Wednesday, December 01, 2004


The seasonal change between last month and this one has been dramatic. Yes, I know it's not yet officially winter. But there has been snow on the ground for days and I just spent 2 hours moving snow off the drive. So my season of winter has begun. I enjoy December. It's my month to do little. Oh, I coach a little, move some snow, and get just a few things done around the house. But about the time Thanksgiving rolls around, things seem to slow down for me. I walk every day, read a lot, and spend some time thinking about where I'm going fishing next year. That's about it.

Awareness is powerful. The more we are aware and connected with our surroundings and ourselves, the more insights come our way. But too often we think we need to do something with those insights, subjecting ourselves to lots of stimulation and activities.

There's a big difference between doing more and simply allowing ourselves to be aware of more. When I choose to be more aware and then feel I must do something about or with my insights, I become over-stimulated and distracted. When I choose to be more aware without any attachment to what I might do with or about that awareness, I'm more peaceful and feel more connected.

So how do you become more aware without attachment? How do you increase your awareness without increasing the activity that awareness often spawns?

There is nothing to do, really. Start by increasing your awareness in nature. There's little you can do with nature so it's easier to take a hands-off approach. If you become more aware of the birds in your yard, don't add buying a bird feeder to your to-do list. Just enjoy those birds in their natural environment. If your awareness leads you to enjoy a particular tree in your yard that you've never really “seen” before, it does not mean you need to landscape your yard to call attention to that tree. If your awareness leads to an insight about yourself that you like or dislike, don't run to the bookstore to buy all the self-help books you can find on the topic in order to overcome a perceived weakness or hone a perceived strength.

Awareness itself is the gift. What you do with it does not matter. Once you've experienced the awareness about yourself or another or something in nature, trust that that awareness is not going away. That's the very cool thing about awareness. You can't take it back. But if you try to act on everything, you are likely to take on too much which will lead to wanting to shut down your awareness.

So let go of trying to label or judge that which you have become aware of as good or bad, something to be improved on, something to be changed, something that needs to be leveraged, etc. It's none of these. It just is.

The awareness itself will lead to changes. But these changes will come to you rather than you having to “make” the changes or do something. The Universe is conspiring every moment of every day to bring you what you desire. Let the Universe do the doing. You, my friend, just need to be. Be, that is, in a way that is fully awake.

“Awareness needs space in order to be experienced.” ~Thomas Leonard