Conscious living: the key to lasting positive change
Conscious: conscious of the own existence, sensations, thoughts and surroundings; aware of what one is doing.
Unconscious: without consciousness or cognition; occurring below the level of conscious thought; not consciously planned, performed or done; the unconscious: the part of the mind that contains psychic material that is rarely accessed in consciousness, but has a pronounced effect on behavior.
When we live our lives in a state of true awareness in which we are truly aware of our actions, we can free ourselves from reactive and self-destructive behavior and do our personal best. Unfortunately, although we may think that we make conscious decisions, our unconscious mind actually impacts our behavior. Therefore, our actions are not really under our control. We can learn to recognize the unconscious, that part of our mind that has great power over many of our actions without us even being aware of its existence. By doing so, we can lessen their power over us.
For example, just try to notice that voice inside your head that gets very chatty every time you are about to make a decision, especially an important one that could result in change. Is he telling you that you are crazy to consider what you are thinking of doing? You say you failed once before and will probably do it again? This talk is easy to recognize because that voice, or chorus of voices, is activated all day. Simply walking into a room of strangers sets it off! They don’t like me, I don’t belong here, ya-da, ya-da. We do not understand that the voice wants to sabotage us.
The voice is not you. It is a manifestation of your subconscious fears. Just by noticing it, you will realize that this inner saboteur is at work. In the act of realizing it, you begin to empower yourself to make truly conscious decisions that will result in positive and lasting changes in your life.
The voice is the mental chatter that we can recognize. What about all the subconscious things that are also at work but that are much more difficult to identify? Too often, we find ourselves reacting quickly to life circumstances rather than taking time to stop, listen, and think things through. For example, your friend may ask you if you don’t feel good because you don’t look so sexy. You could react immediately by replying, “What do you mean, I don’t look good?” His feelings got hurt because he is extremely sensitive to any kind of criticism. Those feelings of low self-worth can come from a parent who was always extremely critical – why it doesn’t matter. The bottom line is that your friend meant exactly what he said: are you okay? Nothing else. You added the rest. You were unconscious in your reaction. You allowed your past to repeat itself.
When we live on a conscious level, we are as alert to what is happening as a deer in the forest listening to something unknown. We make sure that our actions, our decisions, our communications are not influenced by the myriad of filters that we apply to life. We do not look through pink or black glasses; we chose to look through crystal clear ones that do not distort reality.
We recognize that the voice in our head is not authentic and we proceed without your input. Thank him for sharing and move on. We begin to see that reacting to life is very different from acting from a place of awareness and awareness. We learn to recognize reality for what it is and not for what we think it should be. We choose to make conscious decisions over unconscious decisions.
Life Coaching has a very strong emphasis on the act of living consciously. We learn to recognize when we fall into unconsciousness, thus training ourselves to be more and more aware of what is really happening. We free ourselves from doing the same things over and over. We learn from our greater sense of consciousness. We began to see things differently, in a much more objective and clear way.
There are thousands of ways one can begin to practice mindful living. The first and most important thing is to notice the chatter of your mind. Just take a look. Second, to stop reactive behavior, walk away when you feel like you’re out of control. Recognize your danger zone. When you feel the rush of emotions starting, step back and count to twenty. Don’t give in to a rush. Refresh. Take a quick walk. Look at those activities that clear your mind and create calm. Some people meditate, others do yoga or sing. Others find that 18 holes on a golf course is a spiritual experience. What works for you.
Always review your actions and decisions to make sure they are made without counterproductive habits. Are you seeing reality as it exists or through some kind of filter? Drop the self-centered behavior that clouds the issue and only serves to reinforce bad behavior and poor decision-making. Be like the deer in the forest – alert, focused, present, and fully aware.