One of the first steps towards self leadership is awareness.
There’s the story of the disciple who went to the master and said, “Could you give me a word of wisdom? Could you tell me something that would guide me through my days”? It was the master’s day of silence, so he picked up a pad. It said, “Awareness”. When the disciple saw it, he said, “This is too brief. Can you expand on it a bit”?
So the master took back the pad and wrote, “Awareness, awareness, awareness”. The disciple said, “Yes, but what does it mean”? The master took back the pad and wrote, “Awareness, awareness, awareness means – awareness”.
From Anthony D’Mello’s ‘Awareness’
Without awareness how will we be able to answer these important questions?
Who you are?
What you want to achieve?
What are your values and beliefs?
What is holding you back?
What makes you happy?
What triggers strong emotions within you?
How you have acquired certain patterns of behaviour?
What you need to live a fulfilling life?
“Self-awareness keeps us grounded, attuned and focused,” says Sherrie Campbell, author of Loving Yourself: The Mastery of Being Your Own Person
The good news is that all of us have been gifted with self-awareness. For a variety of reasons, we choose not to use this gift. But the other bit of good news is that we can train or retrain ourselves to become more aware.
One challenging exercise in awareness is to write your own eulogy. Yes, imagine yourself dead and someone speaking about your life. What might they say about who you were, how you behaved and what you achieved? What you write will tell you a lot about your values. You might find this a difficult exercise, but I know from experience how helpful it is.
Perhaps you could share this with a friend and have her or him tell you if this rings true about you. Have your friend or a member of your family whose opinion you value, tell you what they think about you and your behaviour. How do you come across to them. Be open to have them tell you something you may not like about yourself. Remember, the more we are aware, the more we can grow and the further along we can go on our journey in self leadership.
I have found the exercise of writing ‘Morning Pages’ as recommended by Julia Cameron, in”The Artist’s Way” a wonderful exercise in awareness. I have discovered the source of many of my negative patterns of behaviour through it, as also what I can do to heal myself and move forward.
Some very powerful words from Osho.
There is no evil and there are
no evil forces in the world.
There are only people of awareness,
and there are people who are fast asleep –
and sleep has no force.
The whole energy is in the hands of the awakened people.
And one awakened person can awaken the whole world.
One lighted candle can make millions of candles lighted
without losing it’s light.
Today I wish you awareness!
Stay tuned for the ‘B’ of Self-Leadership.
Today I’m on ‘A ‘ of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. My theme is the A to Z of Self Leadership. I’m also undertaking the NaBloPoMo for April – the theme is ‘grow’ and the Ultimate Blog Challenge.