How do we become more conscious when our environment around us is full of negative and depressing events or people? This question came to my mind many times during my awakening.
My search for consciousness began during a time in my life when I was surrounded by negativity and sensitive egos. I was working in a factory in my small town. My experience while working there was heavy and frustrating at the best of times.
During this period of my life, I began to feel as if I was trapped and that there was no way out. My future seemed to look less and less attractive. When we are feeling trapped in a place where we don’t want to be, often our minds will go to future moments. When our future moments lose their luster in our minds then a deep sense of entrapment begins to possess us even more.
My life in those days was lived out totally engulfed in my mind. That’s all I had at the time. My source of joy was held in a fragile environment of my mind’s perception.
When I began to wake up, I started to learn that life wasn’t all that terrible. However, the fact still remained that I still had to go to work and be around other people who were just as frustrated and beaten down as I was.
I recall, at the height of my frustration, I would have to take time-outs to shake off my anger. I would become so angry that I would leave the press I was assigned to and sit in the bathroom in an effort to control the urge of wanting to punch my coworkers in the face.
My experience with waking up during that time of my life was difficult and trying for me. As I began to wake up more, my ability to see my environment grew in my awareness. I began to feel more and see more of the larger picture going on around me. I didn’t like what I saw but I also felt powerless at the time to change it.
The truth is that I wasn’t trapped at all and that my time there was by my choice, nobody was holding me captive to that place. The bondage I felt was entirely made up in my mind.
Our minds play with us all the time. We give our minds power to keep us lost in drama and confusion. Our ego loves pain and suffering and it needs pain to wallow in.
There were many times I would allow my consciousness to slip away from me. I would knowingly allow the voice in my head to dictate a justification for becoming unconscious.
The voices in my head would say things like, “I could be more conscious if I didn’t have to work here,” or I would justify being a jerk with adages like, “If you can’t beat them, might as well join them.”
What I was really doing was postponing my joy. I would postpone my peace to a future moment that may never come to pass. During my time with the Ishayas, [i]Maharishi Krishnananda Ishaya talked about this many times. How we are willing to postpone our peace to a later date that seemed better for us, like when the kids move out, or your retirement.
There is no future moment that is better than the one you are in right now to wake up and claim your power. Waking up brings fulfillment to our soul’s purpose and it allows others to awaken around us.
Another point that Maharishi made often is that there are people waiting for us to wake up. It’s by our awakening that makes it possible for others to do the same.
As we awaken, we bring awakening to others automatically. We become an instrument of change to our environment. What I notice is that when I let go of things that are weighing me down in my consciousness, it creates a shift in my ability to see my life from a different vantage point. Along with the ability to see more, I also expand in capacity to focus on the stillness within.
I have also come to learn that it’s best for me to embrace where I am at in the awakening that is unfolding inside of me. The voice of my ego wants to compare my experiences with others. Once my ego determines where I fit consciously among others, it desires to be in a different place always. By embracing our awakening, we let go of wanting any other experience than the one we are having.
If you notice that your inner experience feels different than that of the people you have to be around, be sure to release any judgments your mind may have about others. I’ve found that when I stop labeling people around me that they become much easier to serve.
When we sit in judgment of others, we separate ourselves from them and create stories in our minds. My story was that I wish that other people would wake up and get it so I can be better.
It’s very amusing to me that I did this. I still catch myself from time to time running the old stories in my mind. As soon as I notice I’m doing that, I just let them go with love; I repeat – with love.
We all awaken in our own way. We can experience great leaps but for the most part, in my experience so far, I have awakened in subtle bits at a time.
There is no process to awakening because our path to awakening is not a linear process. Generally, we awaken in correlation with how much we are willing to let go of.
Our full potential is not contingent on any circumstance, and consciousness is best explored from the place you currently reside in your life.
People and places have far less control over me than they did in the past. Choosing peace over unconscious behavior is a choice we are all free to make.