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Awareness – A to Z of Self Leadership

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.

Action steps:

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.

 
awareness
 

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.
– Osho

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

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91 Comments

  1. […] you need less of. Try to eliminate the unessential. This is an ongoing exercise that calls for awareness and honesty. You have to keep checking to see how it works, until you find balance. At some points, […]

  2. […] Awareness means being awake and present so that you recognize even subtle things that can either stifle or propel you. These are mental, emotional and physical keys to help you become more attentive, which can prepare you to make choices leading to greater creativity. We learn to observe how the ordinary is transformed into the extraordinary and become able to fully enjoy the creations of others. Our commitment to awareness can show Spirit we have made a decision to live at a high level of personal and creative fulfillment. […]

  3. […] of pulling yourself out of a mess, or moving towards becoming the person you were meant to be. Awareness is the first step towards authenticity, in my […]

  4. […] positive benefits of meditation. For just about 10 minutes a day, you can help yourself have better self-awareness, focus, and perspective. It also has meditation programs, which help with stress, and will help […]

  5. nan nan April 9, 2015

    I don’t necessarily agree with Osho about there being no evil/forces (since that is the opposite of what the Bible teaches) but I like his point. People are asleep and it does lead to their destruction! This was an excellent, excellent article! I am going to (again) save this one and do the homework!! I like this series you’re doing even if I am behind – now I have several in a row to read, yay! GREAT post!

  6. Sarah Sarah April 9, 2015

    Interesting Corinne. I’ve done a lot of changing in the past year, taking in many of the points above, although not writing anything down. I think deep down we all know what we want, who we are. It sometimes takes a loss or illness to get in touch with it though.

    I don’t agree with Osho. I feel if people were truly aware, they wouldn’t be unkind, cruel etc. Just my own take on that one.

  7. kimberly kimberly April 7, 2015

    Oh God! If I were to try the eulogy experiment, i’d get nowhere Corrine!! I know so little about myself. That’s always been the problem with me, making me one real confused(and sometimes confusing) individual. I really must work on self awareness. Lovely post!

  8. Fab Fab April 4, 2015

    So true!! Any kind of personal growth can only begin with a true awareness of one’s self. I’ve read about the eulogy exercise before, but it sounds difficult (and also feels a little morbid :)) But I think that is one reason it is so effective!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 4, 2015

      Try the eulogy exercise, Fab! It’s really not morbid, considering we all have to die someday! 😉 But seriously, you could try the exercise in The 7 Habits – imagining your 80th birthday.

  9. Lanise Brown Lanise Brown April 3, 2015

    Having awareness is a powerful tool indeed. Such a lovely post. Thanks for sharing, Corinne.

  10. April Sherlock April Sherlock April 2, 2015

    Love this! I have been becoming more aware and awake with myself and the world around me, sometimes I feel like the more aware I become, the more I realize I know nothing.lol

  11. Simran Kaur Simran Kaur April 2, 2015

    Beautiful read ! I will surely try an eulogy. Your posts are always inspiring. 🙂

  12. My Inner Chick My Inner Chick April 2, 2015

    Awareness.
    Awareness.
    Awareness.

    YES. This is part of prayer, Corinne.

    What I do disagree with is that there is “no evil in the world.”

    There is.

    I wish there wasn’t, but there is.

    Xxx KISS from MN.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 3, 2015

      Thanks, Kim. I think Osho was saying that evil is a lack of awarenes of our feelings and those of others.

  13. Eloquent Mind Eloquent Mind April 2, 2015

    Thanks for choosing this theme, Corinne. Because it sure is helping me be “aware” and look into myself. 🙂 Great start to the challenge. Can’t wait the entire series. 🙂

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 3, 2015

      Glad you like it, EM. I’m writing it for myself, first of all!

  14. Monica Deshpande Monica Deshpande April 2, 2015

    An inspiring theme, Corinne and some great tips. Writing my own epitaph sounds interesting although a bit daunting.
    Love the Osho quote.
    🙂

  15. Ina Tales Ina Tales April 1, 2015

    You got me there Corinne :O Writing my Eulogy is such a scary feel. Very powerful post. Awaresness of who we are and where we are going can change our life.

  16. Doreen McGettigan Doreen McGettigan April 1, 2015

    Corinne this is beautiful. I look forward to your words throughout the challenge. Good Luck!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 3, 2015

      Thanks, Doreen! I was just discussing your blessing bags with my husband!

  17. Swathi Shenoy Swathi Shenoy April 1, 2015

    So true Corinne. Without awareness, we are nothing! Writing my eulogy seems so scary but I am gonna give it a try anyway! 🙂

  18. Self leadership—I love this subject. It’s taken me many years to reach it and find self awareness. When it begins to happen though, our confidence is increased and we feel we can do almost anything. Lovely quotes you’ve shared too, Corrine. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 4, 2015

      I think self awareness is an ongoing exercise, and like you say, one that is so necessary for us to be confident. Thank you for coming by, Lisa!

