Awareness Begins Within
Who are you? Wait- before you answer that, from who’s perspective are you answering? Are you the person that your friends make you out to be? Or perhaps you are who your parents have always told you to be. OR- more than likely, are you who one of your many social networks have claimed you to be? No, this is not the person I am interested in. I want to know who YOU are. Do you really know? In this rat-race of a fragmented world we live in, so many of us lose sight of us. I would even go as far as saying that many of us haven’t spent time with ourselves since our days on the playground, long before the onset of a strict schedule and a never-ending to-do list, back in a time when wonders and curiosity outweighed intellect and common sense. In fact, a recent study in ‘Science’ revealed that 67 percent of men would rather give themselves electric shocks than sit still in silence and be present with their own thoughts!
So today, I propose a challenge… GET TO KNOW YOURSELF. In a moment I will explain how to begin doing this and the importance of finding time for YOU. But first let’s account for the normal working man’s routine.
Most of our days are planned for us, most likely these days are over-planned. We bounce around from task to task working as efficiently as possible to achieve the “needs” of the day so that we may go home and drone away in front of our favorite TV program and nurse our emotional wounds from the day. We do all of this in an effort to have an even more “productive” day tomorrow. By Friday, we are dragging ourselves out of the office simply to “relax” and “unwind” for one and a half days before it is time to jump on the hamster wheel we call life yet again. So, today we are breaking the pattern. We’ll start small so as not to send the body into shock (We are not looking for a Peter from the movie “Office Space” situation). Just keep an open mind as you read and imagine how to work these simple steps and ideas in to your life.
Step 1. Utilize your breaks at the office.
Breaks are mandatory. For every few hours worked we must take a 15 to 30 minute break (depending on the shift). UTILIZE this time by giving yourself a real break. Go outside! Get out of your four walls and see the world while the sun is still hanging in the sky. Find a fountain, a tree or a quiet place where you can stop and take some very deep, drawn-out breaths and admire the beauty of the world around you. Notice the sun as it shines through the clouds, admire the crafting of the most tiny details in a leaf or a flower. The assignment here, is to shut off your mind but open all of your senses. Challenge yourself to feel, smell, see, hear and ABSORB the giving energy of the world all around. I call this “breathing in the world”. This is a very important concept in which I will detail a bit further down in this read.
Step 2. Plan some time for You.
This step is best executed in an outdoor environment where you can easily be one with nature and open up your senses to the beauty in the world around you. A few easy go-to’s are: fishing, surfing, hiking, going for a walk in the park, or riding your bike. If you are stuck indoors you can read for enjoyment, cook a new meal, do some impromptu yoga just by listening to your body, whatever you desire! Whatever you decide on, make sure it is something enjoyable and when you are doing it, relax and soak in every second of it. Be sure to take note of just how wonderful you feel afterwards so as to provoke another appointment like this again soon. Which leads me to my next point…
Step 3. Make You-time a part of your routine.
Aristotle defines a man as being “good” because of the conscious decisions he makes to be a better person. As you continue to do and act as a virtuous person, you eventually are no longer acting or trying, you simply are. That person is now you. When you look in the mirror, if you see a life that is missing some pieces, perhaps it is time to take a risk on acting a bit differently. If this different set of acts feels good to you and can help to improve your well-being and humanity as a whole than you have just introduced the world to a more advanced model or you. You have graduated, you have developed, you have elevated. Now repeat it! Why not?
So, what do I really mean by “breathing in the world?” Where do we go mentally and how are we supposed to effectively accomplish this? After all, if it’s supposed to be completely and utterly relaxing then we will benefit from a crash course on how to achieve this. So let’s begin with 5 minutes of your 15 minute work break and sequence the order in which a truly relaxing state can be accomplished (keep in mind that I offer only ways that have been effective in my own life. There are many ways in which the tranquil state we search for can be achieved). Let’s begin in our calm, natural environment, we’ll say a nearby park bench with a man-made water fountain spouting within earshot.
We will begin with some exceptionally deep, slow breaths; aim to expand your stomach, not your chest with each breath and allow for each new breath to draw deeper and deeper. Try to allow these breaths to flow through your nose and out effortlessly through both mouth and nose. Let your eye lids droop lazily, opening only slightly with each exhale and notice as they begin to get heavy as your ocular muscles are most likely taking their first break of the day. With your sense of vision slightly shut off, start to tune in to your other senses; feel the breeze ushering in new energy form the world around you, let it sway you as you deeply breathe it in. Listen to the water falling from its’ apex and reuniting with the pool it has now become reacquainted with below, once a single droplet it was weightless in the air and now joins in perfectly completing the body in which it began.
Now, so similar to this droplet, let’s imagine yourself. Let’s detach you from what makes you You and forget for this moment whether you are a CEO or a secretary, a democrat or republican, whether you are looking forward to finishing out your work day or not. For this moment you are a weightless droplet taking a birds-eye-view of your normal place in the world. For this moment you are above it all, in a higher state of consciousness and awareness to see yourself as you really are- a unique piece of an endless puzzle in which only you can fit into. Notice the gap that remains while you are away, you are one with the world, sharing the same energy that makes up the person closest and furthest from you, the same energy that is in the trees and the green grass in which they shade. We all share and we all transfer our energies to and from, back and forth, ebb and flow…
So, like the water droplet as it falls back to its place in the pool below, let’s begin our own descent from this higher place, and as we do so, lets make the conscious decision to return to our gap with a positive energy of love and humanity. Let’s decide to effect every puzzle piece that is touching us in a way that will brighten up their day. Who knows what they are going through, so why not be the light in the dark place for them, perhaps they are wilting and in desperate need of some of your positive vibrations. And fortunately for you, you’ve just become rich and overflowing with positive vibes, you have just earned the ability to share as much as you can.
So do it! And then take note of the way each smile that is returned your way lights your fire up more and more until you are a contagious mass of calming, energetic, beautiful prosperity, glowing with love and compassion. Your internal flame is glowing bright, you are powerful with energy, you are one with the world…
Dear (your name here), looking forward to our time together… -(your name here). If you didn’t understand it before, I hope you do now. And as your 5 minute break to turns into your full 15 minutes and eventually into entire hours and days of of tranquil mind-scape to further ignite your inner flame, you won’t have to struggle to find the time to work this in to your schedule on a regular basis. The free feeling of ecstasy and love is in every piece of the puzzle around you and it will only get stronger as your glow does. So, remember to harness your energy in a meaningful way. Because now that you really know YOU, YOU are more powerful than ever. So spread your light and be a positive change in a world so in need. And never pass up an opportunity to help someone else get to know themselves too.