I saw this quote by Eckhart Tolle this morning. “Awareness is the greatest agent for change.”
I immediately thought, “Yes!”
I thought back to the mistakes I’ve made over the past few years and they were because I didn’t stop to think about who I truly am and what I truly want. I glossed over awareness and went straight for “romanticizing.”
Here’s an example, two years ago we moved to a lovely city. My husband and I felt like our life was in a rut and we needed a change. So we chose a smaller town in the mountains. I was so crazy excited for this “new life” that I didn’t stop to assess whether this was the actual right step for me.
I didn’t practice or embrace awareness, I romanticized the town and the “new life” without considering whether it was the appropriate life for me. Long story short…it wasn’t. After a year of trying to make this town work, we faced the truth. We’d made a mistake. Small town living wasn’t for us. We needed a different lifestyle. It was an expensive and stressful mistake.
Romanticizing Nutrition Approaches
My coaching clients tend to do the same thing, I think we all do. We find a nutrition approach that sounds perfect. It’s the magic bullet. And they’re willing to put in the work and they do put in the work but the process and the outcome are romanticized. We don’t have the inner awareness to know how to tweak the process or the approach to make it realistic.
For example, maybe intermittent fasting sounds amazing. You only have to prepare and eat once or twice a day. OMG, I would LOVE that.
Yet, deep into the process and a few months later, sure maybe you’ve lost weight but you realize that you actually like eating more often. You enjoy the social aspect of it. Eating once a day just doesn’t fuel your soul like enjoying meals with others or preparing food.
Awareness is a Process
You don’t know what you don’t know and sometimes you have to make mistakes to learn more about yourself and your needs.
Many of these mistakes could be avoided if we STOPPED, took a deep breath, and asked ourselves a few questions. If we gave ourselves time to consider the answers.
How to Gain and Embrace Awareness
Ask questions and listen to the answers. Ask yourself deeper questions and pay attention to the answers. For example, “how do I feel after…?” It could be something small like how do I feel after I drink a glass of wine to something big about “how do I feel about my current path and purpose?” Once you have those answers, dig deeper and ask more questions.
Talk to others who have achieved what you want to achieve and listen to their answers and process.
Learn more about yourself and what works for you. This can only happen by trying new things. So let’s go back to the intermittent fasting client who rocked this process for months only to realize that she hated it. This process was beneficial because she learned more about what is important to her and could then make meaningful changes.
Experiment and try new things. Back to “you don’t know what you don’t know.” Here’s a small example, I tried some essential oils for sleep because it was recommended by someone that I trust. I thought with 99% certainty that essential oils were bullshit. Guess what..? I was wrong. These recommended oils did help my sleep issues. Be willing to be wrong.
Awareness is a process and it is the greatest agent for change. Pay attention to your thoughts, feelings, and notice what feels right for you and why. I’m a nurse and a health coach so of course I lean toward physical awareness but this approach applies to everything from relationships to money to your job and beyond.
Embracing awareness isn’t always easy, especially if you’ve avoided it for most of your life. Try journaling, meditating, or just spend a few minutes at the end of the day asking yourself some questions about your physical, mental, and emotional health. What worked well, what didn’t, and what can you do differently tomorrow?
You are in control over your life and the more you pay attention to YOUR physical, emotional, and mental needs the better this life is going to be.