The other day I was sitting watching my daughter’s ice skating lessons through the cafe window—as it’s a much warmer place to be. A few seats down there was a woman wearing a big black puffy jacket. She got up, passed behind me bumping me in the back as her big puffy jacket knocked my glasses case to the floor. I turned to look at her as she walked away oblivious to what had just occurred. I leaned down to pick up my case and continued to watch my daughter. As she came back to sit down I got another bump in the back. I decided to move seats. Just as I did, a guy walked into the cafe, he stunk so bad I needed to put my sleeve over my nose. I looked around and everyone else smelled it too. It was suffocating.
Just as the lady had no idea she was bumping me, this nicotine saturated guy had no idea how bad he smelled. Both people lacked awareness. Just like that person who is talking loud on their phone on a quiet commuter train, possibly right now?
But what is awareness?
I knew the word, I used it in sentences, but it was not until my late thirties that I really started to understand what awareness was. I became aware of others. Aware of my true feelings. Aware of the consequences of my own actions. Aware of how others responded to me. But mostly I became aware of how I needed to change certain things about myself.
- the state or condition of being aware; having knowledge; consciousness
- knowledge that something exists, or understanding of a situation or subject at the present time based on information or experience.
“Awareness is like the sun.
When it shines on things, they are transformed.”
-Thich Nhat Hanh
So if that’s awareness then what is ‘un-awareness’? Disregard, ignorance, neglect, misunderstanding, unfamiliarity, insensitivity, unconsciousness—all words that I would not associate now with myself.
By the time my son was born in 2009, I was stuck almost full time in my head. I was totally consumed by thoughts from the past or worries about the future. My mind would only stay in the present for a short time before my runaway thoughts would steal me again. I was crippled with worry. I worried about everything. I worried about where my life was going. If I was a good mother. I worried about my position at work. About wrong decisions, I’d made. It was exhausting living in my body.
My precious baby son was a gift. Of course, all babies are but he helped me to become more present and live in the now. Whenever I would drift off, he would demand my attention with a scream, a smile or diaper change and bring me back to the now. When he got a little older he brought me back with his wet kisses, showing me how he could kick the ball or reaching out with his arms saying “uppy”. He brought me back, to him, and I loved him all the more for it. I started becoming aware of just how much I drifted off and how I was always second guessing myself. I started putting my thoughts aside and made an effort to be more present. More involved. I listened to him with my whole self not just an appeasing nod as I half listened.
Stop and think for a minute.
Are you aware of yourself right now? How are you sitting? Who is around you? Are you comfortable? How do you feel? How is your breathing? Do you feel stressed? Are you mindful of the stresses, worry, fear, doubt, uncertainty, suspicion, panic, unease, and other feelings that are constantly trying to take control? Do you not feel good enough?
Are you happy? Excited about something? In love? Do you remember what it felt like to be in love? Do you remember what brought you to your partner, husband or wife? Why are you with them? Do they bring you light?
How is your life? Are you a slave to it or are you in control? Is it just a rat race or do you find the little joys around you? Do you breathe deeply? Do you enjoy the breath? How does it make your body feel?
Is this the life you anticipated? Were your childhood dreams better? Is your life better than your dreams?
Are the leaves changing colors around you? When was the last time you went for a walk just to be alone with your thoughts? What are you thinking? Do you like who you are? Do you like the vibrations you put off to others? Are you even aware what vibrations you put off to others? Do you go out of your way to make others smile?
Wake up. Make mindfulness a part of your everyday. Make awareness a gift and pass it on to those around you.
Make sure you engage in the moments you are given.
Here’s an app (Smiling Mind) that can get you started with your awareness and mindfulness.
7 thoughts on “Awareness is a gift!”
Thanks Lana! I can always count on you to be one of the first people to read my latest post xx
Love a bit of awareness! I don’t always stop to smell the roses but I am aware of it! Beautiful as always Kaylynn xx
Thanks Kristie xx
Another great work from you keep it going.
Thanks Smye xx