Friday, June 18, 2010

Armoring with awareness

As you can see, a new goddess arrived yesterday. I had an interesting time naming her: I wanted to honor her reflective surfaces, her transparency, and the holes in her chest and belly, and I explored a number of possibilities before I realized I had never done a goddess of awareness.

But then, how would you DO a goddess of awareness? What IS awareness? Would she be all eyes, or all ears? What this figure teaches me (now that I see she is a goddess of awareness) is that part of the reason we have difficulties with awareness may be because in order to be aware we have to let our guard down. In order to be fully conscious of what's going on around us, we have to be open, welcoming, even accepting of our own sensory input: we can't just take in the stuff we like and deny everything else.

Part of the risk you take there, of course, is that if you're willing to take everything in, that awareness will affect your presence in the world. I don't know about you, but when I'm aware of something, it shows; I can't hide my awareness (I've never had much of a poker face!). So perhaps those reflective surfaces are about that: what we take in, we can't help but reflect back.

The good news is that awareness is part of what allows us to defeat our inner judge. If we can be aware, not only of what's going on around us, but also of what's going on inside us, we don't need the protection and constant prompting of the judge: our awareness actually serves as a kind of armor.

In Soul Without Shame, Brown states that in order to free yourself from the constant controlling of your inner judge, you need to understand and use your own will. And will, he says Brown, "builds on awareness and acceptance. You perceive as fully as possible your current reality and align yourself with that. This means being in touch with physical reality: the concrete definiteness of your own body, the air you breathe, the food you eat, the house you live in, the car you drive. If something is broken, you fix it; you don't walk by it for months, hoping it will go away. Will also means being in touch with your feelings, your needs, your thoughts, your beliefs, and your judge.

...Staying in touch with your personal will threatens the judge's power. If you begin to trust yourself and the experience of being with your own truth, then you will not need the support of the judge. As you cultivate your sense of steadfastness in reality, you develop the patience to allow things to unfold and reveal their truth to you rather than allowing the judge to impose its beliefs, priorities, and values on your experience.

The personal will works in concert with awareness by providing the determination to sense, look and listen. As your personal will develops, you will have more capacity not to engage your judge when it delivers a familiar attack. How would it be simply to listen to the judge without response -- to commit to doing nothing but following your own breathing? If the judge cannot make you act or react, it is lost; it has no power."

Hmm. I like the sound of this...


Maureen said...

A really cool image!

I've put Soul Without Shame on my list. Brown has so much worth hearing.

Louise Gallagher said...

Oh, and btw, what you wrote yesterday on my blog about wanting to hold me -- that was beautiful. You really touched my heart.

Thank you.

Louise Gallagher said...

I like the sound of this too and I like the look of the Goddess of Awareness. She calls to me.