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Step 3: Staying Connected to Your Awareness 

Our Awareness is the part of us that notices what is happening around us.

The activation of the other senses turns ON when we close our eyes.

It’s the part of us that notices the subtle messages from our bodies, the voice outside our minds, the sounds beyond our hearing.

THIS is our awareness. 

Being connected to your awareness is essentially being present. Taking time to ground, breathe, and connect brings us into present time—the place where we can ‘see’ vital information and proceed with greater clarity and certainty.

Staying Connected or Present Is Not Always Easy

Every day, multiple distractions pull us out of our alignment or connection.

  • Typical distractions include
  • Stress
  • Expectations
  • Responsibilities
  • Negative thoughts
  • How we see or add meaning to our external world.
  • Tough conversations with a boss
  • Conflict at home
  • Someone cutting you off while driving

All of these things have the potential to throw us off-center. Can you name what throws you off?

We all fall out and lose connection. The key is rapid discovery and rapid recovery! 

In Yoga, they refer to this as ‘falling out’ of a posture or losing balance. If you do, simply acknowledge it and come back into form. 

Ways to Stay or Get Connected

PRACTICE

Establish a morning routine of stillness. Upon waking, create space and time for contemplative practice. This could be meditation, walking in nature, or sitting alone in your backyard. Quality over quantity of time is most important.

BREATHE

Connect to your breath with 6-4-6 breathing. Close your eyes. Breathe in for 6 seconds, Hold for 4 seconds, Exhale for 6 seconds. Do this ten times in a row. You can do this first thing in the morning to get connected or reconnected.

QUIET THE MIND

Close your eyes, and with your mind’s eye, imagine a bright gold ball the size of a golf ball in the center of your head. Feel this ball illuminating, full of light. Now, see the ball expand out slowly, filling your entire head, even beyond your physical space. As this light ball expands, notice thoughts leaving your mind. Do this while doing the 6-4-6 breathing. Notice your mind clearing, thoughts softening, and the return of your connection.

GROUND

Redwood trees are beautiful symbols of strength and growth. They are also amazing teachers for grounding and connection. To take in their enormous teaching, imagine your back resting against a redwood tree, your spine in complete contact with its trunk. Feel the strength of the tree’s connection to the earth, grounded while stretching toward light. Now, match your body’s grounding and connection to the Redwood Tree. Feel this length in your own body. Feel your dignity here. Breathe.

Notice how it feels for you to connect to your awareness. Keep a journal and jot down the situations that cause your connection to expand and when and where it gets diminished. Notice what practice above worked best for you.

Apply This At Work

  • As a leader, how do you show up at work? Do you take time for yourself to ground, breathe, and get/stay connected? Often our teams take on whatever energy our leaders are putting off. They determine the tone or experience of everyone else. What are you creating? 

  • Before your next meeting, try this quick connection exercise. Go around the table or VC call. Each person takes 2 minutes to say a proud/happy experience, share something on top of mind, request any help needed, and describe how they want to feel after the meeting (name a feeling, like complete, motivated, inspired, etc.). Conclude with “And With That…I AM IN!”
  • Try using inquiry to surface information/insights from your team, and then listen! After this, reflect on what you are hearing and offer guidance or scenario options that may not have surfaced. 
  • Try regrouping with one of the tools outlined above during stressful situations, deadlines, or service interruptions. A quick time-out to ground and regroup can do wonders for recovering and addressing the situation.
  • Ask yourself: How can you use these connection tools to gain team/collective intelligence that might not otherwise be available?

What practices do you use to help keep you connected?

We would love to hear from you! Share your inspirations, insights and discoveries.