What an incredible time to live in; we are at the brink of a truly new era in world history. With Barack Obama taking the most powerful position as President of the United States of America comes a new energy of hope and possibilities for unity and maybe even peace. I know these are lofty dreams, but just a year ago you would have been ridiculed to think of a black American President who would be cheered by over a billion people.
Change has not only come to America, but to the whole world, which includes our small country, The Bahamas.
I thought about the attributes of extraordinary people and leaders like Barack Obama, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Theresa, or any of the great leaders and Heros who left forever their mark on us. We usually feel so small in comparison; we don’t know how they achieved such greatness. But they are just human beings like you and I. What makes them different is that they have mastered the attributes of total self-realization.
What are those attributes, and what does this have to do with “health”, which is the topic of my weekly column? Because there is only you who is responsible for you, we have the chance for the greatest experiment that needs no grants, nor permission from anybody else, but you. I believe that the following nine attributes play a mayor role in greatness, and consequently in our success of achieving our dreams. Here are the nine ones that I feel are so important to practice and apply daily.
Awareness, Choice, Willingness, Ability, Accountability, Trust, Honesty, Integrity, Commitment, and Alignment. We cannot start then all at once, and they are life-long practices. But I will write about each of those during this year, and hope that by the end of 2009 we all will have practiced these virtues to some degree. Then our dreams may move quickly into the realms of possibility and probability and then into the stage of realization, especially if the nine attributes are applied in all areas of our personal lives. Of course we cannot start them all at once, but let us build a foundation with the first one, Awareness.
Now let us examine what the meaning and application of Awareness is:
To expand your awareness, you start to observe yourself in your world. You become the Observer. Every morning sit for a few minutes quietly, going within your body, your breathing, your heart- beat, your thoughts, and your feelings. Then visualize how your day may unfold and just make this simple declaration:
“Today I choose to be more aware”.
You begin to see how you operate in connection with other people. What triggers you? What sets you off? If you become more aware, you have more choices; you will not re-act automatically, but observe and choose your action. Wow, what a difference this would make in your communication and cooperation with other people. You can only be aware of others to the degree that you are aware of yourself, which brings you closer in touch with everything around you. You will become more open, available, sensitive and alive. You will sharpen your senses and allow new and fresh insights to emerge. Now you will become aware of the gap between the vision you have of yourself and the self- sabotaging actions you (unconsciously) take that are not congruent with your vision.
You will notice that which you did not notice before. As you practice Awareness, your senses will become more refined; you will see, feel, smell, touch and think, as you have not before. This is the fun part. There is also the dark side of us; that which we don’t want to look at. But, although painful or at least uncomfortable, the shadow side of our personality must be explored and understood as well. Without observing our thoughts and feelings no matter how dark orß unpleasant they may be; how can we ever release and free ourselves from the prison of our thoughts and feelings? Bring them to the surface and understand where they come from. Maybe forgiveness is required. From whom?
You forgiving yourself is the first and foremost important key out of your self- imposed prison. By becoming more aware of your feelings you get clearer about your actions. When you operate at a low level of awareness, you have fewer options available to you; you simply cannot see many choices. This often creates states of anger and resentfulness in you, sapping you of energy, which the people around you may qualify as cynicism or dullness from you. When you expand your awareness you will be able to see new possibilities, and find more ways to act on them, because now you also see that options and choices are always available to you. In this mode your life becomes more alive, but also more optimistic and peaceful. Your dream of what you want to achieve in your life becomes more attainable. Will you practice “awareness” every day this week? If you do, the following attribute of “choice” will be easier to understand and apply. “Choice” follows “awareness”!
About the author: Dr. Angelika Christie is the Managing Director of Radiant Health Center You can contact her at 352-1010 or email