Being Conscious

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I lost consciousness over the period of a decade or two. I could blame it on many things: marriage, kids, the quiet comfort of the suburbs. But really, it was all my doing.

I let myself drip into the ease of not making decisions; not being fully alive. I morphed into a reactor of things instead of a pro-actor.

It’s easy to slide into that purgatory of letting life happen to you, and I have a feeling if we look around, the majority of people have gotten there. It’s almost encouraged in our society. We are taught to listen, listen, listen. Follow, follow, follow. Don’t break rules! Get good grades! Make your life look perfect on paper!

It wasn’t until I was in my 30’s that I started waking up a little bit and thinking about the rules I had lived by for so long – the stories I had had drilled in, and consequently believed as truth. Some of these were:

  • You must do everything of consequence in your 20’s, because big life changes are only appropriate in that timeframe.
  • You must hold a steady 9-5 job, or you shall make no money.
  • Parenting and making art don’t mix. As soon as you pop the kids out, your entire world is all about them.
  • Marriage and parenting in a suburb cause you to lose your identity and become a non-creative, lawn-obsessed boob.
  • And then I think maybe it was too painful, so I went back to sleep for a while. Ignored the feelings that I didn’t yet know how to handle. Drank a little more, napped a little more, Targeted a lot more. Facebooked. I chose comforting myself over growing myself, and that led to more of nothing.

Although my life I have been curious about self help books, and read them hungrily, I never was quite brave enough to put all of those concepts into play in my life. Too scary. Shut the book at the end, take a deep breath at recognizing the truths I had just read, flip off my brain, and go about my business.

My wake up came just a few years ago, maybe 3? I’m 45 years old. Wondering what the fuck? How the fuck? What happened? I discovered Brooke Castillo interviewed on a podcast, and she sounded smart and tough and wise and vulnerable and clear. These are all the things I wanted to be – to learn to be.

After listening to one of her podcast episodes, I was hooked. Hooked on listening to her, absorbing, learning.

The thing about Brooke, though, is that she demands you to put into action what you are learning from her. She calls you out on inaction, right through the little speakers of your earbuds.

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It took me a while even after I started listening to her, but then I slowly started to do the work on myself. I began to write things out, sit with my feelings, observe them, and think about them. I listened to some of her episodes over and over and wrote down things she said word-for-word. I’m writing this like it’s in the past, but I’m currently doing all of this. I do this daily.

I am feeling my little brain yawning and stretching and dusting itself off. Sometimes I am feeling my brain growling at me because I challenge its warnings and murmurs to go take a nap and hide. I am feeling my intuition perk up a little bit, and I’m paying attention to it.

I can see myself making different decisions, acting differently, saying different things than I used to, and it’s crazy. Crazy in a good way- I actually feel proud of myself!

Mostly I’m feeling insanely grateful that I can do this at all- that I haven’t buried myself completely and irrevocably.

All this to say I am going to start sharing with you all what I am learning. And I want to share it in a way that will help if you are feeling the same way most of us feel at some point. Are you? Do you have that niggling little voice telling you to wake up, that there’s something more you might be missing?

Good. That means you are feeling and wondering, and I’m no life coach or self help guru, but sometimes it’s more powerful to learn from someone who is going through the trenches right along with you. I want to discuss these ideas with you all, and more importantly, discuss how we are putting them into action.

Because we can learn self-help concepts up and down all day long, but nothing happens if you then go on about your day the same way you always have. My biggest problem in learning new concepts is that they all make sense and sound amazing when I learn about them, but then I’m left wondering how to actually apply them to my life.

I’m going to begin to create a little library here – of consciousness concepts that we can learn about and talk about, and I’m going to include the ways I’ve learned to put them to use in our lives. Good, right? I’m doing this as much for me as for you guys- I need somewhere to refer back to when I need a little boost or reminder.

What do you think? You in? If not, I won’t be offended – go read some Lifewhack Life Lessons and release some endorphins laughing at the silliness of life.

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