We often move through our lives from point A to point B, without considering the journey in between. We move from bed to coffeepot, from house to office to store, from start of work to end of task often without considering or paying attention to the travel itself. We tend to see travel as an ordeal, consider airline travel these days, or a long car trip where you spend the entire journey anticipating your arrival at the end.
Building awareness requires that we slow down a little. Just going slowly enough that we can start to enjoy and notice the journey, the traveling, instead of the starting and finishing points. To notice HOW are we getting from A to B, not how quickly or how slowly, but simply, HOW?
Let yourself imagine a river.
We all know the water is always flowing in the river, it is just “there”. We see it, we know it is there, yet we also know that the water we see in this moment is not the water we see in this one, or this one, or this one. The water flows by us as we stand on the bank looking at it. Within us the same thing happens. Our blood, our breath, our thoughts, our self, all change and flow from one instance to the next. We are not the same as we were a moment ago. So the idea that we can play with and play within, is one of how we are, in each moment, not what or whom we may think we are.
Consider the journey you take every moment, every day. Each time you get out of bed in the morning, you can practice paying attention to that little mini journey.
All too often we try to “do“ our lives.
“WE DO THIS OUT OF HABIT, BECAUSE WE AREN’T REALLY PAYING ATTENTION.”
As an example, people often “do” yoga by putting their bodies into postures and holding them, but we all have to breathe sometime, and the moment you breathe, the posture changes. Even if you hold your breath, the blood moves, fluids flow, your mind shifts, thoughts come and go, nothing stays the same even when we think we are being still. So the idea that we can stop moving is not real. The idea that someone could hold perfectly still in asana (postures) is not reality.
Often we have the same practice of “doing” our lives throughout the day, instead of actually attending to the moments and to what is arising within us. We are unaware of what we are doing, how we are moving from one task or action to the next, and that means it’s easy to overlook or mistake things.
One way to start to notice this is to spend just an hour during your day where you intentionally pay attention to how you are doing whatever you need to do in that hour. How are you feeling in your body- feeling easy, or Tense? How is your breathing- does it flow openly or does it feel constricted? And what are you able to hear, when you pay attention to all the myriad sounds that we automatically block out- how might they be affecting you?
What are you able to notice, when you pay attention?
In understanding this about ourselves we have a golden opportunity to open up to a new possibility. We can start to practice paying attention even within what we think is a still or silent moment. Awakening to reality is what awareness is getting us to do. So perhaps today allow yourself some intentionally aware moments where you allow yourself to enjoy moving through from one moment to the next without much thought of how it started or how it might end.