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Home » Blog » The True Essence of Awareness

Am I Aware?

Close your eyes, take a pause, relax and think, are you aware?

The experience of being aware is commonly referred to as ‘I’. I am aware of my thoughts. I recall my childhood memories. I am aware of feelings of sadness, loneliness, at peace, in love, anxiety, boredom, jealousy, or happiness. I am aware of my house’s image. I am aware of feelings of pain or hunger. I am aware of my room’s appearance and the sound of rain. 

‘I’ is the name we give to that who knows or is aware of all knowledge and experience in each of these examples. As such, in all knowledge and experience, ‘I’ is the knowing or aware element. ‘I’ is consciousness itself.

So, I ask you again are you aware?

We are aware of what we are thinking, feeling, seeing, and doing. We are aware of whatever is known or experienced, regardless of the contents of our knowledge or experience. As a result, knowing or being aware is a constant element in all changing knowledge and experience.

We are aware of our situation. It is impossible to have an experience without knowing about it or comprehending it. We are all familiar with or have experienced our current thought, childhood memory, whatever emotions or sentiments are present, the feeling of pain or hunger, the sound of traffic, the sight of these words, or the view from our window. As a result, knowing or awareness exists in all experiences. But what does awareness mean, in its true sense? Let’s find out.

What is Awareness?

Julian Jaynes, a philosopher, says: “We become conscious of consciousness when we are questioned, “What is consciousness?” So when we try to define consciousness or awareness, we end up with an embarrassment of choices, much like blind men trying to describe a painting.

But what is awareness in its true essence? 

Awareness is the collaboration of two words- “aware” and “ness.”  The word aware means having knowledge or perception of a situation or fact and the suffix ‘-ness’ denotes ‘the state or presence of’. Thus the word ‘awareness’ literally means ‘the state or presence of being aware.’ In neuroscience, “consciousness” is awareness.

Using the words ‘consciousness’ and ‘awareness’ carries the risk of objectifying or reifying the non-objective experience of pure knowing or being aware because they are nouns. They imply that awareness or consciousness is a unique, delicate sort of experience that can be discovered or understood in the same way that objective experience can. As a result, many people go on a quest for enlightenment, which is said to be the ultimate experience or state of mind.

Tapping Into The True Essence of Life With Awareness

Imagine yourself in a darkened movie theatre, watching the tale of your life unfold on the screen. You’re engrossed in the drama, suspense, and tender moments until you suddenly realise: You forgot you were watching a movie for the last few hours! You were so engrossed, so invested, that you lost track of time; you thought the movie was about you but in fact it was just a movie. This is what awareness is. 

Awareness is a way to live. It is a way to be awake. You are only alive to the extent that you are aware. The difference between death and life is awareness. You are not alive simply because you are breathing or because your heart is beating. 

A hospital can keep you alive physiologically while you are unconscious. Your heart will continue to beat and you will be able to breathe normally. You can be kept in such a mechanical configuration that you will be alive for years—in the sense of breathing, heartbeat, and blood circulation.

Many people in advanced countries are now just vegetating in hospitals because advanced technology has made it possible to postpone your death indefinitely—for years you can be kept alive. You can be kept alive if this is life. But this isn’t real life. Life is more than just vegetating. Life is about being awake, being aware.

Tapping Into The True Essence of Coaching With Awareness

The International Coach Federation (ICF) has established 11 Core Competencies to assist people in better understanding the skills and approaches used in today’s coaching world. These competencies were established in 1998. Now, ICF has updated its competencies, the first time since its creation, and stated that it would “serve as higher, more rigorous coaching requirements in the future.”

These Core Competencies contain awareness as its fourth domain as competency 8. Let’s see what ICF says about creating awareness

ICF in its core competency 8, states that creating awareness is the ability to integrate and accurately evaluate multiple sources of information and to make interpretations that help the client to gain awareness and thereby achieve agreed-upon results.

