How important is consciousness to living with vitality?
And what exactly do we mean when we say “consciousness”?
Our conscious awareness of our place on this Earth is a vital lesson for us all. Where are you at this very moment? At the surface, you may have a bubbling of thoughts in your head, and that is “where you are.” Examine further, and your “place” may be in a body, in a chair, in a home, laid upon dirt, resting stable on the Earth. Consciousness is a matter of perception. The deeper and wider your perception, the greater your consciousness.
I am conscious of my body. I notice skin that is soft. I stretch my shoulders and feel them loosen. I deepen my breathing and notice that it changed from shallow and relaxed to fuller and more life-giving. I move my head back and lengthen my spine and feel myself soften. I am aware of little sparks of energy in my fingertips. Can I find the same energy in my toes? I enjoyed a big brunch today – how is that settling with me? What will my body need for energy this evening? If I experience any stress, will I notice it? And which of Nature’s tools will I use to relax back into a peaceful rhythm?
Vitality is a smooth stream. It is riding a wave in the ocean instead of sinking below the undertow. It is a rhythm that is in harmony with Mother Nature, who has a wild side.
Vitality is awareness – or consciousness – of self.
Vitality and consciousness are inextricably linked.
When vitality exists separate from consciousness, it is a false god. It is stimulants that exhaust the adrenal glands; it is depressants that numb sensations of discomfort; it is highs and lows that exist outside of our awareness. But what do we do when awareness of self doesn’t seem like vitality at all? What do we do when awareness “hurts”?
Because yes indeed, sometimes awareness hurts. Awareness is a reminder of what happened in the past. Of choices made. Awareness is that dress you wore two seasons ago that is now too small because you made the choice to eat too much food that didn’t digest well, but it sure did make those stressful days and anxious feelings go away when you couldn’t feel them anymore. Awareness is that opportunity you turned down because you were afraid of your potential. And then somebody tells you to throw out that old dress that no longer fits, pull up your big girl pants, and embrace the woman you are now. And you don’t even know who the hell that woman is. Awareness now sounds like bullshit, doesn’t it.
Awareness: it’s not a meditation cushion; it’s not a spiritual practice; it’s certainly not acceptance – it’s Authenticity. With a big capital A.
To live in consciousness and true vitality is to embrace your authentic self, no matter where you are. If your “place” is stressed and drinking a glass of wine to numb yourself, then own up to that. In that very moment, will wine enhance your vitality and strengthen your health? Food is thy medicine, and wine doesn’t nourish the soul. Dark chocolate cupcakes don’t either. Know that. Be conscious of that. And make a choice you can own up to. The cortisol in your body can’t handle the alcohol or the sugar, and you’re smart enough to know that. Own up to that. Don’t lie to yourself about “anti-oxidants” and other health benefits. No excuses. Move on. *That* is what it takes to live an Authentic life. Choices. YOUR choices. Made consciously and with intelligence. No matter the outcome.
The deeper and wider your perception, the greater your consciousness and vitality, the richer your life. Full of cupcakes and wine and flaking off on Facebook and all of our other sins – made consciously. And then we move on. Because vitality is about knowing where you are on this great Earth at every moment and flowing with her changing tides. Mother Earth that is wild and unpredictable, but always flowing and always changing and always in love with life and the awareness of living. She is never numb. She embraces all. And that is HER vital lesson to us all. THRIVE.