Increasing awareness and choice
So in part 1 I considered the relationships between feelings, thinking, awareness and choice.
I know when I’ve read such blogs, I’ve thought “OK, so how can I increase my awareness and choice?” And I’m hugely tempted to give you a suggestion on how to do it, even though I know that’s not the way to go!
Now you may be asking that question. However, is it because you consider that you ‘should’ or ‘must’ increase your awareness and, therefore, choice? If so, it is likely your ‘interest’ in increasing your awareness is coming from somewhere other than your own wisdom, intuition, about what you really want/need for your well-being.
Yes, at some stage you may be naturally drawn to increasing your awareness and, believe it not, you will find it happens straightforwardly. No fighting against your inclination NOT to do it because you ARE inclined to do it!
Here is an example of this experience of things happening with ease. I know someone who felt she needed to lose some weight – no-one had said anything, but she was going to a niece’s wedding and she could no longer get in the dress she wanted to wear! She knew the best way to do this was just reduce her portions (she exercises quite a bit already). However, it was more of a ‘should’ lose weight. And, guess what, she didn’t lose weight.
A year on and one of her nephews was getting married. This time she lightly said to herself, that she would enjoy losing some weight – no ‘should’ or ‘must’ – and this time with no effort the necessary weight was lost! No struggle, very little thinking about it, more just noticing now and again that it was happening.
Back to increasing your awareness …
Sometimes your inner wisdom will suggest “do some research on possible ways to increase your awareness”. If this happens then do include in the research the following suggestion.
Check from time to time what you are aware of, by completing the following sentences (within your head):
I am noticing … (out there)
I am thinking/imagining/wondering … (in here)
I am feeling … (in here)
I need …
- have your antennae out for words like “must, mustn’t, should, shouldn’t, cannot” and check what might be unspoken;
- ask yourself what the other person(s) might be noticing, thinking, imagining, wondering, feeling and needing – and might even ask!; and
- check your perceptions/inferences – for instance, for whether there is any foundation in my perceptions/inferences and/or what other perceptions/inferences are possible
A different personal example …
I was delivering an assertiveness workshop for a client at an office I didn’t know. I had a frustrating time getting let into the building and when I saw the room in which the workshop was going to take place my heart sank. This feeling reflected my thinking!
Then another thought popped in my mind “I’m developing a negative frame of mind about what’s going to happen for the rest of the day. This isn’t going to help me.” I seemingly naturally started reflecting on what I was noticing, thinking, imagining, feeling and needing. A lot of my imaginings/perceptions were not based on reality. My feelings shifted and I laughed at myself taking myself too seriously. I was focussing too much on me and not on the people who were going to attend the workshop.
I know this change of thought influenced how I came across to the delegates: I was far more present for them and, therefore, was available for them in their journey in developing their assertiveness. I had a successful day and, from their feedback, they did too. And again, all this took little effort, there was a natural flow.
In conclusion …
My recommendations are:
- wait until your interest in increasing your awareness is heartfelt, and
- follow what your own intuition suggests.
All the best!