Awakening to Your Life
Mindfulness is the practice of moment to moment awareness, awakening to your life as it is. This is a simple yet powerful practice that allows you to adopt a new set of attitudes, to view your world with a fresh pair of eyes. Becoming aware of who you are and what you are doing at this moment brings you out of the thinking mind and into the body, where experiences have been happening unnoticed. By bringing your attention to the experience of your physical sensations you are learning to ground into the present moment, whereas the thinking mind will take you away from it.
Awakening to your life as it is will bring opportunities of profound change into your life. Often people choose only to look at the future to dream, or to the past for reflection as a reference for the change they want. These ways of viewing experience and creating change can only get you so far. It’s the present moment that will reveal all the things about yourself that you’d like to change and how your current lifestyle choices are shaping you as a person. Therefore, if you want to become a better version of yourself tomorrow you have to start paying attention to how you’re showing up today.
The Steps of Conscious Change
A conscious change is one that you are involved in, have contemplated thoroughly, and decide on deliberately. Now is always the best time to time to create conscious change in your life. The first step, as you already learned, is becoming aware of what needs to change. But before any change occurs willingly most people wait until they’ve become frustrated with their own ways or circumstances. The laziness will begin to annoy you, the tardiness will impact your relationships, he procrastination will ruin yet another weekend, the doubts will no longer hold up as truth. You know deep down it could be better, and you also know that the responsibility for these changes falls on you. At some point, you will have to break up with your way of living and welcome change. Choose to do it before you’re at your wit’s end and save some energy for what’s to come. Here are the 3 steps to creating conscious change or A.C.T.
Becoming aware of what needs changing is the first and most important step. Nothing can shift in your life until you become aware of what needs to. This is the starting point for inviting the new and releasing the old, where you learn to focus on what is serving your highest good.
After taking some time to observe there’s of your life you’d like to change, you’ll then get ready to make a choice. Sometimes this choice is a giant leap into the unknown, while other times it’s a simple step in the right direction. Even if it’s a small change it can conjure up some indecisiveness within you. This step is about deciding on what feels the best rather than comparing what “would be” better. You can’t see how things will play out exactly but you can tap into your intuition and figure out what course is best for you to take.
Finally, it’s time to trust this entire process. Trust in your ability to observe what behaviors, thoughts, or habits need to change in your life. Trust that your choice is a stable one that will bring you closer to who you envision yourself becoming. Trust within your ability to consciously create an overall improved lifestyle for you. Each time you actively build inner trust you strengthen the foundation of your relationship with yourself and your ability to make things happen in your life.
To understand whether you are on the path bringing you closer to who you wish to become, it’s important to know when you’re misaligned or veering off course. An indication that you are experiencing alignment is when you are feeling positive and pleasant emotions. Alignment is the experience of feeling good and allowing more good feelings to find you. This happens when you are thinking healthy thoughts, making choices that line up with your idea of happiness or success and position yourself in a way that invites more of this feeling. An indication of misalignment is when you are feeling negative or unpleasant emotions. In this state of being, you are allowing more of these experiences to gravitate toward you. This happens when you’re thinking of harmful or uneasy thoughts, making choices out of emotional reactivity that do not align with your idea of happiness or success.
Although alignment is the ultimate goal, it’s important that you learn to notice when misalignment is occurring. The most notable thing to become aware of is the experience arising in your body. When you’re thinking troublesome thoughts or experiencing an unpleasant moment, it does not stay only in your mind. It travels throughout the body depositing stress in pockets of your muscles, bones, and internal systems. If you can begin to link your mental experiences with your physical ones you’ll begin to uncover certain patterns of behavior that follow your thoughts. For instance, if you are thinking thoughts of self-doubt your shoulders are likely to slouch and round forward; if you are experiencing an anxious thought that may appear in the body is a fast heart rate or sweaty palms.
