I’d like to proclaim that I’m a consistent, enlightened woman. One who never gets angry, impatient or cranky. But if I did, I’d be lying.

Perhaps my most frustrating shortcoming is that I seesaw on a regular basis: sometimes I heed the lessons I’ve learned and at others I let my ego take charge and ignore those teachings.

I’ve been working to break this cycle. And, I’ve found the trick is to build an awareness of my mindset and behavior. When I pay attention, I can stop my downward spiral before I get too entrenched in my old habits.

As I exchange conscious decision-making for thoughtless reactions, I find I can shorten the length of my lapses, reducing the time I’ve lost due to unproductive behavior.

Here’s a personal example from last month: The day after my post, “Letting go differs from giving up” went live, I became stressed and angry about a large work project—one I’d believed was completed more than a year ago—that ended up back on my desk because a coworker decided “he wasn’t responsible for it anymore.” Even though I faced multiple other pressing deadlines, I now had to make this 126-page report my priority. My stomach burned. My head pounded. And, I didn’t have nice thoughts about the man who had shirked his duty.

Several hours into making myself miserable, I thought about my post and the importance of letting go and having faith that everything would work out. I prayed to help me release my negativity, then I set out to complete this project from Hades.

While it would’ve been preferable to prevent that initial reaction right away, I didn’t allow myself to dwell on it for days, which would’ve been my normal pattern. As I released my anger, I found it was easier to concentrate and, as a result, completed the report more quickly than I’d anticipated.

How does awareness increase spirituality?

For me, it has:

  • Helped me recognize the small miracles in my life, ones normally overlooked during the course of a hectic day. Or, I’ve noticed occurrences that validate my belief that I’m on the right spiritual path.
  • Led to examining what I need spiritually, so I can seek it out.
  • Served as a compass while exploring others’ beliefs to see what resounds in my soul and deciding whether or not it’s something I can embrace as part of my own truth.
  • Helped me limit negative emotional responses in favor of a more compassionate outlook. (See Returning Hatred with Kindness)

Next week, read how being aware can strengthen your psychic abilities.