Awareness Insights for Everyday Life…

The Martial Arts are often misrepresented and misunderstood — as aggressive, excessive and egocentric by media “stars”, — as sloppy, silly or seeming to lack larger meaning by many students and instructors inadequately taught or driven by selfish agendas. Practiced to their potential however, martial arts offer a vehicle to a rich, balanced and connected world!

The ultimate goal of a true martial artist is to be a giver – a contribution to the context that he/she is operating in.  So, let’s work backward from here.  In order to be a contribution, one must be capable.  And capability grows from awareness … of everything…

So, increasing our awareness is the first step in the process  — that ultimately leads to a better world!

Now, while jumping to a BETTER WORLD may be too big a step for many of us – “too much to wrap our brains around” – “can’t get there from here”… all of us can get our heads around increasing our awareness – especially if we start with small accessible steps.   One of the most effective ways to increase our awareness is to increase what we notice.  Following are a few simple twists we can make with familiar tasks and everyday situations to notice in new ways and increase our awareness:

  1. use your less coordinated hand to accomplish ordinary tasks
    1. brushing your teeth
    2. holding and dialing the phone
    3. shaving
    4. writing your name
    5. opening a jar or bottle
    6. inserting keys into a lock
    7. handling office equipment/tools (scissors, stapler, stamps, screw driver, etc.,…)
    8. holding your fork/spoon while eating
    9. holding vessels while pouring
  2. close eyes with ordinary tasks:
    1. put on socks/stockings/underwear
    2. shower
    3. wash hands
    4. fold clothes
    5. dial the phone
    6. type
    7. walk (in a safe obstacle-free area)
    8. eat
    9. floss your teeth
    10. listen to music
    11. talk on the phone
  3. slow way down with ordinary tasks:
    1. chew food slowly and deliberately, noticing textures and flavors
    2. breath deliberately and slowly – see how slowly you can make it
    3. slow your heartbeat (through intention and concentration)
    4. get dressed at half speed

Of course there are many others.  See if you can think of a few twists of your own, as you try some of these.  Through it all – notice what you notice…  How much are you noticing that you never noticed before?  Now that you notice these things, what else is possible for you to notice?  Notice all that you can, and keep noticing – and as you do – your awareness will rise.