The following notes are my own personal view point on what Awareness is and in no way do I profess this is the “right’ definition. This is a distinction that I hold true for myself and it is rooted in my work and in my life. It’s not always easy to cultivate personal awareness in ourselves and being more aware is an ongoing part of my personal development – I need to first be able to ‘see’ things about myself before I can fully understand who I am.

Awareness is the process of becoming an observer of myself and my world. Noticing things about me and the world around me that I didn’t notice before. As I become good at this, as I practice this, I begin to notice the gap between the vision I have of myself and the actions I take to make that vision a reality. The challenge is to continually notice that which I didn’t notice before. It takes practice and focus so I keep a simple questions at the forefront of my mind to help me- “What can I see, feel, think, know, smell, touch that I didn’t before?” or “What is really going on here for me?” “what’s true for me right now?”

When I am at low levels of awareness, I often feel like there are few options available to me. I am closed, I feel stuck and I simply cannot “see” many choices. In that mode I am resentful, angry at life, and I am often experienced by others as being dull, stuck, angry or cynical. As I expand my awareness, I am able to see new possibilities and others experience me as being open, alive and vital. There are always options and choices available when I am aware. For me it doesn’t do me any good if I’m claiming to be “aware” and yet fight taking responsibility for my experiences, reactions, interpretations and quality of my life. In my opinion when I am not willing to take responsibility for these things then the quality of my life suffers and things in my life that could be relatively easy become hard and a struggle. It takes courage and strength to continuously look at myself and ask “what can I own about what’s happening here? How did I play a part of how its going?”I look deeply at things for the root cause and the truth.

I begin to see how I am in certain situations, what sort of conversations or occurrences at home or at work trigger me into specific reactions or responses. The challenge is to begin to see myself as I am with other people. The cultivation of awareness is a life-long process that begins with the simple declaration, ”I choose to be more aware.”

We all have what we call an observer. This is the little voice in our heads. The voice that constantly talks to us and tells us what we think, feel, like, don’t like. It tells us who we are, who we have been and, if we’re lucky and practice changing the voice in our heads, who we can become. It has taken years for me to understand this voice and to become curious about the dialogue within me. I need to pay close attention to what triggers it’s responses and as I expand my internal awareness, I practice “Observing my Observer”. This means, I pay close attention to what the voice is saying in my head that is true or not true for me in that moment. Not easy to do and so important for this distinction.

When I am aware of myself, I am more in touch with everything and everyone around me. When I’m not practicing awareness, I feel asleep and as if I’m missing out on the full experience of my life. There is always something to learn about myself when I am practicing being more aware. There is always a place to grow, a place to discover and a place to be surprised. And for me, that’s a life worth living- one that keeps me fully awake!

I hope you have enjoyed this posting on Awareness. Perhaps it has helped inspire you in some way to grow your own personal Awareness. Again, its all about “choosing” it first. “I choose to be more aware”

Some great resources for Cultivating Awareness are “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle, “The Mindful Leader” by Michael Carroll and “Loving What Is” from Byron Katie.

I hope you have a fabulous month of May. I look forward to hearing from you on this posting and possibly some of the other ones that will follow each month.

With respect, Elisa Palombi

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