I started my journey in mindful awareness over 30 years ago. I came to the realization that so much of my life was driven by fears and expectations rooted in my history and that of my ancestors. I realized my need to embark on this journey if I hoped to have fulfilling relationships. I also realized my need to have some sense of interpersonal awareness related to those around me.
Awareness is holistic in nature. It takes account of issues related to body, mind, and spirit along with concerns related to the environment we live in. It begins with self and moves out into our family, community, and world.
Self awareness is a prerequisite for collaboration, and interpersonal awareness is a prerequisite for co-creative synergy. Self awareness requires the attitude of an observer – the ability to step back and observe without evaluation. It requires an inner journey to explore beliefs, emotions, intentions, assumptions, perceptions, needs, motivation… It also requires an orientation to explore the inner world of others without judgment.
Interpersonal awareness requires self disclosure and clear expectations. It requires disclosure of each others inner world, along with clarity of the relationship and outcomes we desire. It require co-creative design for the relationship container that holds our collaborative efforts. Interpersonal awareness also requires understanding of the control issues and dysfunctional patterns we easily gravitate toward in conflict.
The Drama Triangle is a model that well describes that dysfunctional dynamic. In conflict, we can easily get trapped in the role of victim, persecutor, or rescuer. We have a long history, illustrated in religion and fairy tales, where humans have been relegated to these roles. It is these patterns, along with our need for control, that challenge our personal and collaborative awareness. The Empowerment Dynamic provides a closer look at the Drama triangle and an alternative model for reorientation.
The practice of mindfulness meditation has been shown throughout history to increase awareness. Mindful awareness is the simple practice of focusing our attention to the present moment. It offers an opportunity to remove ourselves from the busyness of life and the constant evaluation and judgment of our minds, and to reorient ourselves as an observer.
Studies in brain science have indicated that the practice of mindful awareness helps facilitate a shift in cognitive and behavioral patterns. HeartMath is a type of mindfulness practice that turns our attention to heart felt emotions. Studies at the Institute of HeartMath have indicated the connection of positive emotional energy necessary to create heart/brain coherence, and further facilitate the shift in our patterns of thinking and behaving.
I incorporate the practice of BePeace in my work, which is inspired by Heartmath to establish heart/brain coherence. This facilitates an energy shift that is helpful for cultivating interpersonal awareness, along with conscious communication.