The way of awareness

"T'is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so."

William Shakespeare

Is it possible to liberate yourself from patterns of limiting behaviour?


Thinking fuels emotions; emotions fuel thinking. Cycles of thoughts, feelings and body sensations determine how we act, react and behave. 


Sometimes, even when we want to change how we feel, we find ourselves caught up in thinking patterns, drowning in emotion, triggered into unwanted behaviour. 


The Way of Awareness is a therapeutic program for exploring triggers of unbeneficial thinking and behaviour. Using tools that respond to individual needs, people work with me through compassionate self-discovery to listen more deeply to their inner dialogue and seek out with compassion a softer, smoother way.

Liberate yourself from unconscious patterns of limiting thinking and behaviour

  • Do you find yourself going for the extra piece of cake without noticing? And justify it while feeling both good and bad?

  • Do you find yourself shouting at your spouse or your children, but can’t explain why you’re so angry?

  • Do you find yourself tossing and turning at night because your head is full of worries?

If your truthful answer is “Yes” to some of these questions …

It is likely you are trying to navigate life without paying proper attention to what is really happening in your inner experience.

Our inner experience builds from our thoughts, feelings and body sensations.

Awareness of our inner experience determines how skillfully we can navigate our lives in conscious ways.

Do you believe everything you think?

 

It is important to realise life happens from the inside out.

Thinking fuels our emotions; emotions fuel our thinking. Cycles of thoughts, feelings and body sensations determine how we act, react and behave.

That is why we need to ask ourselves big-small questions—
do we know what is happening in our minds and bodies when we have an angry reaction, start binge eating, or have another sleepless night?

If we are unaware, even when we want to change we don’t know how. We find ourselves living on autopilot trapped by thinking patterns which induce default emotions and behaviour.

When we practice paying attention to internal patterns that affect our actions and point of view, we become better able to respond to life with conscious awareness. We stop being triggered, reacting and making things worse. Instead, we liberate ourselves from the vicious cycle of unbeneficial thoughts, emotions and behaviour.

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Awareness is greater than thought.

The Way of Awareness program helps you acquire ways of seeing thought as thoughts. We do not try to stop thoughts as they cascade through the mind. We make room for them, observe them, then let them be. 


We become more skillful in observing our thinking and not identifying with all that we think by perceiving the entire content and context of each moment. We can never grasp this entirely through thinking. We can perceive it in its essence when we get beyond our thinking


The Way Of Awareness cultivates our capacity to have a direct experience of what we think and feel, and how we react to the world in every given moment. We can then better recognise some thoughts are potentially helpful and will reduce our suffering, and others are less than helpful, even toxic.


None of our thoughts are the enemy. Each one has something valuable to teach us—if we see it for what it is, and if we rest in awareness of its coming and going without getting caught up in it. 


This is how we grow our capacity to stop battling with life’s hurdles. We become more aware of our relationship to the whole. We find better ways to respond to change, challenges and stressful situations. We find more contentment and true peace of mind.

Image by Bekir Dönmez

Feelings, like young children, need our compassionate wise attention

Our feelings and emotions are the “messengers” of our wellbeing; they can direct us to what needs attention and what is not flowing in our lives. 


Many times, if we are not skillful enough to pay attention to our strong feelings and emotions, we tend to ignore or suppress them. By doing so, we shoot the messenger instead of listening to the meaningful message our feelings and emotions bring.


The Way of Awareness program grows our capacity to allow space even for intense feelings and emotions without resistance, but also without dwelling on them or being overwhelmed.


By attending to our intense feelings and emotions with mature, compassionate attention, we open the door for wisdom, healing and ease to settle into our lives. We learn to grow and know ourselves. 

 

Rumi’s poem The Guest House describes this with exquisite clarity

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

still, treat each guest honourably.

He may be clearing you out

for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.

meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.

— Jellaludin Rumi,

Image by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen

Shine the light of awareness on your path

Would you like to stop overthinking?

The steps of the Way of Awareness program shine the light of awareness on your thinking, emotional and behavioural patterns. It’s a torch to light up the dark—


1.    Become more conscious of your state of mind. Recognise your internal narratives and get to know your habitual autopilot
2.    Grow your capacity to relate to your thoughts as events in the mind that are coming and going and not as solid truths
3.    Become aware of the interconnection between thinking patterns and the feelings they generate and how emotions fuel our thinking
4.    Turn triggers into pointers
5.    Becoming more skillful in attending intense emotions to create space between stimulation and response
6.    Grow your capacity to choose thought patterns which serve you best by shifting your inner dialogue to show gentle compassion
7.    Connect with your deepest and most profound freedom—the freedom to choose mindfully how you will relate to all that is happening in your life.


If you feel ready to step into the Way of Awareness, email me at iris@irisbar.com.au to arrange a time to discuss whether one-on-one or group discovery is the best way for you to begin