There is a lot of talking in recent years about people becoming able to raise the level of their consciousness and about humanity approaching the period of consciousness renaissance. Those are very promising and inspiring ideas, but what does it mean for an average person in terms of becoming conscious in their everyday life?
The formula is the following: to be conscious means to know WHAT you are doing and WHY you are doing it.
Though it sounds very simple, but for the beginner it may not be quite easy to implement it on a full scale as it requires some digging inside the inner-self for finding the true motivation for every action.
Let’s look at an example, choosing the most typical action that everyone does on the daily basis, but not everyone is conscious about what they are doing and why. The example is eating. This action is done so many times during the lifetime of each person that it becomes a standard program. Usually we eat breakfast, lunch and dinner without giving too much thought to this routine and to its true purpose in each particular case. It can be compared with being asleep and playing a role in the dream without questioning the desirability of this scenario.
Let’s wake up in our waking dream and become conscious, just like we do sometimes during the night sleep, realizing that we are inside of a dream (this is called Lucid Dreaming). While sitting at the dinner table and enjoying your food, ask a question: WHAT I’m doing at this particular moment and WHY I’m doing it?
There are many possible answers to this question:
- I’m eating, because I feel hungry or
- I’m at the dinner table, because it’s dinner time or
- I’m having dinner, because this is how our family spends time together, etc.
The goal of this exercise is to find the true reason or purpose of your action. For example, if you dig deeper into some of the answers above, you may find the following underlying reasons for having this particular dinner:
- I feel that my body needs nourishment, or
- I feel empty inside, and eating creates a feeling of this gap being filled, or
- I like to follow everyday routines: unplanned changes and spontaneity makes me feel uncomfortable, or
- I like to spend time with my family, but we don’t have much in common to do together except for eating, etc.
The key is to find the real reason/purpose of your current activity. You may need more time and/or honesty to get there, but it’s possible, if you wish to become conscious in every action you are undertaking, especially if this activity is usually performed in the “autopilot” mode.
Depending on the answer you found to your question “Why”, you may be satisfied with your true motivation or you may be unhappy about it. No matter what’s your reaction to your findings, you should congratulate yourself for achieving the state of Being Conscious during this particular activity of your day.
You became awake in your “dream”! This is the essence of ancient teaching of Dream Yoga – a powerful tool for enlightenment, but in this case you skipped the stage of learning to wake up in the dream, getting right to the point of practicing being conscious in your waking life.
What is the next step? You need to make a decision. Just like in the lucid dream: if you don’t like current scenario of your dream, change it. If your conscious self is enjoying what you are doing – great, enjoy the dream, but from now on you are doing it consciously, it means that you can see bigger picture and adjust your experience to be even more meaningful and joyful!
Don’t let it bring you down and don’t fall back asleep, if upon “awakening” and analyzing your current activity, you don’t like the true motivation behind it and you feel that you aren’t able to change anything about it. Continue to be conscious: make a conscious decision to keep doing what you are doing, observing yourself and honestly admitting the reason/purpose of this activity.
It’s the main theme of so-called “Shadow Work” – finding the parts of yourself that are hidden in the shadow of your unconscious mind. As soon as you get to know your shadow aspects, you’ll get an opportunity to change your life. Only by becoming conscious you are able to see these aspects and to understand when they are at play and therefore you get the chance to take your life in your conscious hands. “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” (C.G.Jung)
Why the ability of being conscious is considered to be an essential part of an ascending human being?
The ability to be conscious is the indispensable skill of an alchemist in the process of transmuting “lead” into “gold”. By being continually conscious of your actions, thoughts and feelings, you’ll eventually come to the transmutational part of the formula: HOW to make a change for better.
Using the previous example about eating dinner, the “How” can be translated in the following ways:
- I’m eating to nourish my body, so I’ll put an effort in providing it with the best healthy products.
- I don’t like to feel emptiness inside, so I’m going to find a hobby that will make my life more interesting and meaningful.
- I accept that I have fears and insecurities, I’ll be observing them when they appear in other areas of my life and I’ll be working on finding their roots.
- I’ll try to find more ways to communicate with the members of my family; having a dinner is great “excuse” for getting together, I’ll try to enrich this experience with other activities as well.
The power of our awakening is always in our own hands: what we need is to be conscious about our own “Whats” (what’s happening) and “Whys” (why is it happening). When such continuous awareness becomes an integral part of the Self, there will always be an answer for “How” (to change what’s happening), for “What + Why = How”. And once you are awakened, you won’t be interested to go back to sleep!
© Rita Lev 2018
Featured image: Rob Gonsalves