Each of us aspires to live a life that is fulfilled. A life blessed with joy, health, happiness and prosperity; yet so many of us are challenged daily to realize these dreams and aspirations. What is it that’s inherent for all of us in this life long struggle; why, after repeated effort to correct our wrong actions and improve our lives, do we continue to fall short of our desires?
The answer is similar for us all, and once understood, easy to alter. The moments that make up the majority of our day, are moments created from our past. Because we are not totally and completely present, we often rely on the experiences of our past life to function as our compass in the present. The reality is that every thought we’ve ever had, every emotion and act we’ve experienced over time, has become our “behavioral database.”
The noise or voice in your head is usually not connected to anything relevant that’s happening in the present. Often, it’s your mind revisiting the recent or distant past; an event or situation that was not a positive or happy experience for you. At times, the voice will be relevant to the present at hand, but it will interpret the event in terms of the past. The voice is part of your conditioned belief system, which is the result of your past history. As a result, you judge the present event through your past experiences and get a distorted view of your reality. Your past literally colors your perception of your world. And because your present is colored by your past, it is not an accurate perception?
All that we think and do today becomes who we are tomorrow. Often, our today is based on what we’ve done in the past, unless we are aware of our present thoughts and behavior. Being aware of what you are thinking and who you are being in any given moment helps you to become an observer of your true self.
Being aware of your thoughts will in turn put you in touch with your feelings and emotions, which powers your behavior. Being aware will allow you to understand for perhaps the first time in your life, why you are feeling and behaving a certain way.
The moment you begin to watch the thinker, a higher level of consciousness is activated within you. The change you need to make is not to focus on your actions or results, rather to transition from being unconscious to conscious in regard to what you are thinking and who you are being. This is what we mean when we say, “become an observer and be aware.”
The lack of being aware in the moment reverts back to your “behavioral database” and an “automatic pilot” mentality, as the only self you know, the self that has been created by your past. This process starts with the moment you awake. For many of us because when we awake, we are alive and breathing, we believe we are present. The fact of the matter is, we are on “automatic pilot” and we don’t even know it.
By starting your day with a different approach, you can transform your entire day based on being more present and aware of your thoughts and behavior. Rather than waking to the sound of the alarm clock and jumping out of bed; try rolling over for just three to five minutes. When you roll over think the following thought to yourself, “I am thankful and grateful for all that I am and all that I have.”
This line of thinking will allow you to appreciate who you are and be grateful for what you have in your life. When you start your day with this simple change, you will begin to alter your self-image, your spirit and allow yourself to be more present throughout the day. Rather than reacting to past based thinking, you will be more present, relaxed and care free. Reinforce this change with these thoughts as you commute into work, during a coffee break or at lunch. You will be amazed at the change in the perception in your world this simple exercise will bring into your life.
Creating the discipline of “being aware,” puts you in the observer seat and provides a check and balance awareness of what you’re thinking and who you’re being. The first step we must take to begin to live a life free of our past shackles is to become aware in the present moment, to become conscious of our thoughts and our behavior. We must learn first to listen to the voice of the true self and over time, trust the intuition that we sense or feel, as a result of being aware.
Our lack of awareness leaves our subconscious with the only option available in regard to the reservoir it has to refer to, which is what I call “yesterday’s place.” And if yesterday has already occurred, has already taken place, it is nothing but history. It is not a stepping stone or a foundation for us to rely on in regard to our true present, as well as what and who we aspire to be. To initiate change and transform to becoming a new you, we must first understand our past and how it influences our present.
Consider for a moment that you are about to embark on a cross-country excursion. You go through the normal preparations as you would for any trip such as get the car checked by your mechanic, pack your clothes, visit the bank etc. Yet, when it comes to the actual route, you rely on the directions and maps that you once used for a previous trip at some point in the past. What, other than getting lost do you expect to happen? The reason, your headed in the wrong direction based on the wrong information.
The same is true in regard to our lives. If we rely on a past experience for our present day compass, we will assuredly be lost. Our past will not guide us to who we want to be and what we want to achieve in the present. Hence, we are constantly in a state of conflict, failing to understand why we consistently fall short of our dreams and intentions. The voice from our past guides us in the wrong direction.
This daily struggle colors our world and reinforces the negative thoughts and emotions that we experience in our lives. All human behavior is habitual, whether positive or negative. Being aware, simply allows you to distinguish between the two versus leaving you with the only option you’ve become accustomed to, which is being on “automatic pilot.” Being present in the here and now, releases you from the grip of limited thinking.
Being present enables you to create the “unlimited possibilities” that will allow you be who you want to be. Today, is the only day in which you can realize your “true potential,” not yesterday and not tomorrow.
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