Awareness and Change

by Michael Lee

Do awareness and change go automatically together? I know I've said before that awareness is 80% of it. But how can we enhance that other 20%?

This past weekend I found myself teaching again at a beautiful yoga studio in Annapolis MD.

Over the past few years my teaching gigs have been few and far between – by choice of course as I've focused more time and energy on writing, my family, my hobbies and my own practices. It's been great to do that but now I'm beginning to find a new spark of energy rising from the fire of the Phoenix that is drawing me back to a little more teaching. Not a lot, but enough to feel what it's like again and maybe integrate some of my most recent learning into my work. And of course it is different. As I grow and learn, I also change. And my teaching is changing and it was great to self observe that and also get some feedback from my participants this past weekend.

One particular thing I noticed was my approach to the final step in what we call "Integration" in the Phoenix Rising process – particularly the homework part of it. For a lot of years I've seen thousands of people in my classes, workshops and trainings who come to some very profound awareness and change their lives as a result. I've seen some people make incredible and major life enhancing shifts. And I've seen some fall short only to re-appear some months or years later as the "same old new me". Awareness and change didn't really go together for them. In my own growth I've observed what makes a difference. A difference as to weather I make any changes from my new awareness, or just go back to the same old same old.

I think Tony Robbins hits the nail right on the head with this quote:

"A real decision is measured by the fact that you've taken a new action. If there's no action, you haven't truly decided."

So in my workshops this past weekend, when it came to the "what am I going to do with my new awareness" part of each experience, I got a little more pushy. Not "directive", not "bossy", but asking the kind of questions that I’ve sometimes used with my kids when I'm seeking their accountability for their best intentions. Questions like "so what will be different tomorrow when you start putting into action what you are saying you want to do?" and "how will you know when you are successful at doing this?"

On top of that I encouraged participants to create an action plan and to write it down in their journals or post it on the door of their refrigerator. I'm hoping they do, and that my call to action serves them better than if I'd just been the same old new me in this round of my teaching. Maybe "awareness" is 80% of change but it is truly in the last 20% where the rubber meets the road, so maybe it's worth some extra attention too.

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