In our pursuit of growth, we are told to seek awareness of ourselves – our true essence and not the masks we wear to protect ourselves and our vulnerability. Authenticity is talked about as an essential quality of great leaders but getting to know our true selves fully is a long and engaging journey.
In the beginning…
Start to acknowledge our innate gifts. So much attention is given to those things we aren’t good at. We think the road we travel should be focused on the pot holes instead of finding a way to navigate these obstacles and journey towards our purpose. With a greater focus on our interests and talents we are able to move in the right direction.
These should not be ignored but brought into our awareness and acknowledged by ourselves with compassion. We live in a world filled with other people travelling their own routes and we need to be aware of our interactions. Our movements should enhance the journey of others rather than cut them short.
This is key to fine-tuning the way we respond to life. Acknowledging what has gone well and considering how to continue this pattern. Understanding what hasn’t worked and what could be done differently. This is part of our learning cycle and is important.
Life on Automatic Pilot
What is dangerous is thinking inwards all the time, dwelling on our emotions connected with past events or in anticipation of something about to happen. This constant inward attention blinds us to the natural beauty of the present and we can miss out on the simple experiences of life around us. It can also build walls around us in terms of our relationships with others and with the world.
Full awareness is when we turn our attention outwards. When we are able to value each of life’s simple pleasures – the tastes and sounds, vision and feel of everything – we move from seeking to know ourselves to just being ourselves. When we turn our attention outwards, we become more aware of others and in doing so, tend to lower the intensity of our emotions.
In the words of James Thurber – “Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness.”
This post was written by Merridy Edgson