Awareness: Opening Pathways for Change

July 13, 2015 at 6:37 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Awareness is empowering.” – Rita Wilson

Imagine something in your life that you at one time labelled as FACT or JUST IS (without questioning). Then think about the particular or unfolding set of event/s or interaction/s that totally transformed that limiting thought or belief for you (as depicted in the video linked above). Sometimes our individual or shared limiting thoughts and beliefs can remain unchallenged for far too long. While other times we can compassionately meet them earlier through awareness so as to open pathways to our ongoing deepening of connection to self, others and the world around us.

“Deep down we have the qualities of clarity, awareness, sensitivity, warmth and love. But, we have little idea at the outset just how deep and vast those qualities can be.” – Yaaqut

As humans we experience amazement regularly at the breadth and depth of what’s possible in our individual and shared journeys of potential. From what seems like the smallest everyday acts of kindness, patience or caring, to incredible feats while overcoming what seemed like unsurmountable odds (and everything in between), our capacities and capabilities are only limited by what we assume to be true. This process is one of the reasons why I love working with diverse and dynamic groups of students, I am constantly having my own awareness challenged and also watching the participants challenge their growing awareness as a pathway for change.

“The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.” – Nathaniel Branden

To finish the quote above I’d say the third step is then action. Each of us see our thoughts and beliefs made real each and every day through what we say and do. Whether we are embodying empowering or limiting thoughts and beliefs in this process (or everything in between), and experiencing the ripples created within our spheres of influence, is ultimately up to us as individuals. But as shown in the short video at the start of this post, we all play an important role in each others unfolding interdependent awareness as well.

“Every human has four endowments – self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom… The power to choose, to respond, to change.” – Stephen R. Covey

Ripples, not Results

July 6, 2015 at 7:42 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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“Happy people plan actions, they don’t plan results.” – Dennis Wholey

A few weeks back I was fortunate to be at the 2 day ‘Happiness and its Causes’ Conference at Luna Park, Sydney. The line up of speakers, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, were from all corners of the world and covered in their presentations a variety of research findings, life experiences, themes and implications for us as individuals and communities. I love any opportunity to listen to world class facilitators and speakers, there are always many take aways that challenge, expand and widen my own personal and professional growth and development.  The conference proved to be an inspiring 2 days, an opportunity to as Stephen R. Covey refers to, ‘sharpen the saw’.

“Suppose you came upon someone in the woods working to saw down a tree. They are exhausted from working for hours. You suggest they take a break to sharpen the saw. They might reply, “I didn’t have time to sharpen the saw, I’m busy sawing!” – Stephen R. Covey

Our journeys of potential really are universal. They may seem or look different to another, or take different twists and turns along the way, but if you dig deeper into the human experience, happiness, health and connection would be central to what each of the 7 1/2 billion of us wish for more of in our lives. Obviously, certain conditions or circumstances that we face along the way can impact an individuals or groups happiness, health or connection. But what we have or the conditions or circumstances that we find ourselves in do not entirely determine our happiness, health and connection on their own. Research has shown that our happiness for example is made up of: 50% hard wired (genetics), 10% life circumstances and the rest is made up from how we think and act.

“If you want happiness for an hour — take a nap.’
If you want happiness for a day — go fishing.
If you want happiness for a year — inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime — help someone else.”
– Chinese Proverb

Each of us I’m sure could identify at some level with the proverb above within our own lives (maybe not the inherit a fortune bit). Rather than focusing our attention on needing a particular result or outcome to happen (past or future) before happiness can be experienced, we can choose to immerse ourselves mindfully in using our daily thoughts, words and actions to make a difference in our own and others lives. This process reminds me of our mantra for this year that I wrote about in January, really listen and intentionally act, and how creating ripples provides us with opportunities for presence in the moment, feelings of being inspired and also animating the individuals and communities around us.

“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” – Pericles

How would you define happiness in your own life? What role does where your attention and focus lies play in the journey of happiness, health and connection for you? What daily thoughts, words and actions open opportunities for you to experience greater levels of happiness, health and connection through the ripples that are created?

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