Awareness vs. Interpretation

Recognize the difference between awareness versus interpretation. 

If you've plugged into a mindfulness podcast, taken a Yoga class or even scanned thru a pop culture TV show recently, you may have been introduced to the concept of Self-Awareness.  The idea of being aware, or taking notice of yourself.  Not just the physical part of you, but more of the mental, emotional or energetic parts of you.  The parts you don't necessarily "see" or even think about very often.  Depending on your lifestyle, if you're like most people, you probably move through your day with some level of self awareness.  When you take the time to actually focus on being aware of yourself, whether you're being guided by a teacher or coach, or maybe you read something that draws your attention to it; you will probably start to develop opinions about what is is you've become aware of.

Does that make sense?

Let me break it down like this:  If I tell you to take notice of the color of the top you're wearing right now.  Let's say its Red.  Now that I've drawn your attention to the color Red, you're aware of it.  And ... now that you are aware of it, your mind has already started to form opinions, recall memories and is creating an Interpretation of the color.  Or, if I told you right now to draw your awareness to your left shoulder.  As you start to take notice if it, what happens?  Is it tense or relaxed? Immediately, as you become aware of your left shoulder, you start to go deeper into interpreting its condition. 

In case you haven't noticed, our brains are pretty powerful devices.  The Creator (whatever you call It) didn't hold back on the good ingredients when designing our brains.  Our minds have the ability to create all sorts of experiences for us on a moment to moment basis.  The cool part is you get to decide what types of experience you want to have.  A huge element of those experiences comes from making the choice to focus on Awareness versus Interpretation. 

When I'm teaching a Mindful Movement Yoga class or facilitating a private session, I often begin with a grounding exercise like guided meditation. Where I invite my students to draw their awareness to  parts of the body.  As we move through it, I notice students beginning to develop opinions, recall memories and start to interpret parts of their body.  In essence, they begin to Judge their bodies.  Don't trip! I do this too.  We all do.  Once we become aware of our bodies, often times, the first ting we do is begin to make all sorts of interpretations about it. Which can lead to all sorts of ... stuff! We will get to that in another blog.

The purpose of Mindful habits like practicing Self Awareness is not to create space for you to begin to interpret yourself; but instead to just take notice of yourself.  To give yourself a moment to just BE - not to strategize, judge, or plan for yourself.  Just to be still long enough to notice that you are still here.  Being amazing! Or being tired! Or whatever you are being at any given moment.  

The point here is to ask yourself, in moments of Self Awareness, "Are you taking notice?  Or developing an interpretation?" - interpretations can often lead to assumptions, which can lead to judgments.  There's a time a place for interpretation.  Today, just take notice and be aware.


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