This is season 1, episode 3 and in today’s episode we’ll talk all about self-awareness.
In previous episodes we talked a little bit about self-awareness and understand that is not something that can just be explained or taught how to achieve it within a couple of episodes or a couple of sessions.
Self-awareness is holistic in which you reach a state of understanding where you realize that everything is connected and it exists in harmony, there is nothing new invented, everything imitates nature. From Artificial lighting imitating the sun to the internet itself imitating our collective consciousness.
In the concept of a higher consciousness it’s clear the relationship between faith and belief and the possibility that there is always another explanation. Proof of the existence of a higher power.
According to ancient doctrines in Hindu Sanskrit, higher consciousness is the part of the human being that is capable of transcending animal instincts. That which makes us human, the God particle for some, other-worldly DNA for others; unnatural by the very definition. What other species on Earth has had the ability to terra-form its environment to suit its needs? Let’s face it, humans in general are unnatural and go against natural laws. We are the only ones who are constantly looking for ways to defy nature, extend our lifespan, if it doesn’t conform to us, eradicate it or build over it.
I’m not talking about real specific religion or specific religious beliefs that which, if you observe, most of them have the same basic concepts: be nice to each other, don’t commit murder, don’t lie, don’t cheat, don’t steal — providing a mold of the ideal human being.
It’s important to notice that faith is important, it is imperative to believe in something because he who believes in nothing will fall for anything. There is a direct correlation between ignorance and fear. The more you know, the more you understand, and the less will things impress you or scare you; and the grandest fear that will always haunt humankind is fear of the unknown. Death, ghosts, aliens, monsters, other dimensions. Don’t be so quick to dismiss anything that sounds extraordinary or incredible. Our universe is filled with things we don’t understand. Rather keep your mind open and prepare yourself for the possibility of “what if?” What if every story has a grain of truth and it became a story because reality was too frightening, or it was exaggerated a bit to be memorable not to be deceptive. Consider the idea that just maybe — not all monsters, aliens, or ghosts are evil; just as much as not all humans are good. Maybe ghosts do exist and they’re simply angry, faithless people that refuse to accept the fact that they’re no longer welcomed here… can the same be said about the behavior of some people we know living today? That is not a coincidence.
If you take one thing from this episode with you today, let it be this: concerning the possibility of an afterlife, consider that maybe every religion within its core is right. And the true reality is that whatever the person believed in life, so shall it be in death. So if I believe in reincarnation and that soul mates exist, and angels and demons are real, then that’s what will be. And if you believe that after life there’s nothing but eternal darkness, then that will be true to you. I know this took an unexpected serious tone, but it is important for me to impress upon you the importance of faith. I’m not suggesting you run into the first church you see and memorize all the books and share fake smiles with everyone around you. No, what I mean is for you to go out and learn the truth; even if you are already part of a church, continue to learn elsewhere. Not one religion is completely right, and I base my assumption on the fact that every religion is driven by people and people are fallible, gullible, corruptible, and for the most part have their own agenda.
But also understand that faith as we know it today has suffered through centuries of edits and censorship, the corruption from the original texts in which all faiths and religions are based upon.
Let us not get too deep into religion I don’t want to ruffle any feathers, that’s not the point. The point is to believe in something, to have a fundamental foundation to stand on so you can then open your mind to all of the possibilities of what if?
I could probably give you some advice to not go down that dark alleyway because you might get hurt and maybe you’ll heed my advice maybe you won’t; or I can tell you the story of Little Red Riding Hood going to her grandma’s house and the deceptively nice wolf stalking her and you would surely remember that story better in a few months than the advice of “just don’t go down that alleyway, because it’s dangerous”. So is it possible that religious texts that contains stories are not to be taken literally but simply as lessons to learn? That is where religion takes a sudden turn. If you’re interested in this, I will dedicate a few episodes to religion but that’s as far as I’m going to talk about it in this episode. Let’s move on.
Self-awareness also goes hand-in-hand with mindfulness: the skill or ability that you can learn to be present in the now.
The philosophy of “I think, therefore I am” by philosopher Rene Descartes, in my opinion refers to our ability to know that we exist, to recognize ourselves in the mirror, to have a sense of self.
As opposed to animals in which they only are guided by their instincts and their impulses are driven by these instincts and everything they do or most of everything they do takes a predictable almost empty-of-meaning pattern. Our ability to tap into that higher consciousness and become self-aware is what separates us from the animals and higher consciousness many times has a spiritual connotation that is why faith is important.
The way that we learn the best is through stories. Stories have been the means of passing down lessons to our tribe, our people and families ever since before written language was ever invented.
So mindfulness, the essence of mindfulness, is to live in the now with all of your senses. There is a popular expression that says “yesterday’s history, tomorrow’s a mystery, and today is a gift that’s why it’s called the present”.
To live in the now is to empty your mind of all thought and focus on what’s happening around you this very instant. If you’re sitting down: how does your chair feel? What’s the temperature like? The feel of the clothes you are wearing? The ambience? Are there any scents or smells? The lights, how they reflect off of objects… For the very best explanation of what mindfulness is I strongly recommend the book “The miracle of mindfulness” by vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh. Based on the core of Buddhist teachings, it’s the practice to overcome our over stimulated minds and to let go of preoccupations and multitasking, and focus solely on the now. Don’t worry it’s translated into English.
