“What our lives are about is what awareness is.”
If you go to any self-help workshop, new age gathering, or transformational seminar, you will hear the word "awareness." Awareness is sold as something tangible, something you must acquire – something that will change your life if you do manage to get it. Awareness is often marketed as a kind of "snake-oil medicine" that can remedy all, a product that some of us on the truth-seeking path will do just about anything to get our hands on. Why? Because awareness is power. Awareness is exciting, stimulating, transformational and healing. Awareness has the power to rock your world into alignment – but buyer beware: awareness is not for sissies!
Awareness is a responsibility. This perception was brought to my attention by Stanley Keleman in his book, Your Body Speaks Its Mind. He describes awareness as "our living process." Our means "me and you." Living process means how we live our life and do what we do. Keleman says, "Our biological process – expressed as moving, feeling, perceiving and making patterns of meaning – forms the field of experiencing that we call knowing. Our perception of our own life activity is what we call awareness. What our lives are about is what awareness is."
This got me thinking about my life and about how I have used my awareness. Have I used the gift of knowing, my awareness, consciously? Did I use it to craft each day, each move and thought? What have I done with all the awareness I have worked so hard to gain over the past 26 years in Nia? I would like to think I've used it well – and for the most part I can say I did. Yet every day, in every Nia class, in every life experience, I cannot help but ask myself, "Did you really use your awareness wisely? Can you use your awareness to do something new, to create yourself, your life, as something even better?
Over the years, I have used my awareness to build a better business and healthier bodies, but while I'm dedicated to developing awareness in others, developing myself is often an afterthought. It never occurred to me to hold in my mind and heart the idea that "my awareness is what my life is all about!" Sure makes things simple when I do.
With so many things to be aware of – and so many places to funnel my awareness in order to create change in my body and life – I like the idea of finding a way to make the process simple. I like the idea of having one place to go to check in with myself, to see if I'm paying attention and using my awareness with intent. By looking at my life each day and consciously taking inventory of what feels good, what feels pleasurable and loving, I can get an immediate read on what I'm doing that works and what I need to change. Then it's up to me to use this awareness, my "truth," to create change. This is where the work comes in. This is where the boys and the men divide, where one's commitment to life and body mastery is tested, for awareness and truth can be avoided or manipulated to accommodate the reality we want – which often limits us from becoming our very best.
Today, I will look at my life and celebrate awareness. I will celebrate "me" – my life – and I will take a few minutes to answer my own questions, ones I hope you will answer too. I will stay present to the sensations, the energy, feelings and emotions that oscillate and pulse through me with excitement, creating the "aha" moments of awakened awareness. As the sensation of new awareness flows through me, I will commit to celebrating my excitation, energy that bubbles up from inside me and onto my skin, that announces the arrival of truth about my self, my body and my life. My life. The one I create.
Today, I will let loose what is inside, speak more loudly, more clearly and with greater confidence. I will take responsibility for who I am and what my life embodies. I will embrace truth and – without judgment – recognize and acknowledge what is. Today and every day, I will look through the eyes of my awareness and with no apology, step into my greatness.
Like Dorothy Height, the unsung giant of the Civil Rights era, I will use my awareness to create good. I will use my life to become an even better leader. I will use my awareness to stand as a woman about whom in the end they will say, "For decades she stood for love, marching into the bodies, minds and spirits of people all over the world. She will be remembered as a force that merged what had become a separation in and between people – people's hearts and bodies – for creating a new model of humanity based on love and on following the path of pleasure."
What will you use your awareness for today? Take a few moments to read how I answered the My Nia Awareness Questionnaire and then answer the questions for yourself. Next, download your own questionnaire, along with daily Nia tips, and keep this beautiful reminder somewhere you will see it each morning. Use your awareness to create change in your body in life – to live fully and celebrate each moment. Use your awareness to vibrate, pulse and stream greatness into the world. Use your awareness to create your life!
What do I pay attention to each day that keeps me physically aware?
Debbie says: I pay attention to sensations; specifically to seeking, tracking and cultivating the sensation of pleasure. Pleasure lets me know I am giving my body what it needs: love. I pay attention to a calm, relaxed feeling in my belly, a feeling that tells me I am being patient and loving with myself. If I sense tension in my belly, I recognize this sensation is letting me know I am not paying attention, that I am not aware of what my body needs.
What do I pay attention to each day that keeps me mentally aware?
Debbie says: I pay attention to silence and the sensation of focusing with precision and clarity. If I feel confused or scattered, I recognize this sensation is letting me know I am not paying attention, not aware of what my mind needs.
What do I pay attention to each day that keeps me emotionally aware?
Debbie says: I pay attention to the sensation of my energy moving forward and freely interacting with people and life, unafraid. If I feel closed or shut down, I recognize this sensation is letting me know I am not paying attention to what my emotional body needs.
What do I pay attention to each day that keeps me spiritually aware?
Debbie says: I pay attention to my spirit's voice and the sensation of my soul's presence; to the feeling of connectedness to something bigger than me, something that speaks to me, reminding me to stay on the path of the heart. If I feel alone or depressed, I recognize this sensation is letting me know I am not paying attention, not aware of what my spirit needs.
Keleman, Stanley. Your Body Speaks Its Mind. Berkeley, CA. Center, 1981. Print.