Want to have more JOY in your life? The solution to increasing your joy is to practice being more aware. Let’s be honest with ourselves, we can go through an entire day on autopilot and yes we may get things done but are we joyful? I would argue that when we are not aware we cannot access much joy.
Noticing the subtleties in life and having those ‘light-bulb moments' throughout our day where we expand our thinking is where joy lives. Maya Angelou was and still is a great teacher of awareness. One of my favorite quotes is “Do your best until you know better and then when you know better, do better.” The desire to do better keeps curiosity at the forefront and with curiosity has to come awareness. Being more aware is the key to a fulfilled and joyful life. Each and every time I get to witness the spark of a new thought with my clients, I can see and feel the joy of it. The widening of their eyes, the childlike curiosity, the wonder and excitement of discovering a new way of thinking. I can’t help but smile and either can they.
So the question becomes… HOW? How can we BE more aware in life? Well, it starts with a desire to want to do better and with a little curiosity and some effort awareness can become like riding a bike… automatic.
Here are 5 ways to increase your awareness:
Understand the difference between the unconscious and conscious mind
When we have an understanding about how our mind works it offers us an opportunity to notice what is happening and gives us the ability to make choices in the moment. A little bit of understanding can give us great power over our reality.
Recommendation: Here is a 4 part article series on the conscious and unconscious mind. A great way to increase your awareness of our amazing brains: http://www.mindset-habits.com/conscious-subconscious-unconscious-mind/
Learn something new
A learning brain is an aware brain. With each new thing we learn we create a new neuropathway. Learning keeps our brains awake and with each new discovery or 'light-bulb moment' the amount of time we are aware grows. We see the world differently because our brain is a physically different.
Recommendation: Read a book that inspires new ways of thinking.
My top pick – Daring Greatly by Brene Brown.
It is wonderful to learn something new but if you don’t use it, you lose it. It takes time and effort to change, so it is up to you to repeat the behaviors you want to grow. Think of growing awareness like growing a muscle in your body. You have to work it out.
Recommendation: Take time each day to consciously stop and notice your surroundings.
My top pick – The 5 senses activity which can help you relieve stress but it can also bring you quickly into the present.
Each time we ask ourselves a question it sparks curiosity and exploration. This then leads into discussion and hopefully a new perspective, learning or even the joyful ‘light bulb moment.' I don’t believe we can be on autopilot when we are in the wonder of questions. Our brain wakes up…well mine does anyways!
Recommendation – Take time each day to ask yourself open ended questions (what, where, when, why, how).
My top pick- The 3 Why exercise – notice something and ask yourself why 3 times. For example – I feel good today… WHY? I got up early and took some time to journal…. WHY? It is important to me to take time for myself… WHY? When I take time for myself it builds my resilience for the day.
Discover something new about yourself
It is important to explore what it means to be you. This is the key to building lasting awareness because when you link it to what matters to you it tends to last. Typically, we invest in the things that matter to us most.
Recommendation – invest in assessments and programs that give you insight into what makes you uniquely you!
My top pick – This is the values assessment I use with my clients (It is called: VIA Survey of Character Strengths and it is under the questionnaires section).
If you are looking for a deeper connection with yourself learn more about my weekend retreat where you immerse yourself in discovering who you are. An entire awareness weekend! www.kimstandeven.com/workshops
If you are someone who loves to learn and grow join me in my new group: Wholehearted Living: Experience, Explore, Expand
If you would like to have a FREE discovery call with me about growing your awareness schedule some time with me.
Have an amazingly aware day!