“The world is made for people who aren’t cursed with self awareness,” said Annie Savoy (Susan Sarandon) in Bull Durham. Or as one of my friends said, perhaps unkindly, “If ignorance is bliss, you must be euphoric.”

Despite the intrigue of these perspectives, by paying attention we develop awareness and open ourselves up to more choices and possibilities. Yet, there is a paradox with awareness. Often our best moments include a loss of self-awareness. Let’s consider both sides of this question.

If you spent some time looking at what takes you away from your natural exuberance (see April 11), you will have become aware of some of the habits, internal conversations, situations, and reactions that get in your way.

Perhaps one of the barriers to our aliveness and enjoyment is some version of “it shouldn’t be this way.” When we resist what is happening rather than accepting what is, we tend to constrict one way or another and disrupt the flow of energy that would otherwise have us much more likely to enjoy the present moment.

By reflecting on your own versions of resistance you may become aware of how you rob yourself of appreciating the moment and maybe create your own suffering.

So awareness can be useful and get us out of our own way, but giving up the analytic feeling of paying attention can facilitate the times of great excitement and full engagement. We spend most of our lives planning, yet we are often most happy when we let go of the plan and roll with the tide of the now.

Not to leave you with a Zen koan, but to invite you to play with attention and awareness and see where paying attention leads to greater openings and where surrendering to the moment leads to exhilaration.

Be Psyched for Monday!

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