you’ve been to the personal growth section of your local bookstore lately, it’s
likely you’ve seen books written on the topic of mindfulness. It’s become a bit
of a buzz word. The concept of mindfulness has to do with being focused, paying
attention, considering your environment and the people in it when making
choices for you and your life. Sounds good, right? What’s wrong with thinking
about things and people other than yourself? While there is nothing wrong with
mindfulness, it is not without flaws and limitation.
requires the individual to work hard continuously. It requires a constant state
of being alert, observing everyone and everything, because the moment you stop
paying attention is the moment things get missed. You practice mindfulness so
you don’t miss things but the moment you lose focus you miss things so then you
try harder not to miss things which only makes you miss things even more.
If you have been practicing
mindfulness, you may know how much work it is to keep the level of focus that
is required. If you would like something easier, something greater, I invite
you to look at awareness.
Awareness is something you are
born with. It is the ability to perceive and know all things. It’s the ability
to be totally present with who and what is right in front of you while still
maintaining awareness of the environment around you. Awareness doesn’t require
you to focus only on one thing. It’s doesn’t force you to work hard to pay
attention. Awareness invites it all, includes it all, welcomes it all without
judging or cutting off anything.
Here are my top three tips to go beyond mindfulness and function from the gift of your awareness.
Be willing to see what is
we are born into the world, most of us are taught to judge. We learn what is
“good” and what is “bad.” We are told to do what is right and avoid what is
wrong. When you have a judgment of anything, your brain only allows information
that matches that judgment to enter.
Mindfulness often comes from the place of only looking to see what’s good and right with others and in the world. The problem with this, is that even though it’s positive, it’s still judgment. If there is a poisonous snake in front of you and you have decided you must only see good, then you will not see the danger that is present.
To move beyond mindfulness and into awareness, you can use a tool called “Interesting point of view.” Every time you notice that you have a judgment, whether positive or negative, say to yourself, “Interesting point of view I have that point of view.” Keep saying it until things lighten up. What occurs when you say these words is that every judgment you have becomes simply interesting rather than real and true.
Be aware of what your choices create
operates from the assumption that there are right choices and wrong choices. From
the place of mindfulness, you observe, judge what is best and then choose.
Awareness has no judgment. Awareness includes everything and judges nothing. When you function from awareness you ask, “What would I like to choose?” And, “If I choose this what will it create?” Awareness is about empowering you to choose and then to notice what your choice created and then choose again.
When you don’t have to be right, you get to be free
back for a moment, at times in your life where you knew if you made a
particular choice it was going to turn out badly, but you chose it anyway. That
knowing was your awareness. Often times, what occurs, is we have an awareness
and then we go to our brain, to our cognitive mind, to try and sort it out.
This is where we give up our awareness in an attempt to get it right.
you start to look at the places in your life where you chose to try and figure
things out rather than going with that instantaneous knowing, then you start to
reconnect with your awareness.
look at these places, it’s not about making you wrong. It’s about acknowledging
what the choice to cut off your awareness created so that you can choose
different as you move forward.
Awareness is the greatest gift
you have and, rather than hard work and striving, awareness comes with ease.
Choose awareness and discover the joyfulness of life and living.
Gary Douglas is an
internationally-recognized thought leader, bestselling author, business
innovator and founder of Access Consciousness®, a set of simple-yet-profound tools currently
transforming lives in 173 countries. He has authored and co-authored numerous
books, including the Barnes and Noble #1 bestselling novel, The Place. An
avid investor and entrepreneur, Gary is a vocal advocate of
Benevolent Capitalism and conscious leadership. He has been featured on TV
shows, and in print media and online publications around the world. He is
renowned for his unique insights on love, relationships, money, business,
aging, leadership and emotional freedom. Follow Gary.
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