Awareness and Acceptance — SET Development Exercise
Self-awareness is where we start.
Self-awareness is the foundation for a life that is in rapport with ourselves, others, and the world. If we aren’t aware of ourselves in real-time, then our options and choices become automated reflexes, repeating old patterns of behavior that no longer serve us.
There are many Eastern and Western traditions for expanding our real-time self-awareness. The Mind Muscles Academy model is the SET Awareness Workout. This is a step-by-step exercise that allows you to start where there is no clear beginning.
Self-awareness is free.
Building your personal awareness is available to everybody at every stage of success. You know for certain that if you go to the gym and consistently work out with weights under the instruction of a trainer, in a few months, your body will have reshaped itself. Your mind can accomplish the same thing!
We used to think that our brains were fixed, but neuroscientists now know that your brain is continuously shaped by our behaviors and beliefs. They call this reshaping process “neuroplasticity.” Everyone can build new “Mind Muscles” that are designed to expand their personal awareness.
We break down our awareness into three different areas of focus:
- Sensations (physical)
- Emotions (feelings)
- Thoughts (quality)
You can start by simply setting an alarm to ring every thirty minutes or at comfortable intervals.
When it goes off, just notice your physical sensations. Take a slow trip from your nose to your toes. What do you notice? Leave the sensations as they are, without adjustment. Also, notice any judgments or self-criticism of what you discover, and let them come and go.
Now journal about what you notice, without changing anything. Keep the alarm set, and keep the journal up to date. Soon this will become a very interesting habit.
Once this becomes easy, repeat the process, only this time, notice your feelings or emotions. No judgments, just awareness.
Keep the alarm ringing and the journal up to date.
Once you’ve got this down, move on to the next step: your thoughts. When the alarm goes off, notice the quality of your thoughts.
- Are they negative or positive?
- Are they judgmental or kind?
- Are you lost in the flow of work or pleasure?
- Are you retelling yourself a story of hurt or unfairness?
- Are you playing a mental movie to justify what happened to you?
Again, just notice; no changes are needed.
Once this becomes routine, you can run through all three aspects of awareness at the same time: your sensations, emotions, and thoughts. Again, no judgments, just curiosity, and awareness.
When you have accumulated plenty of information, review your journal.
- What do you notice?
- What patterns emerge?
- What is helpful?
- What no longer serves you?
Now you can ask, “What do I prefer instead?”
SET Awareness image at the top is by David Cassolato on Pexels