If you’ve been in my yoga world for a while (or even if you’re just my friend), you’ve heard me say that it all starts with awareness. Everything starts with awareness. Awareness of breath, of thoughts, of physical sensation. But, you might wonder, once you are aware, what then? What do you do with that awareness? Well, all kinds of amazing things! Like levitate! Hahaha! I’m kidding. Kinda. You can read Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras for more info on how to do that. 😉
I’ve been listening to Eckhart Tolle’s books, The Power of Nowand A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose. (I spend half of my waking hours in a car, driving around half of New Jersey – this is the only way I can “read” books these days.) As a result, I’m gaining a better understanding of how awareness can change our lives. And that is not an over-statement. I’m serious. But don’t worry, I’m not going to summarize the books for you or try to impart all the deep teachings he shares in the books. I’m only going to ask you this:
What is one habit or pattern you want to change? What is one thing that you notice you do automatically, without thinking, and don’t like it? (Or maybe there is something you do that you’re not even aware of.)
No, I’m not going to tell you how to break that habit. I don’t have the secrets to success in just 21 days! Nope. What I’m going to do is invite you to pay attention. To be aware of what you are doing. Whether it’s a morning routine (a cup of coffee or a mug of warm lemon water) or a go-to response to certain situations (Guy cuts you off on the road. You flip the bird or yell expletives.). Just take this month and observe yourself. Be as objective as possible. Become the one who steps back and simply observe. Then observe the effects of the habit or pattern. Does it give you an outcome that feels positive? Does it keep you stuck in the same place? Be honest with the answers to these questions. I already know some folks will say, “yes, coffee makes me feel positive – it wakes me up and energizes me.” Take the question a little deeper: what happens when you take the coffee away? “I don’t feel positive. I feel tired and grouchy.” Next question: can you feel positive without the coffee? Is the coffee a crutch? Is your answer a story you are telling yourself? What is the real, truthful answer? (Don’t get me wrong – I’ve got nothing against coffee. This is just to illustrate how awareness can take you deeper within, to push inquiry and possibly create moments of growth, of evolution.)
This might feel like a lot to some folks. Just take it easy. Start with small observations. Noticing objectively, aka awareness, is already a powerful tool. Then take it from there. And remember to be kind to yourself. No judgments. Only love.
Don’t forget to check out the workshops I’ve got going on this month and next! Yin with a Bhakti Spin with Emily Katz – two opportunities at Lotus and Onyx! —a 4-week Kundalini series, and a couple of Kudanlini full & new moon workshops in November! Details below.
Have a great month!