Awakenings.

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My life has felt like a series of Awakenings, where there are certain ideas/perspectives/things... (you name it) that I'm either completely oblivious to, or ignore (whether consciously or subconsciously). It's like I'm surrounded by a bubble of everything I know to be true (at least what I think is true) and what I currently believe. Everything outside the bubble doesn't exist, or exists in some capacity, yet is blurred by the bubbles edges, meaning I know that its out there, I just don't know anything about it or how to reach it. 

Every now and then, I will experience what I refer to as an Awakening. An Awakening is when something just "clicks" in your brain, and with just the snap of a finger, you go from obliviously unaware, to final "getting it", seeing and experiencing something New and Exciting.  Awakenings are part Mindfulness to who you are and your surroundings, and part Openness to new experiences. The best way I can describe it, is like your in a dark room. You can feel the presence of things in the room, but you just don't quite know what they are. And then, all of a sudden, someone flips the lights on, and you can finally see. The room is bright, and what was there the whole time, finally becomes clear. Your world expands, for the better.

I've come to view Awakenings as life changing experiences. An Awakening, whether a good or bad experience, is eye opening, and life changing. They can be small, or even mind blowing. The point is that  Awakenings open you up to new worlds and expand your mind. And in the end, your life is better because of it.

"A mind once stretched by a new idea never regains its original dimension." - Oliver Wendell Homes.

So, How do you find your Awakenings?

  • Awakenings live outside your comfort zone. - If you want to change your world, and experience something new and exciting you need to do something that scares you. Improvement and Excellence only happens outside your comfort zone. Thats what RML is to me. Writing out my thoughts and posting it to the world flat out terrifies me. Blogging makes me completely uncomfortable, and thats why I do it. I'm putting myself out there, I'm miles away from my comfort zone. In a way, the vulnerability of it all, is almost crushing. And yet, I've never felt more Alive and my thoughts have never been more Clear.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings. - Most of the time Awakenings are right in front of you, smacking you in the face. Just ask yourself "What am I not seeing?" andÍ try to bring awareness to your life.
  • Be open and reflect on new perspectives . - We need to stay steadfast in our believes, and yet open to new ideas and perspectives. This sounds contradictory, but the point is to have your own values and ideals, Things that allow you to stand firm, but also be open, and when something challenges your values and ideals, reflect upon them.
  • Time. - Sometimes it just takes a little time to find Awakenings.

The first Awakening I can Remember experiencing was a very subtle one about art. For as long as I can remember I've drawn. Whether from my imagination or from the world around me, I've always had the desire to draw. I loved doing it (and still do), and I always thought of myself as a good artist. The detail  are a bit fuzzy, but around Middle School something "clicked" in my brain that opened up my perspective of art in new and interesting ways and enhanced my vision on how to create good art. Maybe I reached my "10,000" hours, or what have you, I don't know, regardless, everything that I had drawn before that point just looked sloppy at best. At this point I could have given up, however I did not see my earlier work as a failure, instead I saw them as stepping stones to a deeper understanding of the craft as a whole. I could see how to make my lines become straight and sharp. My sight aligned with my hands I could draw  and see art in a whole new light. It was like my abilities finally caught up with what I thought they were. I was at one level of ability, and then all of a sudden, I awoke to whole new level of abilities and improved skill. This Awakening was a small, and yet, life changing experience.

Reminder #4: Look for Awakenings in your life. They will change your world and give you new and exciting experiences. And finally, live live outside your comfort zone. Do something that scares you.

So what are your thoughts/outrage on Awakenings? And have you ever experienced them for yourself? Let me know! either in the comments below, or via email: josh@renaissancemanlife.com. I would love to hear from you.

Josh Waggoner