Sunday, October 15, 2006

Curious about Awareness: How Aware Are You of Yourself, Your Life, Your Path and What Is Happening around You?

To become different from what we are, we must have some awareness of what we are.” - Eric Hoffer

The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival.” - Aristotle

I just experienced an incredibly exciting week! Even though I was busier than usual catching up after my four glorious days of being away at the National Storytelling Festival - listening to stories of all flavors - I also took part in two life-changing programs.

The first is Robert Middleton’s Fearless Marketing Program and the second is the Happy, Healthy and Wealthy Game. Both have already heightened my awareness. Both require that we start by examining and assessing where we are right now - our starting point.

I feel that they are many facets to awareness and becoming aware and, to my delight, the experts have written and stated a plethora of thoughts and ideas about “awareness.” So, following is a sampling of the great quotations I found.

General thoughts about “awareness” and its strengths:

  • The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness.” - Lao Tzu
  • Whatever we are waiting for - peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of simple abundance - it will surely come to us, but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart.” - Sarah Ban Breathnach
  • There is an awareness within us that is part of a universal awareness - we are sleeping giants!” - Henry Reed
  • The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.” - Nathaniel Branden
  • Buddha means awareness, the awareness of body and mind that prevents evil from arising in either.” - Bodhidharma

A few twists and other areas of thoughts on “awareness”:

  • The first issue is the awareness level the general public has of things they can and should do to protect their systems and network connections.” - John W. Thompson
  • We look at the dance to impart the sensation of living in an affirmation of life, to energize the spectator into keener awareness of the vigor, the mystery, the humor, the variety, and the wonder of life. This is the function of the American dance.” - Martha Graham
  • Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.” - Emily Post
  • Education has always served to increase my awareness. Teaching helps me better understand what it is that I do.” - Ron Carter
  • Humor is perhaps a sense of intellectual perspective: an awareness that some things are really important, others not; and that the two kinds are most oddly jumbled in everyday affairs.” - Christopher Morley
  • The awareness of our own strength makes us modest.” - Paul Cezanne

How about developing “awareness?” What works for you? And, what are the advantages?

  • I think you're born with a certain sensitivity and awareness and perception, and I think you have to develop the manual skill.” - Shel Silverstein
  • Solitude sharpens awareness of small pleasures otherwise lost.” - Kevin Patterson
  • A lot of people allow themselves to become dull because they fear pain, but pain is a form of awareness.” - Don Van Vliet
  • Change is certain. Peace is followed by disturbances; departure of evil men by their return. Such recurrences should not constitute occasions for sadness but realities for awareness, so that one may be happy in the interim.” - Percy Bysshe Shelley

Awareness of how we are doing is not always easy to accept. However, when we become more aware, we realize a wholeness and beauty in our daily lives. As always, I will end with a couple of great quotations for all of us to work on this coming week. Let me know how you do.

I am interested in the notion that people can become so obsessed by their world that they lose sense and awareness of how they appear to other people. They're so earnest about it. But that's true of so many things.” - Christopher Guest

Every human has four endowments- self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom... The power to choose, to respond, to change.” - Stephen Covey