Awareness, the Mother Lode

My profession is always to be alert, to find God in nature, to know God’s lurking places, to attend to all the oratorios and the operas in nature.

This quote of Thoreau conjures images of a forest with hidden nooks and crannies that require alertness to know which might be scary and which might open to reveal hidden treasures. Not unlike checking out how my body feels when I awaken in the morning. For that reason it seems a good lead-in to Step 3 of the basic elements of activating our inner resources and living life from within.

Step 3:  Awareness, the mother lode. From dictionary.com:  “AWARENESS:  having knowledge; conscious; cognizant: aware of danger, informed; alert; knowledgeable . . . “

In my experience, the hardest bit of awareness to develop is the awareness that we really aren’t very aware, especially about how we use our bodies. And no matter how much awareness we gain, there will always be room for more.

The reward, of course, for becoming aware of what’s ‘lurking’ in my body (or my temperament) is that I can make a conscious choice to do something about it instead of unknowingly allowing it to compound into something worse.

Upon awakening this morning, I lightly stretched before getting up. I softly coaxed what wasn’t quite ready to move with soft, rhythmical movements, kind of  slithering. These mindful movements are specially effective because they speak to both the physical level (joints, for example) and to the mindbody.

I scanned my body’s response, noting where there was stiffness and an ache in my low back. I drew on my intention, which, fortunately, was deeper than the desire to go downstairs for breakfast. A few moments later, I switched to my upper body and used the same type of soft, rhythmical movements, noticing where I felt reduced mobility.

After a bit I returned to the low back and found it had changed while I worked on my shoulder girdle – the only kind of girdle I allow in my home. My low back had softened, released, become open and more flexible while I worked on my shoulder girdle. Interesting, isn’t it? With delight, I moved effortlessly. (This is truly graceful aging with ease.)

By the time I was done, those delicious movements had orchestrated my separate body parts into an organized, harmonious and comfortable whole.  Their oratorios were sung with joy and enthusiasm that echoed throughout the day.

Question for you:  How do you use awareness to enhance your life?

Next Monday:  turning Intention, Awareness, Movement (I A M) into a transformational process.

Coming soon:  an interview with Dr. Ananda Kramer on digestive harmony through each person’s unique Ancestral Diet.

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6 Responses to “Awareness, the Mother Lode”

  1. sampatron Says:

    Mary, I really appreciate your comments on awareness, especially how unaware we are of being unaware. *G* We tend to take our bodies for granted – until they quit working like we want them to. Even if it’s just stubbing our toe in the dark, discomfort brings us into awareness pretty quickly. Thanks for this reminder. Sam

    • Mary Marino-Strong Says:

      What you say is so true, Sam – when we hurt we start noticing. I have to remind myself each day – and this blog is helping me do it – to remember my intention, be mindful and move (Intention, Awareness, Movement = I AM). Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Susan J. Tweit Says:

    Just like you, I “listen” to my body at different points during the day. Thanks for the reminder of how important awareness is, and for the lovely description of your morning awareness and gentle stretching–and of how well it works!

    • Mary Marino-Strong Says:

      Thanks, Susan. Indeed, I know you do listen to your body, Susan, your memoir, Walking Nature Home, showed it beautifully. This morning I dashed out of bed and didn’t check in with my body. When I attended a yoga class later I felt a huge difference in my spine’s mobility and my low back’s willingness. Lesson learned (and hopefully it won’t need to be repeated!)

  3. Megan Taylor Says:

    “Your soul knows where it needs to go, even if your mind does not…”

    I find this is an especially important point to honour, when energies are distorted and no set of thoughts or intentions is constant.
    Just allow yourself to be aware.
    Not attached.
    Just aware.

    Thank you for blogging, Mary.

    much gratitude,
    Meg

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