the speed at which I’m transforming is just right, because life is not one single event but rather a series of small decisions and actions, when gathered up over time all contribute to the whole.
At any point in the journey we call life, we are all given the opportunity to change directions, and the choice to live more mindfully is a decision that changed my life forever.
Here’s a little back story about me. I’ll keep it brief, because the details aren’t what matters; what matters is the transformation.
I used to live my life in a dense fog. I thought I understood the rules of life. I worked hard in school and then (eventually) I got a good job where I worked even harder to climb the corporate ladder. My life centered around work, which worked for a time, but then I began feeling more and more uncomfortable.
I wasn’t happy. I was caught up in anxiety and depression. I’d adopted behaviors that seemed harmless at first but in time spun into full-fledged addictions that were affecting my health, my finances, my relationships, and eventually sent me into spiritual despair. I thought I had done what I needed to do to create a great life, but I was far too one-dimensional in my approach.
My life was seriously off-track. I’d reached what felt like emotional rock-bottom and I prayed for help … the most sincere, desperate prayers I ever uttered. I didn’t get what I expected, but rather what I needed.
My circumstances were not the first to change; instead, I had to focus on changing myself. Thankfully, the mentors and teachers and healers I needed started entering my life. Two of these teachers were Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield, best-selling authors, mindfulness and meditation experts, and founders of the Awareness Training Institute.
Tara says “The reason that Jack and I were inspired to form the Awareness Training Institute and create The Power of Awareness [our training program] is because we’ve witnessed how transformative awareness practices are for the thousands of people that we’ve worked with — people facing the greatest losses, caught in the grip of anxiety, or struggling with depression or addition. We’ve seen these people use this kind of training to find their way back to an inner place of balance, peace, and freedom.”
Today I practice meditation (it’s not as hard as you think!) and mindfulness every day. I relish in the newfound energy, joy, lightness, and fulfillment I’m experiencing on all levels. It’s as if through my prayers I was handed the real secrets to life. I now feel I have a deep inner calling to share what I’ve learned so others can experience this incredible life transformation, too.
Living Life with Greater Clarity, Joy, Compassion, Awareness, and Mindfulness
When you’re ready for change … when you’re willing to change yourself … the way appears.
I don’t know where you are on your journey, but if you’re looking for a greater sense of meaning, inner peace, and abundant joy, then I’m positive you will benefit from cultivating a state of mindfulness and greater self-awareness.
It’s time you take time for you. It’s time to feel vibrant and alive again. It’s time to let go of the negativity and blockages that are keeping you down and making you resent certain aspects of your life rather than living in a state of wellness and energy and creativity.
Each time you meet an old emotional pattern with presence, your awakening to the truth can deepen. There’s less identification with the self in the story and more ability to rest in the awareness that is witnessing what’s happening. You become more able to abide in compassion, to remember and trust your true home. Rather than cycling repetitively through old conditioning, you are actually spiraling toward freedom. -Tara Brach
I hope you make the decision to live fully and love well … and I hope that loving well includes loving yourself enough to listen to the messages in your heart right now. Right now you’re being called to raise the vibration of your life. Right now you’re being shown a path to approaching your life in a way that benefits you and all those you encounter. Right now is the time to say “yes” to you.
May you live in mindfulness and awareness and experience all the many blessings that are available to you through the choices you make. May you say with your whole heart and soul: I choose awareness. I choose mindfulness. I choose joy, abundance, peace, compassion, and above all, I choose love.
A LITTLE MORE INSPIRATION … MINDFULNESS AND AWARENESS AND LIFE TRANSFORMATION QUOTES
The willingness to empty ourselves and then seek our true nature is an expression of great and courageous love. – Jack Kornfield
If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath. – Amit Ray
Mindfulness means being awake. It means knowing what you are doing. – Jon Kabat-Zinn
The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently. – Pema Chödrön
Fear comes from uncertainty; we can eliminate the fear within us when we know ourselves better. -Bruce Lee
Staying occupied is a socially sanctioned way of remaining distant from our pain. – Tara Brach
Mindfulness isn’t difficult, we just need to remember to do it. – Sharon Salzberg
Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without. – Buddha
Everything is created twice, the first in the mind and then in reality. – Robin Sharma
Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. – Carl Jung
Wisdom tends to grow in proportion to one’s awareness of one’s ignorance. – Anthony de Mello
There is something wonderfully bold and liberating about saying yes to our entire imperfect and messy life. – Tara Brach
Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom – Aristotle
Life is a dance. Mindfulness is witnessing that dance. – Amit Ray
Meditation is not evasion; it is a serene encounter with reality. – Thích Nhất Hạnh
Self-awareness is key to self-mastery. – Gretchen Rubin
Observing desire without acting on it enlarges our freedom to choose how we live. – Tara Brach