In the Flow with Healing Waters

Self-awareness improvement concept. Businessman draw accelerating line of improving self-awareness.

My awareness in 2023

Last New Year at Healing Waters, we all chose a Focus Word for the year. Debbie recently reflected on her word for last year.  Piggybacking on that thought I decided to reflect on mine as well. My word was Awareness

Over this past year, I have become more aware of how I react and respond. More importantly, I am more aware of my feelings about a situation, or something said, and then the awareness of WHY I react or respond the way I do.  We all have those people in our lives with whom we have a particular history. If it is a good healthy history things generally go well, right? However, there are those relationships that are challenging for a multitude of reasons. Sometimes with those individuals, it does not go so well. What about strangers we encounter when we are out and about, like the cashier or the waitress? How about neighbors and other people in our communities? Then there is the news, politics, and the world we live in that we react to.  

So here it is. My most impactful awareness this year is this. It is not about what the individual or situation I am encountering is saying or doing. It is not about the people I encounter that I don’t agree with or are in some way irritating. It isn’t about what is happening in the world. What is important is MY understanding of WHY I am reacting and responding the way I do. There are times I am proud of myself, and times I am disappointed in myself regarding how I react and respond. I am also more aware of where I am putting my attention. 

We all come to the table with our own life experiences. We all have our very own story. The good, the bad, and the ugly. We all have opinions. We all have our belief systems. All this and so much more makes us uniquely who we are. We all get to live in this world with our gifts and our shortcomings. 

As I am thinking about all this I wonder what it takes to live a life feeling peaceful, enjoying life, with an open heart. A life where I can make a difference by simply being who I uniquely am. What kind of awareness does it take? 

It starts with me. Having an understanding and awareness of how I got to where I am at this time in my life. I understand that I do have opinions and beliefs, but so does every other person. I think it is human nature to think our opinions and beliefs are correct and place judgment, or take offense to those that do not agree with us. This can create poor communication, resulting in misunderstandings and chaos. If I am aware of my attitudes, judgments, and opinions, and I keep them in check, then I am successful at being who I authentically want to be. I want to show up in the world as a kind, loving, forgiving, empathetic, forgiving person who is understanding of other people’s faults and shortcomings and willing to give them grace. I have not mastered all this yet, so I have many options for my Focus word for 2024. 

Many times we have no idea what the people we encounter during the day are dealing with when we interact with them. We may walk away with some negative feelings when in fact it had nothing to do with us, but with the fact that that person is dealing with something so they are not the best version of themselves. Consider some of these.

*They have a migraine headache

*Their child had a major meltdown when they dropped them at daycare and now they feel guilty

*They just found out their spouse is cheating

*They are dealing with depression

*Their child or another loved one is addicted to drugs/alcohol

*They are overwhelmed with financial difficulties

*They are living with past trauma 

*They are struggling with their self-esteem

*They are struggling with infertility

The list is endless. 

I want to suggest as we go into the New Year that each of us takes a good look at ourselves with awareness of how we are.  How do you show up in this world? How do you treat others? Are you aware of HOW you react and respond, and WHY you react and respond the way you  do? Are you aware of where you are putting your attention? Are you aware of what your intention is? Are you being the best version of your unique self going out in the world with kindness, compassion, understanding, forgiveness, and giving people grace? My Mother used to say “Treat others like you want to be treated”.  She also said “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all” Simple words but so true. I invite you to find your Focus word. 

You can google, Focus Word for the Year, where you will find numerous suggestions. I found this definition:  “A focus word is a single word that encapsulates what you need more of, what you want to focus on, or what you need to improve on. It provides an anchor and encourages you to consciously (and subconsciously) consider this focus word when making decisions- what you want more of and what you want less of in your life.”  It’s a fun way to set an intention for the year. Maybe you want to find a New Year buddy and share your Focus Word for the year, then hold each other accountable. 

Wishing each of you many blessings in 2024 filled with abundance, love, joy, and happiness.

Being aware in the flow,