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If it’s so good for me, why doesn’t everyone do it?

Last week I did a presentation on Present Moment Awareness. As you all know it is one of my favorite topics because I think it is one of the major keys to Living Happier. I absolutely love speaking and it is even more enjoyable when there is a lot of audience participation, which there was at this event.  One of the ladies asked me “if having awareness is so good for us, why don’t more people do it?” what a great question.  My gut response was (and what I said) “because it is hard”.  It is hard to strive for awareness and it is hard to have awareness, to take responsibility for your thoughts, feelings and needs. In many ways, it is easier to walk through life as a victim, blaming other people or blaming ourselves, and taking the path of least resistance.  Sometimes it is easier to just live-stuck on the treadmill, stuck in the patterns, yes they might have uncomfortable circumstances but at least they are comfortable.

It is a similar question to if exercising is good for you why don’t more people do it?  Because it is hard it requires us to sweat and get out of breath and we might not be good at it at first. But when we do exercise and it becomes a regular part of our lives we feel better,  our anxiety decreases, our hearts are healthier, our muscles feel better.  Overall we feel better.
As with awareness–at first we aren’t very good at it–it is a stretch to be aware of what’s happening around us.  It is a stretch to get off the hamster wheel and pay attention to both our inner and outer world.  But gradually we learn that when we start being aware of our life and what is going on around us–our world opens up.  We see little wonderful things that we have missed in the past.  Life opens up in HD/3-D/technicolor!  We also learn that we have a responsibility in life–we are responsible for our feelings, our reactions, for speaking our needs and for noticing when we are too stressed or too tired. We can’t blame our spouse our co-workers, our family we are responsible for our own happiness!!  I admit both a freeing and irritating concept.  The beauty is when we start taking control of our thoughts feelings and needs we are empowered.  We are stimulated we realize we don’t have to be victims.  We have a say in our lives and what we want to get out of them!!

A client recently said to me–Awareness means I can have a more full life but it also means I can’t take the path of least resistance anymore!  As with the idea of embracing both–awareness allows us to live bright vibrant lives, and prevents us from floating along.  As with exercise, it is exhausting, energizing, empowering, and challenging and a DEFINITE key to Living Happier.

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