There is an incredible inner peace that comes from realizing that there’s no real such thing as multitasking.
We only have a finite amount of energy and mental bandwidth and our choice to spend that energy and bandwidth is what allows us to move forward on our day-to-day lives and in the bigger picture ascend to a higher state of consciousness or being.
Together with mindfulness is the ability to appreciate everything happening around you. You start seeing the world differently; you start to see the connections within everything: the energy it takes for a plant to create a flower that in turn, is attractive enough for insects to help it reproduce. The real reason why there are fruit trees is not because trees want to feed you but because they have an agenda; that if they feed an animal that animal spread the seeds of the tree and this harmonious cycle ends up benefiting everyone. The way water feels between your fingers, the way your body reacts when you feel a warm breeze. Go for a walk and realize how many things have to go right, and how many things can possibly go wrong for you to be able to take the steps that you take, while you breathe, while your heart beats.
The notion that true good and evil is rare the people in our lives that are patronizing and condescending like a co-worker or relative, a family member, rush hour traffic. It’s highly doubtful that they are truly evil. Simply put, that is their role in this life because there must be a balance as there’s a balance in everything. So maybe you can stop resenting those negative people and instead just accept them for what they are the counter balance for good. That it’s their role in this life, in this world, to be obnoxious.
Humor me for a moment and let me play with your perception of reality and the notion of good and evil. Corporations are evil right? Damn the man, built by greedy people they’re just out to crush the little guy. But what if I told you that this hypothetical corporation actually donates 20% of their total revenue to sponsor youth programs and help the poor? Then they’re good right? Well what if I told you they only did that for the tax deduction so they don’t pay taxes? So now they’re evil again right? So to shift your mind away from categorizing people or events good or evil is not an easy task but we all have to start somewhere.
So multitasking is a myth, if you have 100% of bandwidth and you do two things at a time you’re actually only giving 50% of your attention to each task. If you’re having a conversation while you’re organizing files, you’re simply switching between the conversation and your task and both of them are going to suffer; you will miss parts of a conversation or you will misplace those files.
The same thing can be said for driving and texting or talking on the phone. What that creates is what’s called cognitive blindness. Think about when you zone out in school at work, or at the dinner table when you’re not fully invested in the conversation; your eyes are open but you are too focused on your thoughts to see anything in front of you. So it’s not just the danger of taking your eyes off the road is the danger that cognitive blindness is very real, and it happens even if you are using a hands-free device to talk on your phone. Believe me, whatever the call is however bad an emergency can possibly be, it can wait for you to get to your destination, or important enough for you to pull over. You, the people in your car, and the other drivers around you deserve this precaution.
The next stage of self-awareness is realizing that control is an illusion that we may influence our lives and help forge our future the best we can, but our expectations must be flexible. Sometimes what we want the most in life it’s not what is best for us, sometimes the worst of times actually opens doors and the path to possibilities we would have never imagined before, and thanks to a perceived drawback or shortcoming, it actually leads us to the best of times of our lives. We commonly call that a silver lining.
We’ve all heard it before from either a parent, or a teacher, or a wizard to be careful what we wish for because we might just get it. How many of us wanted to be rich and famous when we were kids? How many of us as adults still want to be rich and famous because we think that’s what will bring happiness? It’s not hard to find celebrities that share their true reality and what it really means to be rich and famous after all the glamour has worn off. The reality in which they sacrifice privacy and peace in their home in exchange for that fame; and that all the money in the world cannot replace living in peace and sharing experiences with a person that you enjoy and trust. It might be easy to think that celebrities have it all. So if that’s the case, why do a vast majority of them end up in rehabilitation for drugs or alcohol abuse or an unfortunate untimely death caused by suicide?
There is a reason why everything in life has a learning curve. You shouldn’t try to run before you can walk don’t try to be 40 before you’re 40 and other expressions like that stem from this very notion. I remember after every investors group monthly meeting, as a young entrepreneur, I would always feel I could go out and conquer the world. I wanted to buy apartment complexes and hotels and commercial properties; but luckily like I’ve mentioned in other previous episodes I had a mentor and that mentor had the wisdom to slow me down. One of the things he told me that I will share with you is this: “don’t rush and try to buy 20 properties at once, if you did you wouldn’t know what to do with them; focus on buying one and when that one is up and running smoothly focus on buying another one, and so on and so forth. Just one deal at a time”.
I will never forget that and I will be eternally grateful for that advice. So dream as if you were to live forever. It’s okay to dream but it’s better to have a vision. And that Vision must be broken down into goals .Then you can forge the life of your dreams. I have a system in place in which you take 3 days to take a journey into a deep meditative state to forge your future and clarify your goals. It’s a very interesting Journey that my wife and I do every year and it helps us gain clarity on what it is we need to do on a week-by-week basis in order to achieve that future that we dream of; and many times we are surprised that the reality of our wishes and our deep desires, and our thoughts of what we really wanted to do, had nothing to do with when we actually needed to do. If you’re interested in learning the system please let me know and I’ll be happy to share it
Life is too short and beautiful to be wasting time and energy on hate and greed; we might be gone tomorrow. So if that was the case, does everyone you love know that you love them? Is there anyone that could have their lives improved by your forgiveness? Have you hurt anyone and think you should ask for their forgiveness? That is exactly what it means to live as if you were to die tomorrow. But forgiveness is the hardest skill to learn.