Starting to look inside yourself can be intimidating and a little overwhelming. It usually begins with becoming more aware of habits and thoughts that are deeply ingrained. Habits that previously fell below the radar of your conscious mind are now being reflected upon either in the moment or shortly afterwards. This can feel taxing for your conscious mind and often puts people off going any deeper on their internal journey. Some of the initial realisations can be confronting and people don’t often like what they see, but these realisations are absolutely necessary to facilitate change.
Depending on your mindset, your new practice of awareness may lead to hyper-awareness. Hyper-awareness means you are now feeling, observing and reflecting on your habits, attitudes and behaviours almost all the time. Becoming more sensitive and feeling as if you are analysing every part of your life can feel exhausting, and all consuming. While it may not sound like a positive state to be in, it is a pretty cool place for growing your self-insight as long as you keep moving forward. Many people stop their journey here but once this level of awareness has been reached returning to ignorance involves a lot of resistance.
Whether you identify with the feeling of increased awareness or hyper-awareness these states are increasing your understanding of your subconscious tendencies and this learning curve is transforming your mind to allow you to change your sub-optimal behaviours.
When you embrace awareness, you start to appreciate the impermanent nature of your thoughts, feelings and emotions. There are simply too many thoughts going on to pay attention to them all. Some are mundane, some are powerful, some are great realisations but they are all thoughts and even the more regular ones still have a transient nature to them. With practice, you will learn to take a step back from your thoughts, feelings and emotions to understand why they are there and whether they are best serving you.
When the impermanent and transient nature of your thoughts, feelings and emotions becomes more and more evident, you can acknowledge them but there is less fear associated with them because you know they won’t last. You feel less concerned about the dark ones and more accepting of the positive ones. This is when you have made it over hyper-awareness hill and are on your way to non-judgemental awareness. On the glorious plains of non-judgemental awareness you are less phased by your thoughts, you don’t feel the need to analyse, judge, critique them as positive or negative. This liberation brings the body and mind into a state of harmony. A state where your conscious effort isn’t driven by fear but a true and fair reflection of what is actually happening.
After all, they are just thoughts. They only have power if you place emphasis on them.