  1. Goes beyond what is said in assessing client’s concerns, not getting hooked by the client’s description.
  2. Invokes inquiry for greater understanding, awareness, and clarity.
  3. Identifies for the client his/her underlying concerns; typical and fixed ways of perceiving himself/herself and the world; differences between the facts and the interpretation; and disparities between thoughts, feelings, and action.
  4. Helps clients to discover for themselves the new thoughts, beliefs, perceptions, emotions, moods, etc. that strengthen their ability to take action and achieve what is important to them.
  5. Communicates broader perspectives to clients and inspires commitment to shift their viewpoints and find new possibilities for action.
  6. Helps clients to see the different, interrelated factors that affect them and their behaviors (e.g., thoughts, emotions, body, and background).
  7. Expresses insights to clients in ways that are useful and meaningful for the client.
  8. Identifies major strengths vs. major areas for learning and growth, and what is most important to address during coaching.
  9. Asks the client to distinguish between trivial and significant issues, situational vs. recurring behaviors, when detecting a separation between what is being stated and what is being done.

In the updated core competency, Evoking Awareness is core competency.

Evokes Awareness

Definition: Facilitates client insight and learning by using tools and techniques such as powerful questioning, silence, metaphor or analogy

  1. Considers client experience when deciding what might be most useful
  2. Challenges the client as a way to evoke awareness or insight
  3. Asks questions about the client, such as their way of thinking, values, needs, wants and beliefs
  4. Asks questions that help the client explore beyond current thinking
  5. Invites the client to share more about their experience in the moment
  6. Notices what is working to enhance client progress
  7. Adjusts the coaching approach in response to the client’s needs
  8. Helps the client identify factors that influence current and future patterns of behavior, thinking or emotion
  9. Invites the client to generate ideas about how they can move forward and what they are willing or able to do
  10. Supports the client in reframing perspectives
  11. Shares observations, insights and feelings, without attachment, that have the potential to create new learning for the client.

In coaching, awareness is about creating a space of awareness for our clients. The clients need to be aware of what they want, what they want to achieve with this process. They should be aware of their emotions, their thoughts and beliefs.

The Awareness Metaphor: Awareness Sphere

Let us try to understand awareness with an example. Imagine that our body is a bright lamp that indicates a level of awareness. So our bodies will represent the lamp that shines brighter and brighter as our awareness grows. The brightness of our awareness illuminates our surroundings, allowing us to see and perceive extra parts of ourselves and our surroundings. The light completely eliminates a space around us that has a spherical shape. This space will be referred to as the awareness sphere. 

We can plainly perceive anything within the sphere with common sense or intuition. Our lamp’s light is no longer feasible outside of the awareness sphere, and the further things from our sphere is difficult to perceive. The greater our awareness sphere, the better developed our capacities to live the basic rights of existence. 

Everything that happens within this awareness sphere is available to a person in the form of abilities and senses, allowing them to make decisions. The light inside the sphere is bright enough for the accompanying implications to be seen. The abilities and senses required for perception are still being developed for what occurs outside of this awareness sphere. 

We can assume that the light outside the sphere is insufficient to illuminate anything. As a result, we cannot or can only see the consequences outside our awareness zone in part.

Thus, we tend to perceive only what’s within the area of illumination. Think of it like this, you know who you are, you are aware of, what you want and what you think. But are you aware of what is going in the mind of some other person sitting next to you? No! Because they fall out of our awareness sphere.

Tapping Into The True Essence of Awareness with TCC 2022

We keep looking for meaning, for the essence of our lives, but what we really want is just reality. We try to find reality in different realms of knowledge, wondrous contributions, and meaningful connections. But all we want is the truth, the reality. 

Acceptance allows us to return to our full true self live from a growing sense of loving connectedness with all beings. As you learn more about various aspects of awareness, you will gain a new perspective on your inner landscape and life. You make alternative choices and create what you desire when you enhance your awareness of how your life works. We begin our journey to discover our true purpose once we learn to accept ourselves and others.

This TCC lets dive into a pool of awareness with speakers all around the globe. Come let’s learn the art of awareness and tap into the true essence of coaching life with The Coaching Conclave 2022

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