We’ve lived our lives with the age-old additive: Knowledge is Power. But what if Awareness was the true Power?
Don’t you find that the proverbial firecracker-start to a year, with all its plans and goals to chase, can end up clouding what’s really important, exhausting us before the end of January?
New Year’s resolutions simply serve to pile on the guilt and insecurity that comes when we inevitably don’t manage to stick to the illustrious goals that are often set in the haze of the festive season or out of desperation of a tough year gone by.
They usually don’t work because we’ve only done the surface work that identifies the goal, but not the deeper work that would help us to root out what has been stopping us all along.
The Iceberg Model (used in many contexts and by many theorists, practitioners, and others) is a great illustration of this:
As with everything occurring below the water line in the model above, all sorts of ‘stuff’ is going on inside us that, often we’re not even aware. This is reflected in our behaviours and the way we show up in the world – the observable actions taking place above the water line in the model.
Sometimes we are fully aware of what is driving our behaviours, for example, we may be ignoring our partner as we are angry and do not feel like engaging in conversation. Or, we know that we’re not really hungry but find ourselves eating because so-and-so said ‘that’ about me, or we find ourselves pouring a drink earlier today because we’re bored.
On the other hand, we could be completely oblivious to what is driving our behaviour – or at least the deeper reasons for this.
Extending the examples above: What we may not be aware of is that we have a deep-seated belief rooted in our childhood that states that people from our culture/ gender/ family must not display anger – and this is the reason we resort to ignoring people and not speaking up for ourselves. Or as children, everything was soothed with food, or our parents were hugely successful, despite their drinking habits.
Many of the beliefs and assumptions we carry around deep inside of us were formed when we were very young and were just making sense of the world. Many of them are dead wrong. This is where their destructiveness can seriously impede our relationships and achievements in life and can really hold us back.
This is our work as adults.
To build our awareness around what lies ‘below the surface. Maybe to first become aware that we have it in our power to shift these assumptions or beliefs to make way for the changes we really want and create a happier life with healthier relationships.
How do we grow our awareness?
Here are some suggestions:
- Journaling (Writing and reflecting builds awareness)
- Connecting with others (Noticing how our behaviour impacts others)
- Getting a professional Coach (who has done an accredited course)
- Doing personal development courses and workshops.
- Seeing a psychologist or therapist if there is deep-seated trauma holding us back.
- Finding stillness. (Alone time is a powerful tool to build awareness)
- Practices such as mindfulness, meditation and creativity. (It’s about stopping the ‘doing’ and just being)
This work is something that needs to happen consistently throughout our lives – this is how we grow after all, yet it is something that we very rarely find the time for. It’s one of the reasons my colleagues at Equinox Journey and I, have created our unique Equinox Morning Routine and 30-Day Challenges. We aim to facilitate people through some of this reflection and support needed to carve out time for themselves each day.
Our 30-Day Challenge – called Break-the-Pattern – is perfect for anyone wanting to shift something that’s in their way and start moving forward. Whether it is extra weight, unhealthy habits, negative self-image, procrastination, saying yes too often, fear of failure… or any of the multitude of blocks standing in the way of a happier more contented life. The truth is that things will never change unless you choose to face them and discover what drives them.
The Equinox Journey, 30-day Challenge is super supportive, fun and interesting process designed to grow you in ways you may never have expected. You’ll finish your 30 days with heightened awareness, self-compassion and a bunch of tried and tested tools (practices) to keep you going.
Leigh, Paula & Sharon (The Equinox Journey Morning Team)
Inspired by Robin Sharma’s 5 am Club and a love for the dawn, Leigh Johnson, Paula Brown and Sharon Shakung, got together in August 2021 to create small shifts in people and in so doing start changing their lives and the world around them – one-morning routine at a time. They host group coaching sessions on Zoom between 5 and 6 am incorporating yogic stretches, creativity, journaling, meditation and other mindfulness practices. These morning sessions have been known to:
“Set me up for the day”
“Help calm my anxiety and help me focus”
“Surprised me how much I’ve needed to stretch my body (and mind) in the morning”
“Change my life”
Just a few quotes from those who’ve participated.