How Awareness Brings Change
In this series about change and authentic observation (awareness) we have been exploring the idea that when we are able to shift the filters through which we perceive life, our experience of life naturally changes. In this blog I want to focus on how awareness brings change.
This is one of the hardest concepts for people to grasp, particularly those of us with a Judaeo/Christian culture. The reason being, this culture has a fundamental belief that there is ‘no gain without pain’. New Testament model for ‘change management’ was very different to the Old Testament model. Jesus, a radical rabbi, proposed this approach, “If you can see with your eyes, hear with your ears, and understand with your heart…I will heal you.” Meaning, your life will change for the better.
Seeing with your eyes, and hearing with your ears is how we observe, its how we be mindful. Understanding with our heart is when we bring compassion to what we observe. Jesus was explaining that lasting change resulted from being mindful and compassionate. Typically when our observation is distorted by our filters, it results in judgement. This has a knock-on effect that manifests as some form of drama, which sustained over time results in disease.
Regarding the importance of compassion, the Buddha explained that mindfulness in its highest expression had to be accompanied by compassion. In the story of Greg and Rachel that was discussed in the last blog, compassion emerged when Greg got out of his story and became truly aware. This compassion was large enough to embrace both Rachel and himself. Finally Greg was in a position to be loving towards himself.
Ego and Awareness
Anias Nin has been quoted as saying, “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” When our awareness is confined by ego-centricity, our story with all of its fears, failings and weaknesses distorts how we perceive what the world sees or how it relates to us. Remember, in this state of consciousness we are totally focused on us. It’s like we have this perception of who we are, and because it’s been our focal point our whole lives (our story), we decide it must be the truth. Then it gets really weird, because we then imagine that the world can only possibly see what we see about ourselves, and so therefore what the world sees must be true because it matches what we perceive.
Breaking the Cycle of the Story
When our awareness is no longer confined by our ego-centricity, we notice all that is around us, and what we notice will have nothing to do with us. The more aware we become, the more we notice. The less we give meaning to what we notice, the more we are aware. We see and we hear more. In this state of awareness there is no judgement. Judgement is replaced with the enquiry of how does this moment serve? You observe how this moment impacts you physically, mentally emotionally and spiritually. You observe how it impacts others, and you observe how it impacts the planet.
Pleasure of Awareness
You are walking along a road you have walked many times before, and you see a flower that you have passed many times before, but now that you are more aware, its beauty and its fragrance touch you to the core. Being more aware of what serves you, you stop and soak it in. You feel the joy which rises in your consciousness. You instantly feel the desire to share this moment with another. You also are impressed with a desire to preserve such beauty. You have a heightened awareness of the inter-connectedness between humans and the planet. This awareness brings you to a place of gratitude. This moment is serving you.
Being in Service Naturally
You encounter other people on their journeys and, because you no longer relate to them as seeing you as you see yourself, you can authentically see them. You are aware of the nuances of expression, you hear more clearly the words they speak and you are sensitive to how they feel energetically. You genuinely ‘see’ them. Where in your story you would be moved by sympathy, needing to rescue them, in your awareness you are moved empathetically. This makes it possible for you to be compassionate while being loving to yourself. This moment is serving you as well as serving of others. This is the understanding part of being aware. This is the compassionate part of mindfulness. A Course in Miracles states that ‘giving and receiving are the same, and they happen in the same instant’. Essentially what we give to another we give to ourselves. In our awareness we are constantly blessed, because in awareness we constantly bless others. The reality is, when something is authentically observed it changes.
Take a Moment to Consider
Identify the difference in your experience when you encounter people with awareness verse when you encounter them with judgement.
Identify how the two experiences served you.
Are there certain relationships that you engage with judgement more often than not?
How do you feel following these engagements?
What do you think is the story that you have about yourself that keeps these relationships turning up in the way they do?
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