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Growth Plan Part 3: Learn How to Be Aware: A Guide to Increasing Awareness

brain becoming aware as person is guided on how to become aware

As a nurse, I was taught to be "aware" when things are right on, or off. Rightly so, as patients are at risk if nurses aren't aware. As an example, I was walking into a patient's room as a clinical instructor and stopped dead in my tracks at the door. I looked at the student nurse, patient, and mom who were in the room and told the patient and mom that everyone was safe, and asked if it was OK to have a teaching moment. They both said yes, so I called the student nurse over to the door and asked her to look at the patient and tell me what she noticed that was "off." Being new, did I expect her to notice? No, but I was hopeful and gave her the opportunity to evaluate the situation and hopefully, gain some awareness.

What was off? I could tell that the patient's tube going through his nose to his stomach was not in the right place. The tube was moving in and out of his nose with his breath and he was having a hard time swallowing. I figured that the patient's tube was in the back of his throat and while this was not an immediate emergency, it did get to be fixed. So, the student nurse and I got the patient situated, put the tube in the right place, and had a great learning experience, in awareness, that she will never forget.

What about you? How aware are you of what's going on around you? What about what's going on with your emotions? How aware are you of a social situation that's not quite right, "read" your boss's emotional state, or sense organizational trends coming down the pike that could affect your livelihood? Being aware of what's going on around you and training yourself to be aware is key to navigating life and following the leading of the Holy Spirit.

This brings me to a generalization of how men would be aware vs. a woman being aware. I've heard it said that men normally live in one room in a home at a certain point in time and don't go into other rooms until they leave the first room. A woman has an open-concept house without room dividers. She sees ALL that is going on in the home and so, is being bombarded all the time with what she is sensing and "noticing." Now, this blog is not about how to handle the difference between how men and women operate but I wanted to bring out the possibility that we get to work with each other in understanding, and being "aware" of our differences.

So, how to become more aware? The way I like to be more aware is to ask God, the Holy Spirit, to show me during the day or during situations, what is going on. When I ask the Holy Spirit in the morning, I find I am depending on Him to show me. "I" am out of the way and can hear conversation nuances/off words or being aware easier. Another way I have increased my awareness is by reflection. After a situation, especially one I felt unsettled about, I reflect on what it is that's unsettling me. If I'm unsure of what I come up with & whether it is accurate and there is someone I trust who was in the same situation I was in, I call them and chat about what I'm feeling or picking up. As I reflect on what I've heard or the situation I'm in and my feelings, I am training myself to become more aware and understand myself more. That way, next time I can be quicker to identify and be "aware" of my feelings and what I'm picking up in situations. I can respond readily (not react) and more congruent to who I am as I become more aware of myself.

What about my pain? Have I ever wasted my pain? Have you? I have. What do I mean about wasting my pain? I mean that if I'm not aware and reflect on my pain to figure out where it's coming from, I won't learn from it or be able to let it go. It will still control me if I don't let it go and I will stay stuck. This can all be undone if I use my pain to understand myself, walk in forgiveness, and let go. A great idea to live by is to "know thyself", see how flawed I am, and have compassion on myself while knowing that others are just like me. Then, I can have compassion for others because I began growing in awareness. I can walk in the golden rule of treating others as you would have them treat you, and "...forgive my trespasses as I forgive those who trespassed against me.." (at the same time) when I ask God to forgive my many flaws (as stated in the Lord's prayer).

So, how aware are you of yourself and other's emotions & feelings? Will you take this next week, after reading this, and commit to asking God, the Holy Spirit, to show you and help you to be "aware?" Will you talk about situations with others that you aren't sure about and seek to understand and increase your awareness? A rich life will then come to you! Choose wisely! From:

Enjoy the journey!



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