Photo Credit: Maxi Carre, Unsplash.com

A lot of my work focuses on increasing awareness (a.k.a conscious awareness). Every week, in fact, I bring awareness to the kinds of Thoughts, Emotions, and Actions (or TEA’s) that create our current experience. And when we better understand where we ARE, we can dive into the thoughts, emotions, and actions that influence our FUTURE experiences as well.

But having an increased awareness isn’t, necessarily, a good thing. Right?

Well, when we’re more aware of our present thoughts and emotions, that means we notice the “bad” ones, too. For example, we may feel fear in a more raw form because we discovered that we’ve been escaping fear through videos, movies, games . . . And that escape has been numbing our fear and keeping us from releasing unproductive thoughts so that we can move forward.

So, you may find yourself asking: is it worth it? Is it worth the hours of journaling, meditating, coaching, therapy, and reading so that we can develop our ability to be more aware?

Like so many answers, it depends.

It depends on this critical part of the equation: ACTION.

The way we interact and play with life is through our actions.

When you’re aware of how your thoughts and emotions influence your actions, you can take RESPONSIBILITY for your actions today and in the past. And, in turn, start to let GO of that energy.

For example, let’s say that you have a sibling who’s FANTASTIC at pushing your buttons. You can jump immediately into anger (emotion) and start yelling (action). But with the practice of awareness, you realize that your core thought’s that your sibling should say and do things differently based on your expectations.

And from here, you can choose a new thought that’s TRUE for YOU. One that generates feelings of forgiveness or even compassion–and your actions will follow suit.

But ALL OF THIS depends on your ability to consciously change your thoughts and take actions that serve you in a way that brings more positive feelings. There’s still work to do. If we’re resting in a state of awareness, that’s great and can be very informative, but it may not bring around a lot of change that could positively benefit yourself or others.

So the question still remains: is spending so much energy on developing awareness worth it?

My humble answer is, YES–IF you use that awareness to positively change your thoughts, which influence your emotions, which create your actions. Because when you do, you get to experience life with more fun, more ease, and more joy. That sounds worth it to me.

Understand this, however: that increased awareness sends you on a path that’s stormy with nasty old beliefs, rapid-fire judgments, and mind-blowing assumptions that could’ve stunted your progress for years. This isn’t about ignoring the bad; it’s about facing those gremlins and creating more good.

And if you’re nervous about taking this journey (like I’ve been), know this well:

You’re a human being.

Humans have walked some of the most inspiring journeys ever conducted on this planet (and beyond). The people who landed the Apollo astronauts on the moon are your kin. You have the same curiosity, wonder, and joy–as well as the strength, courage, and willingness to try as those people or anyone else. Look to those who inspire you and know that you have the same energy inside if you. It all depends on HOW YOU CHOOSE TO USE IT.

Crossing the TEA’s

Let’s go above and below these Thoughts, Emotions, and Actions:

Going Below the TEA:

  • Thought: It’s not worth it to increase my awareness.
  • Emotion: Fear, anger, guilt, or worry.
  • Action: I distract myself with movies, videos, games, social media, etc.

Going Above the TEA:

  • Thought: It’s worth it to increase my awareness because I’m committed to change based on what I discover.
  • Emotion: You’re going to get the whole spectrum, here.
  • Action: I practice mindfulness meditation, I journal, I work with a coach, and I take actions that create a more positive experience for me and others around me.

“Every human has four endowments–self awareness, conscience, independent will, and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom . . . The power to choose, to respond, to change.”

Stephen Covey

Photo Credit: Maxi Carre, Unsplash.com