  19. Rachel Rachel April 1, 2015

    A thought provoking post and one I enjoyed, awareness is so important as with it how do we grow x

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 4, 2015

      Thanks, Rachel. You’re so right – without awareness there can be no growth.

  20. Ajay Pai Ajay Pai April 1, 2015

    Loved it. Needless to say well written. Am unsure, what would they speak if I am no more. Oh! it has made me halt! I would want to ponder on how I have carried myself all these years.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 4, 2015

      Thanks, Ajay. I suppose we can only imagine what people will really say. But what do we want them to say? That will perhaps guide the course of our life.

  21. Vinodini Iyer Vinodini Iyer April 1, 2015

    Being aware is so vital for our well being. Thanks for reinforcing this with your post. A great post to start the challenge with.

  22. Robyn Robyn April 1, 2015

    You’ve made yet another impact on me and how I look at things! I’m so guilty of not being aware of what I am feeling, experiencing, wanting, etc., so, I’m off to write a eulogy.

  23. Prasanna Prasanna April 1, 2015

    Wow, that sounds like an interesting exercise- to write one’s own eulogy. I guess that’s make us aware of our own shortcomings. I’d try it out 🙂 Great start Corrine 🙂

  24. Vinitha Vinitha April 1, 2015

    Great post, Corinne. I liked the idea of writing one’s own eulogy. Will try it out. Looking forward to B. 🙂

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 4, 2015

      Thanks, Vinitha. Would love to take a peek at what you write for your ‘eulogy’.

  25. Tarkabarka Tarkabarka April 1, 2015

    Great post! Very thought-provoking. I think finding out what other people really think about you is one of the scariest things in the world 🙂 But probably very useful.Thank you!

  26. Sulekha Sulekha April 1, 2015

    Awareness is very important. Writing my own eulogy is a creative writing exercise I would love to do. Thanks to you, I read The Artist’s way, and found a storehouse of writing tips. Loved your post, will be back tomorrow 🙂

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 4, 2015

      I’m glad you liked The Artist’s Way, Sulekha. I hope you enjoy the exercise I suggested too!

  27. Aathira Aathira April 1, 2015

    I love your theme! And this post was so motivating. I have been reading a lot on this topic lately. Shall definitely come back for more tomorrow 🙂

  28. Suzy Suzy April 1, 2015

    Love the quote by Carl Jung – he summed it up well. All answers lie within. Interesting thought to write a eulogy.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 4, 2015

      All answers lie within, indeed! The paradox is that we keep searching…!

  29. rajlakshmi rajlakshmi April 1, 2015

    I have to try hard to be self aware as my mind tends to drift very fast. I guess my eulogy might not be that bad. I am trying to be a happy person 🙂

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 4, 2015

      I’m sure your yoga practice helps you become more aware, Raj!

  30. Parul Parul April 1, 2015

    Great start Corinne and I agree it all begins and ends with awareness. Writing a Eulogy is a great idea and I should try that.
    Loved reading your post.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 4, 2015

      Thanks, Parul. Let me know how your eulogy writing goes!

  31. Tasha Tasha April 1, 2015

    Self-awareness is hard. I do agree with much of your post :). I think I might find trying to write my own eulogy a bit morbid, however :).
    Tasha
    Tasha’s Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 4, 2015

      I understand, Tasha. Perhaps imagining the toast that will be raised for your 95th birthday? 🙂

  32. G Angela G Angela April 1, 2015

    wow! Corinne, what a great start.. loved reading every sentence of this post, and also liked both the sayings of Carl Jung & Osho.. I remember writing eulogy as part of the exercise in one of the retreats attended earlier (I don’t remember where) it was so frightening but then at the end of it, it made so much sense… thanks for sharing and am glad to read my first post for today’s challenge and I would like to be awakened with energy by the end of this challenge…

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 4, 2015

      Thanks, Angela. I know you would tell me about Osho’s writings when I hadn’t really looked at them.
      I don’t think we did the eulogy exercise together, but I found it immensely useful too.

  33. Vidya Sury Vidya Sury April 1, 2015

    I played with Awareness for A, Corinne – but opted for another word, as it seemed more apt. What a wonderful start to the A to Z – and I love your pinnable!

    I remember you once tagged me on twitter – 5 last words or something, remember? That was fun – and I thought of it today when I read your post.

    A regular exercise I enjoy is this: ask 5 friends what they think of you in one-three lines. Great fun!

