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Awareness and Compassion: How they Can Change You and the World

Posted Jul 17 2012 4:40pm

What does a blissful life look like? Is it fulfillment and satisfaction in everything we do? How about confidence, healthy relationships with our friends and loved ones, a nurturing environment for growth and happiness? All of this is available to us beyond our circumstances, environment or opportunities. So, how do we achieve this? By returning to the simplest elements of who we are – by simply weaving awareness and compassion into our life.

Awareness and compassion has the potential to blossom out of a culmination of experiences in our life. These experiences can produce a life changing realization – that everything is interconnected; that in a very simple way we are the same and the way we choose to see the world guides us in how we live it. It seems like such a natural concept but have you ever really asked yourself, “Am I living an aware and compassionate life?”

It’s not too often we reflect on our level of awareness, so here are a few questions that can help reveal how aware we actually are:

  • Does your mind wander off and get easily distracted?
  • Can you constructively express in words how you’re feeling?
  • Do you tend to do several things at once rather than focusing on one thing at a time?
  • Are you aware of physical sensations such as muscle tension or simply the air on your skin?

We can boost our level of awareness by being mindful. Mindfulness is a hot-topic in some of the top academic institutions worldwide and is one of the most powerful practices in self-awareness that we can do. It provides us with the ability to respond skillfully rather than react, express ourselves effectively, and to keep ourselves focused on what we’re doing and where we are without placing judgment on what is happening.

Compassion consists of many aspects as well, like love, affection, kindness, gentleness and generosity towards both ourselves and others:

  • Do you genuinely accept and appreciate who you are?
  • Do you notice thoughts of judgment or expectation towards yourself? How about your loved ones?
  • When you’ve been angered, can you let go of the tension and anxiety that you feel towards that person?

Compassion takes practice by viewing others with the understanding that “this person is just like me, striving to be happy and free of stress or pain”, then going deeper and visualizing that they find happiness and success in what they do, that their emotional and physical pain is eased, and that they live in peace. This along with other acts of openness, generosity and kindness to others and ourselves provide the conditions for a deep acceptance and appreciation of each and every present moment and a shift from a stressful self-focused view of “what can I get” to a relaxed and selfless one of “What can I do?”

We all have the ability to embody this way of being, which leads us to a happy and emotionally successful life. What is very exciting is that this dream is quickly becoming a reality. Research supporting the benefits of cultivating awareness and compassion in our workplaces and schools is on the rise, showing the ability to create healthy work environments, building effective teams, increasing attention and cultivating healthy relationships. In our personal lives awareness and compassion provide the skills needed to effectively deal with life’s hardships and joys.

So, if you care to, let’s take a few moments to pause, take a few breaths and ask ourselves now “What can I do to bring awareness and compassion into my life and the community that surrounds me?” Whatever arises for you, no matter how small, has the capacity to spark an experience that will create a shift within you and ultimately, the world.

*This article was written for Sibu Beauty’s sustainability ebook that you can download for free or view the flash version below! - Sustainability eBook - Sustainability eBook

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