Do you take good care of your mind? Are you nourishing your awareness? And how, exactly, do you do that anyways?
We all know that there are huge industries devoted to taking care of your physical fitness, your diet, and your appearance. And those things are important and have a big effect on your quality of life.
But your awareness is more primary than any of those things. Your attention is the medium through which you experience all of your life. Metaphorically speaking, if your life is a beautiful painting in process, then your awareness is the canvas.
So isn’t it strange that we don’t talk a lot about how to take care of that canvas? You see, there are some pretty straight forward ways that you can do that. Did you know that? You can actually optimize your awareness and take care of it.
An Opportunity For Transformation
In fact, taking care of your mind in this way may be one of the simplest and most dramatic ways to improve your quality of life.
Here’s what I mean.
Awareness is a totally amazing thing but most of us take it for granted. It’s just…who we are. We don’t typically reflect on it. As a result, most of us are missing a huge opportunity for transformation.
Let’s look a little more closely at the awe-inspiring nature of your awareness.
First, your awareness includes everything you experience. In fact, most of your day-to-day human experience is shaped by where you choose to direct that awareness. So it makes sense to ask the question, what are you paying attention to? And, are you paying attention to what you pay attention to?
What Are You Feeding Your Awareness?
Just like the quality of food you put in your body has a huge effect on your wellbeing, so too do the objects that fill your awareness. The thoughts, ideas, experiences, and relationships you pay attention to all influence the quality of your being.
For example, if you spend time thinking about and practicing stillness, you are going to become more open and sensitive to stillness. The more you put your attention on silence, the more you will start to gravitate towards and build sensitivity to silence—inner and outer.
Similarly, if you spend time watching cable news channels with constant bad news, it’s going to influence your awareness. If you do things that don’t support your higher development, it’s going to effect the quality of your awareness. If your relationships are nourishing and filled with purpose, meaning, and love, that will also determine the richness of your awareness.
What Is The Nature Of Your Awareness?
You see, your awareness is responsive and always adapting to how you engage with life and what you pay attention to. It’s pliable and it takes on the qualities of the things that you direct it towards.
To put it in very simple terms, it expands and contracts and it becomes more subtle or gross depending on where you guide it. And that determines how rich, vibrant, inspired, and meaningful your life is or how dull, depressing, and demoralizing.
I know, that’s kind of a simplistic way to look at it, but you get my basic point. Awareness is fundamental to who you are, and you have the opportunity to refine and cultivate that awareness in ways that can dramatically affect your life for the better.
Can you appreciate how huge that is? It’s something I think about a lot lately and it floors me. Why?
Pay Attention To Your Attention
For one thing, it’s empowering. If you are reasonably healthy, you have the ability to direct your attention wherever you choose. And that always matters insomuch as it determines what you experience and how you experience life all the time. For most of us, where we direct our attention can be pretty rote and not so conscious.
Another way to say it is this. If you want to become more conscious, you need to pay attention to what you’re paying attention to. And there are real consequences, for better and for worse, for how you choose to apply your attention.
So how do you begin to take care of your awareness?
Meditation Refines Your Awareness
For one thing, you can meditate. It will help you begin to refine the quality of your attention and your capacity to pay attention to what you pay attention to.
Meditation will also help you develop a sensitivity to how it feels when your attention expands and contracts. As you get better at it, you will start to see that awareness has no limits.
When you begin to train your attention through meditation, you experience the limitless nature of your own awareness. And that experience, which comes from diligent practice, will inspire you.
For one thing, it will fuel your interest and desire to take care of this miraculous thing we are calling awareness. It will also show you meditation is a powerful vehicle for learning about yourself.
It’s important to understand that how you direct your attention is largely fueled by your values and what you think is most important. You only have to look at where you direct the majority of your attention to see what you think is most important in life.
So how about it. Is it time for you to take a step back and look at your what your feeding your mind?