Imagine being wide awake, consciously aware of your thoughts and emotions in real-time, and ready to take intentional action to move forward on your journey in the certain knowledge that you are in safe hands, your own safe hands. Imagine being so in tune with what is going on inside of you and beyond, with a such heightened awareness that you are totally confident you are on the right path, taking the right steps, at the right time. What is possible? What are the possibilities for your future? And what is in your consciousness right now? Can you feel the air underneath your eagle wings, lifting you high above the ground, taking you higher than you have ever been before? Read on to learn more about higher levels of consciousness.
Although the nature of consciousness has defied clear and consistent definitions, I like to think of consciousness as moment-to-moment awareness. This awareness is not a single perception but rather temporary positions along continuums of consciousness. What are these continuums and where are you now on these continuums of consciousness?
Imagine vertical and horizontal axes intersecting at their midpoints. The horizontal axis has conscious awareness at the center. Left of the center is our memory of past experiences, both conscious and unconscious, or what Sigmund Freud described in the levels of awareness of his Structure of Mind as unconscious (unaware) and preconscious (partially aware). Our current awareness at the center of the axis is all the thoughts, feelings, and sensations that we are aware of at this particular moment.
A preconscious mind holds thoughts and memories that may be only partially in one’s current awareness but can easily be retrieved such as childhood memories, lifetime experiences, and people and places we have known. Our unconscious mind is a region of the mind that often includes unacceptable thoughts, feelings, and memories that we may consciously or unconsciously want to forget. We may not be aware of these thoughts, feelings, and memories, but they can exert great influence over our conscious thoughts and behavior.
To the right of the conscious center of the horizontal axis are the imagined possibilities of what is yet to come into our momentary conscious awareness. So the horizontal continuum of consciousness can be thought of as Memory – Awareness – Possibility: memory of what’s gone before, awareness of the present moment, and an imagined possibility of what is yet to come.
This could be based on David Hawkin’s Map of Consciousness described in his book, Power vs Force, where the levels above the horizontal axis are life-supporting levels of courage, neutrality, willingness, acceptance, reason, love, joy, peace, and enlightenment; and below the horizontal axis, life suppressing levels of pride, anger, desire, fear, grief, apathy, guilt, and shame. A simpler construct for the vertical axis is based on levels of awareness. Moving up the vertical axis from the bottom where we have a total lack of awareness, through simple conscious awareness at the center, to total awareness at the top. These levels of awareness are, of course, relative and quite subjective.
The continuums of consciousness on the horizontal and vertical axes provide a framework for consciously raising our awareness. Pause for a moment. What are you thinking about right now? What is in your awareness? A problem you need to solve, a person you need to contact, or maybe a dream of future possibilities? What steps can you take to raise your levels of conscious awareness? This is about bringing something into our conscious awareness, raising our consciousness by taking time to ponder and reflect, recognizing and bringing our influencing memories into our consciousness, but then looking to the possibilities for the future based on that higher level of consciousness.
How do we do that? With Awareness – Intention – Action (A-I-A):
- Awareness: Becoming more attentive, raising awareness of our internal voices and sensations, our awareness of the situation and the people involved, and bringing full or at least greater attention to what is going on.
- Intention: With the increased awareness, setting an intention for who we want to be and how we want to show up in this situation.
- Action: Taking responsible action, choosing the best way forward aligned with greater awareness and clearer intention.
Many of us live much of our lives with a considerable lack of awareness. We may be unaware of our inner voices and sensations, or of the people and situations around us. How often have we driven along a familiar road and, at a certain moment, realized we have no recollection of the last few miles of the journey? It is time to wake up!
The invitation is to begin noticing what is going on. Notice the thoughts and feelings in our minds and bodies, and the resulting physical and emotional energy that drives our behaviors. Our inner voices can shape our responses to situations. Are these inner voices the voices of possibility or the negative voices from the past that tell us we are not good enough or that our dreams are impossible? Expanding our awareness can make a huge difference in our lives. It is time to raise our awareness.
With higher levels of awareness of the current situation, our unconscious or partially conscious memories, and the possibilities for the future, we can set our intentions and make conscious choices about the way forward. Take a moment now to raise your consciousness, and your levels of awareness, notice what is going on, set intention, and act responsibly. Feel the air beneath your eagle wings, raising you up.
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I am the Consciousness Whisperer, a conscious leadership and conscious living coach, and the author of the book, The Inner Journey to Conscious Leadership.
I am a convener of conscious conversations for people who are Too Young to Retire® and the principal owner of 2Young2Retire, LLC. I lead the 2Young2Retire® facilitator certification program. I divide my time between Portsmouth, England and West Palm Beach, Florida.