Once you’ve become aware of misalignment in your mind you can locate it in your body. The thought patterns you’ve created over the years are powerful and often difficult to shift into a more pleasant experience. That’s why it’s important for you to recognize how misalignment shows up in your body, because that you can change by moving. Move your body in a healthy way, go for a walk if you can, stretch your arms, roll your shoulders back and release the tension in your face, unclench your jaw and take a deep breath. All of these simple choices will help bring you toward feeling better. The closer you are to feeling better the closer you become to alignment. Once you have tapped into the feeling and experience of alignment you can begin to take action toward your goals.
Planning Your Action
Deciding to take action or make an important decision isn’t something to be done without consideration. The right plan of action taking at the wrong time could push you further back than when you started. This is where the importance of alignment comes in. Making decisions in a state of clarity will bring you closer to the change you wish to see, whereas making decisions in a state of emotional reactivity most likely won’t. Although there is a huge difference between allowing your emotions to overcome you and channeling their energy for change, some people can’t quite point out those differences. For most people, emotions running high isn’t something that you thrive off of. It’s actually more likely to stress you out than bring you clarity or confidence about what’s next. This is why alignment and action go hand in hand.
By orienting yourself in the direction of joy, happiness, and success, you are aligning with your higher self. The more you consciously align with yourself the easier it will be to take action. Think of alignment as making your way to the diving board, each step bringing you closer to what you want to do, have, or be. The closer you get the more intense you’ll experience feelings of excitement, joy, and maybe a tinge of apprehension, but you keep moving. toward what it is you want. Now imagine jumping off the diving board as your plan of action, diving into the unknown whether it be by a single step or a massive leap. Don’t rush your way into action without appreciating the role and significance of aligning yourself with what’s meant for you.
Mindful awareness is the key component in creating any conscious change. Awakening to your life as it unfolds means to release resistance to the state of your life now, so that you may invite new opportunities to find you. Before you begin to make changes you must first become aware of the areas in your life and things involved that need change. In this article, I’ve mapped out 3 steps of creating conscious change that can serve as a guide to making strong decisions that instill your inner trust. By first becoming aware of what needs changing, then making a conscious choice of how to move forward, and finally learning to trust the outcome and your ability to handle it. After you’ve made your decisions and have begun to experience that inner trust, you can learn to build on it by practicing alignment.
The simplest way to practice alignment is to become aware of the moments you’re feeling good and work to invite more of that feeling. This does not mean resisting negative emotions or rejecting unpleasant experiences, these are all apart of the journey. Instead, it’s about becoming aware of both alignment and misalignment, observing and understanding how they both show up in your experience. Misalignment will be tied to negative emotions and bodily sensations of feeling contracted or tight. Being in alignment will feel more open and flowing, with pleasant thoughts and positive feelings. After you’ve become familiar with how it is you want to feel continue striving for that feeling, building up the opportunity to take action. A plan of action is powerful on its own, just like aligning yourself with how you want to experience life is powerful. however, together they become an undeniable force propelling you toward the life you are creating.
You are the creator of your life experience and you are responsible for the ways you choose to respond to the world around you. Every day you are capable of bringing yourself closer to your higher self. It’s in the choices you make, the thoughts you observe, and the behaviors you begin to uncover. Bring a sense of curiosity to what it is you’re noticing within yourself and work on releasing judgment. Who you are today doesn’t have to be defined as good or bad, right or wrong, success or failure. Practice mindfulness with how you are showing up each day as a means for understanding the person you’ve become, not condemning or judging but welcoming. Allow your experience to be one that reveals deeper levels of yourself and uses them as ways to expand.
If you want to create conscious change in your life never stop paying attention. Keep aligning with what feels good and releasing what does not. Keep coming back to the present moment and all of the wonders it has to offer. And when this road gets more challenging than you had anticipated, keep coming back to the breath. Because as long as there is another breath cycle flowing through your body, you have another chance to begin again.