Awareness

Dear Friends,

In March of 2012 I took up meditation.

Since then, with the exception of few rough patches, I haven’t missed a day.

Even on the days when I’m a bit out of my routine, I find at least a minute or two to center my mind and focus on my breath.

Meditation has likely had the most profound impact on my life aside from meeting the love of my life.

Both of these happenings lead me to the same place; I now notice things I never noticed before.

That is, I’m more aware.

Many think meditation is about stillness of the mind. To an extent, they are right. After all, a meditation practice is deeply personal so who am I to make judgments about what it is for you.

I’ll admit, my mind is very rarely “still.” Many times, I might get a minute or two of deep focus on my breath before a new thought on who knows what comes through. Sometimes I pick up on this right away and quickly refocus. Other times, a minute or two could go by before I realize what just happened. Still, I notice and refocus.

The most important aspect of meditation, for me, is what I just mentioned right there: noticing my mind has wandered. Becoming aware that my mind is no longer with my breath.

It’s in that very moment that I am developing my mind to be more aware. Every time I lose focus on my breath is an opportunity to practice awareness. Until I become aware my mind has wandered, I cannot refocus. It’s only in that moment of awareness can I make the choice to stay with that thought or refocus on my breath.

This sound so simple and I’m sure you might not understand how this carries over into other areas of my life.

Let’s look back at my comment about those who think meditation is about stillness of the mind. I could have said they were wrong and at another time in my life I probably would have. How I view meditation differs from how they view meditation and therefore I am right and they are wrong.

But I didn’t say that. I could have. I wanted to...but I caught myself. I noticed what was happening in my mind. I was aware of my reactions and how I wanted to initially respond. With this awareness, I was then able to better control my response. I just gave myself the opportunity to make a conscious choice not a reactionary response.

The majority of the things we do are done automatically. Our mind, as powerful as it is, is always looking for shortcuts. That’s why habits are so important and powerful.

Awareness helps create just enough space between the conscious and unconscious mind. Why is that space important? It’s because it is in that space where we give ourselves the opportunity to make decisions.

We act instead of react.

And for me, this all came from learning to meditate and practicing it every single day.

I highly encourage everyone who values their mind, body and all of the wonderful things in their lives to consider taking up a meditation practice.

Remember, what it means to me is likely to be incredibly different from what it means to you. And how you will benefit will be equally personal.

That’s the whole point. And that should make you super excited. Why? Because it means you can choose to have it mean whatever you want. Whatever you want is yours for the making.

Trust me when I say you have nothing to lose and so much to gain.

If you need help finding a place to start, let me know.

 

With Love,

Ev

P.S. If you enjoyed this please share it with your friends. Any friend of yours is a friend of mine.

Evan CookComment