Because “awareness” has a sacred quality too often we relegate it to special circumstances – a particular state of mind, a certain type of environment, an uninterrupted period of time. But awareness is a gift that’s available to us in each moment, whether we are sitting beneath a tree, gazing out our window or waiting in a doctor’s office.
Cultivate Your Awareness
To cultivate your awareness in any given moment, all you have to do is choose a focus and activate your senses.
- Choose a sense: sight, hearing, taste, smell or touch
- Select an area of focus (e.g. the tree outside the window or your cup of tea)
- Pay Attention
For example, you might choose to explore your sense of touch combined with the focus area of your front closet. Run your hands along the sleeves of your jackets. Put that scarf against your cheek. Notice what it feels like to put your arm into that sleeve. Crawl into the closet and take a seat. Feel your back leaning against the wall. Simply notice what you notice. What does it feel like? What does it make you think of? What does it inspire in you?
In the Cultivating Awareness video, I use sight to pay attention to a small patch of my garden. In those few moments I opened my awareness to the present, nature, myself, my memories and my relationships. From there, I had ideas for a poem, a dance and a short story.
Cultivating awareness and paying attention to the world around us fills us with rich resources to draw on. Give yourself a few moments each day to connect to your senses and pay attention. Keep a journal nearby so you can catch the ideas as they start to fly! Let this simple creative practice be a powerful foundation for your creative life.