Are You Aware?
Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors
Are You Aware?The secret to feeling good fast.
I would like to ask you a simple question. Understanding the answer could change your life forever, so think it through thoroughly and then continue reading. Here is the question: What is most important to you in this life?
What did you come up with? Health? Family? Mind? Job? Ice cream? My answer to this question is awareness. Without awareness, you have nothing. You cannot love your spouse and children, work at your job, or sip coffee at a sidewalk café without it. For all intents and purposes, without awareness you do not exist.
Awareness is not your mind. If your mind were a lightbulb, then awareness would be the electricity that lights it up. A dull reflection of awareness in the mind causes confusion, misunderstanding, and ultimately, suffering. A mind bright with awareness is calm and present. It displays a peaceful gentleness that puts others at ease. If you look at awareness as your “inner light,” you will be close to understanding its vital importance.
The quality of your awareness determines the quality of your life. It is crucial that your awareness be vibrant and awake. Let’s say that you are sitting in a completely dark room next to a window. It is predawn, but light is just starting to enter the room when you look down and see an unidentifiable form at your feet. Fascinated, you continue to watch as, little by little, the room lightens and you begin to see the object more clearly.
All at once and to your horror, you realize that the object is a coiled snake ready to strike. You are immobilized by fear. Your mind is firing off frantic thoughts: Is the snake poisonous? If I move a muscle, will it strike? How will I get help if I’m bitten? You sit stone still as the light continues to slowly illuminate the room and note that for some reason the snake has not yet struck. You begin to relax and think more clearly.
Your mind quickly reviews escape scenarios while your body remains rigid and unmoving. The sun crests the horizon, and the first rays of dawn break through the window, filling the room with a delicate golden light. Then, like the brightness of lightning on the blackness of night, you see that the snake is actually a coiled rope. You felt fear. Your mind froze and then shattered, thoughts scattered like broken glass. All the while your rigid body was pumping stress hormones into your blood, preparing you for battle. In those few moments, you may have aged months. Why? Simply because you perceived a threat where there was none.
We can equate the darkness with impaired awareness. Overwork, lack of exercise, drugs, alcohol, poor diet, anger, greed, and grief all dampen consciousness and impair our ability to view the world in a nonthreatening way.
Our lives are filled with perceived threats. We have financial snakes, job snakes, family snakes, and so on. Even while driving to a pleasant event such as a movie or the beach, a traffic jam can ruin the mood, leading to boiling blood pressure and exploding tempers. We are the fight-or-flight generation perceiving snakes around every corner.
How do we change those perceptions? How do we enjoy the full light of day, exposing those snakes for the ineffectual ropes that they are? Well, we simply become more aware. Awareness is like sunlight. It lightens the emotions and enlightens the mind. Dull minds and muddy emotions are poor reflectors of awareness. Perception is fueled by our awareness. Pure awareness can never be fooled by a rope.
Most of the time our minds are on autopilot. Incessant mental chatter is a good example of runaway thoughts. The hyperactive brain—so common today that it’s considered normal—wastes vast amounts of energy and continually gets us into trouble. Other symptoms include worrying about the future or dwelling on the past; and feeling bored, frustrated, angry, anxious, or fearful. These are all ropes that look like snakes. Dull awareness makes our world a scary place.
Awareness is everywhere all the time, but we just don’t pay attention to it. I know that might sound weird, but it’s true. Normally we are preoccupied with the people, thoughts, and “stuff” that make up our everyday lives. We are aware of those things, but are we aware of awareness? Not often. Most of us wouldn’t know pure awareness if it walked right up and shook our hand . . . but that is about to change.
Wait a minute. That’s it? That’s the secret? Awareness?! You’re probably feeling a little disappointed right now. I would too if I thought that I could own the secret to the universe simply by identifying what happens when it’s in short supply. You may not have a very clear idea of what I’m talking about, either. That is because pure awareness can’t be captured in the mind’s eye. You can’t take a picture of it. Awareness is not a thing, idea, or emotion. So talking about it can be frustrating if you want to own it with your mind. It’s not physical; you can’t grab hold of awareness and use it like a hammer. However, once you have experienced—or actually, “non-experienced”—pure awareness directly, all this will make perfect and beautiful sense.
If you’re confused at this point, don’t worry. You do not have to understand anything about awareness to make it work wonders in your life. That said, it will be valuable to have some knowledge about it to explain to others why they can feel so good, so fast. As you will soon discover, you will be creating miracles and having fun. Pure awareness will be as natural to you as breathing.