Becoming a Conscious Parenting Certified Coach has me thinking a lot about what it means to be conscious in my life.

When not conscious, my default is to be numb or inattentive. I miss important details. I say careless things. My mind is elsewhere. Though it is natural to go through life like this, our unconscious will have its way with us if we stay like this forever. We are not meant for unconsciousness.

Standing in church years ago, I was singing a hymn, lost in thought about my struggles with faith and the lack of confidence I had in the words I was singing. I was distressed and worship was making it worse. The next thing I knew, I was flat on my back with smelling salts under my nose. My little spiritual and emotional fit caused me to pass out in the middle of a church service.

This embarrassing story tells a bigger story about how our bodies manifest our unconscious. Bessel van der Kolk and his heroic research teaches that our bodies record our emotional pain and eventually tell us what we need to know about our lives and our healing. (The Body Keeps the Score).

When living unconsciously, uncomfortable patterns will cycle throughout our days. We may repetitively find ourselves in familiar situations, similar relationships or emotional quagmires. It is as if our unconscious is saying – ‘Oh, you didn’t catch the message in the last situation? Alrighty, then, let’s try this one. You missed the message in your last relationship? No problem!
There’s another one coming right down the road!’

When you notice patterns repeating, trust that there is an awake, alive, vibrant and beautiful essence inside you seeking to be free. It will stop at nothing to make itself known. When we purposefully look to our inner world, our truest selves will begin to seep out.

Here are seven ways to invite consciousness: 1) free associate with a pen and paper for three full pages, writing whatever comes to your mind; 2) put a timer on and sit in silence for five full minutes, staying focused on your inhale and exhale only; 3) listen to Samuel Barber’s “Adagio For Strings” for a full eight minutes; 4) draw a circle to fill a page of paper and then grab five to ten colors of paint, crayon, pencil or marker and fill the circle with whatever comes to you; 5) think of a person you strongly dislike and list ten things that are their most vile manifestations; 6) find three things in the room or in nature that represent your life right now or 7) try online yoga for ten minutes with Adriene.

Stay with me and looking with me as we ask consciousness to be made known and we find ways to love ourselves and others from our best and truest essence.