    Love and hugs! 🙂

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 4, 2015

      I’m glad we didn’t do the same word, Vidya.
      Yes, I remember that twitter thing. And thanks for sharing that exercise. It is fun and an eye-opener too!

  34. Debbie D. Debbie D. April 1, 2015

    Excellent tips about self-awareness. I remember doing that eulogy exercise in Journalism school. It does help you realize your self-worth.
    Looks like you’ve chosen some major challenges for this month, Corinne. I’m impressed! 🙂

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 4, 2015

      Ah so you know how that exercise goes, Debbie. I was surprised by how many people think it’s morbid!
      I’m glad to be attempting this challenge with you again! 🙂

  35. Shilpa Garg Shilpa Garg April 1, 2015

    Inspiring! Self awareness is to be more alert and to be more alive. Love the action step. Writing your own eulogy can be a big step towards introspection and self realization. Great start to the challenge, Corinne ♥

  36. Bhavya Bhavya April 1, 2015

    Such a wonderful theme for the AtoZ Corinne!

    The idea of writing my own funeral speech is kind of unsettling. You are right, it shows you what you want to be and throws light on what you need to do.

      • Bhavya Bhavya April 1, 2015

        Indeed. Unsettling in a good way. It makes you want to finally get up and get moving..

  37. Vidya Subramanian Vidya Subramanian April 1, 2015

    A great start Corinne! It is strange that we may know a lot about the world yet remain unaware of ourselves. I’m not sure I’ll be able to write my own eulogy, but I’ll definitely make a friend do it 🙂 I am actually thinking of doing similar activities with my students in school!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 1, 2015

      Make a friend write your eulogy? I’m guessing s/he will be even more uncomfortable than you might be. Okay, what if I said write the toast you’d like raised for your 90th birthday? 🙂

  38. Pratikshya Pratikshya April 1, 2015

    this is so true and a much needed lesson to learn… we have so much of everything within us, but we stupidly waste time searching for it elsewhere…

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 1, 2015

      That’s right, Pratikshya. I remember Rumi’s words, something to the effect of searching for a precious necklace when it’s on your next all the while!

  39. Irish Carter Irish Carter April 1, 2015

    I love the idea of writing our own eulogy. Great idea. I wrote a post a while back about how our life is a painting and what does your art gallery look like. It was kind of the same concept. We need to live our life how we want to be remembered. Love life, love ourselves and paint your image for YOU and OTHERS! Thanks for inspiring doll.

    Talk to you soon. Keep that beautiful smile of yours shining bright.

    Irish

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 4, 2015

      I love the metaphor of the art gallery. Thanks for sharing, Irish, and for all your encouragement. You’re a sweetheart!

  40. Laurel Regan Laurel Regan April 1, 2015

    I’ve heard of the eulogy exercise, but never had the courage to try it myself. It seems like a rather frightening prospect, but I can see how it would generate incredibly valuable insights. Thanks for the inspiration. 🙂

  41. Swati Swati April 1, 2015

    Good post Corrine. Looking forward to all the other alphabets. I had not revealed my theme but since I am participating through my food blog my theme will revolve around ingredients and all the names related to food, cuisine and all that.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 4, 2015

      Thanks, Swati! Good luck with the challenge. I’ve been doing a few posts on food recently but haven’t had the courage to start a food blog!

  42. Eli Eli April 1, 2015

    First: love you theme Corinne:-) Perfect timing for me to get inspired on self leadership. And so true- without self awareness – how can we find our path in life?! To stay true to core values and know ourselves is everything. Great post, and I will come back for more.. best of luck for A to Z:-) Hugs

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 4, 2015

      Thanks, Eli. The first ‘customer’ for my posts is me! 😉

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 4, 2015

      Thanks, Eli! The first ‘customer’ for learning from my posts is me! 🙂

  43. Considerer Considerer April 1, 2015

    Whoa! SUCH a cool theme! I think I’m gonna have to follow these. I tend to be pretty self-aware. Or perhaps more self-analytical (when I notice – cos I know I can sometimes be IMMENSELY dumb about things (but perhaps we all can)).

    The idea of writing my own eulogy was VERY odd, but I can see how it would highlight the things which are important to a person – same as looking at your bank statement to see what you invest in.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 4, 2015

      Thanks, Lizzi. Let me know how you get on with the eulogy. If you find it odd, do another one – imagine a toast that might be raised at your 95th birthday party! 🙂

  44. Shantala Shantala April 1, 2015

    Very well written, Corinne. What you said about writing our own eulogy is very true. We had our Communications professor give it as an assignment during MBA – Write your own Funeral Speech. Even after all these years I recollect how difficult it was and how strongly it impacted me. Staying tuned for B.
    -Shantala

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 1, 2015

      So you know the feeling? The exercise made me much more conscious of what I was and wanted to be, Shantala.
      Thanks!

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