Awareness is Everything
by Diane Linsley
Life presents us with an endless array of problems. On the surface,
each problem seems to be different. But in reality, there is only one
problem - a lack of awareness.
Albert Einstein said, "We can not solve our problems with the same
level of thinking that created them." There is a solution to every
problem, but we need more awareness to see it. As Bill Harris says, "Awareness is everything."
Why We Create Problems
My job as a life coach is not to solve people's problems. It's to help them raise their awareness until the solution becomes obvious to them. They must see it for themselves.
I use a variety of processes to help people access their own inner wisdom. I have a large toolbox because each person is unique and has different preferences. The processes may be different, but they all have the same goal - to raise awareness.
Why can't I just tell a person how to solve their problems? Believe me, I've tried. But I can't recall a single time when someone actually took my advice. Instead, they usually respond with numerous reasons why they can't do it. Advice-giving doesn't work. Coaching does.
Eckhart Tolle says that if you woke up on a desert island with no problems, you might be happy for a brief time. But you would soon get bored and start creating new problems. We create problems to match what we need to learn here at the Earth school.
For example, a person who leaves a bad relationship oftens ends up in another relationship with nearly identical problems. I did this after my divorce, and I've heard the same story from many clients. The problem is that you are still the same person with the same unconscious attractions.
The solution to this problem is what I call extreme witnessing. The moment you realize that you are recreating the same problem all over again, begin watching yourself with intense curiosity. How are you creating the problem? Watch your thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations.
Take your focus off the other person and put it on yourself. Become so fascinated with what's going on inside yourself that witnessing becomes the most important thing. See every encounter with other people as an opportunity to watch yourself and figure out how you are creating your experience.
Awareness Gives Choice
"You cannot do something that does not serve you and do it with awareness." ~Bill Harris
Once you become aware of how you are creating your experience, you will stop recreating the same old problems and start creating a better life. It's your life. No one else is creating it. Yes, other people influence your experience, but they cannot control you any more than you can control them.
You have choice - but only up to your level of awareness. This is the difference between agency and freedom. Agency is simply the ability to make a choice. All humans have this ability. Freedom, on the other hand, exists on a continuum. The more awareness you have, the more freedom you have. More freedom means more and better options.
No one is 100% aware of everything. We each have areas of life where we are more or less aware. For example, a person who has spent their life studying about health and creating good health habits will have a lot of awareness about health. But they may lack awareness in relationships. If they applied the same amount of effort to their relationships, they would have better relationships.
Awareness and Spiritual Practice
There are many different spiritual practices for raising awareness, and no single practice works for everyone. Some people swear by mindfulness meditation. Others love energy work. Still others find their spiritual path in lucid dreaming.
Sometimes I get a client who has "tried everything, and nothing works." Invariably, the problem is they didn't stick with anything long enough. Many people give up on their practice as soon as it loses its shiny newness and turns into "hard work". They quit at the first bump in the road.
Perseverance is essential for spritual growth. "Get rich quick" schemes don't work. Neither do "get enlightened quick" schemes.
It helps to approach your spiritual practice with an attitude of curiosity. When doing your practice, be the Witness. Watch everything that arises - including your resistance. The Witness is the non-judgmental observer. Don't confuse it with the Inner Critic. The feeling of the Witness is simple curiosity. If it had a voice, it would say, "Hmmm.... Isn't that interesting." There is no blame or shame. When I do Voice Dialogue with clients, they sometimes feel resistance to speaking from disowned voices. In Voice Dialogue, we allow the voice to say whatever it has to say, and we witness it without judgment. When done this way, Voice Dialogue is a powerful process for raising awareness. Often, a voice holds the key to solving the client's problem. It never fails to amaze me how wise the voices are.
Processes for Raising Awareness
A highly aware client needs very little help from me. They practically coach themselves while I simply act as a mirror - reflecting things back to them so they can see more clearly.
At the opposite end of the spectrum is the client who resists everything and then says that nothing works. These clients don't last long. They soon leave in frustration to go looking for the next quick fix.
Bill Harris says that nothing works for some people because they have a low threshold (tolerance level) for all the input that is coming at them from the environment. The solution is to raise the threshold. One of the most effective ways to raise the threshold is with Holosync meditation. I recommend this program to all of my clients. I once had a client who kept changing her mind about which problem she wanted to work on. I was using one of my best Law of Attraction processes, but she was resisting by changing the theme of the session over and over. Each time she did this, I started over with the same process, regardless of what the problem was. I told her that the same process can be used for any problem.
A spiritual seeker could spend their life going from one program or teacher to the next. But when you see that it's all the same thing - just different ways to raise awarness - you can calm down.
The solution is not necessarily to get more tools, but to take the ones you have to the next level. You can always go deeper into meditation, lucid dreaming, Voice Dialogue, or whatever you enjoy doing.
Your level of awareness correlates with your stage of cognitive development. For more information, read my article on cognitive development.
As a life coach, I use many different processes to help
people with their personal growth. Click here if you are
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