Deepak Chopra says, “Self awareness is not just relaxation and not just meditation. It must combine relaxation with activity and dynamism.”
I agree. For better or for worse (and all for good,) meditation and mindfulness are intricately linked, and both lead to self awareness, which help us navigate our own unique lives and our own unique circumstances, in a real way.
Were we meditating monks that might not be relevant, but we aren’t. We are “householders”, navigating the complexities of 21st Century living. I often think of the Franciscian Priest/author/meditator Richard Rohr. He named his center in New Mexico, “The Center for Action and Contemplation.” The word “action” comes ahead of “contemplation,” underscoring the importance of not just reaching in, but even more so of reaching out.
Life today is a balancing act. Not back and forth on a tight wire with a safety net below; sometimes I wish it were this simple. It’s more like juggling a half dozen eggs (that you really love) in a parking lot during a monsoon.
I once traded a friend some outdoor furniture for five hours of life coaching. The first thing she did with me was the wheel of life. If you haven’t ever done it, it’s an exercise in self awareness that is worth your while. It’s quite simple; a sample is pictured below.
Choose six critical areas of your life and rank them 1-10; One if you are completely dissatisfied or Ten if you’re completely satisfied with the quality of these parts of your life. Ten is on the outer rim of the tire, 0 closest to the center. Then shade in the area of your little pie chart up to the point of your current satisfaction.
Are you giving more than you receive? Or martyring yourself to never rest, not even 1/7th of the time as God Himself did? Are you in danger of breaking down again because you’ve been pushing your engine and neglecting to change the oil? Are you pushing yourself past a limit that would worry you if someone you care for was doing the same?
When you connect those dots, what does your wheel look like? Are you in enough balance that your wheel of your life is functional? Or when you hit the pleasure & recreation area, do you come to a dead stop because the truth is, unconsciously, you’ve lost sight of enjoyment as an essential part of being and feeling alive? Maybe your time management stinks; most of ours does. Now is the time to take a look at these things. You check your bank statements, your sporting equipment, and your gas gauge to make sure you aren’t teetering near empty. Being self aware is important self care.
Life is a constant exercise of trying to find balance. So, take a loving look at your fleeting and precious one, and then get those wheels turnin’, and make your life the smooth ride you deserve it to be.
“At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.”
~ Lao Tzu
“Tell the Truth to Yourself, and the rest will fall in place.”
~ The Avett Brothers
Today’s meditation assignment: draw your own lopsided life on a piece of paper. Now. Observe how you feel at first glance. And after a minute. Keep breathing. You are not solving anything, you are just observing where you are, today.