“For me it’s a wild place that calls you out of yourself and into the world full of wonder” As the staff photographer for Florblanca, Santa Teresa has been my hidden treasure for years. This community is special to say the least. With my boys growing up and time slipping by, I knew now is […]
Finding Awareness Everyday
If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath. ~Amit Ray
It’s so easy to zoom through our days, caught in routines that keep us grounded but also keep us a little bit trapped.
When we’re not lucky enough to be at Florblanca, basking in all the beauty, unwinding amidst howler monkeys, yoga classes, and long walks on the beach, we will likely find ourselves at home going through our day-to-day routines punctuated by schedules and appointments. Through the demands of family, work, or school, we can be task-oriented without making time to slow down and truly engage.
I know that sometimes I get to the end of my week and I feel almost breathless, like I’ve just run a race. Then I get that “time flies” feeling. It’s already September? How did that happen?
Sometimes being scheduled and task-oriented is just a product of where we’re at in our lives. We have a demanding job or we’re taking care of our aging parents. We have spouses and children, sometimes multiple children, and we’re responsible for keeping up with their personal lives as well as our own. We’re working and volunteering and generally contributing to society.
Sometimes this busyness is an escape. An escape from making big decisions, an escape from feeling unhappy or unbalanced and not really wanting to face what could be causing that feeling. An escape from our relationships which require time and thought and energy. An escape from all those things you aspire to do and to be, where the actions needed to get started on those paths is too daunting so they remain floaty thoughts, abstract wishes.
Or being busy feels like the right answer to the question of “how do I truly maximize this time I have in the world?”
Awareness is a principle, a philosophy, an action, a way of being that can help us engage in our daily lives so that we’re less a victim of our routines and more in control of how we process our thoughts and our actions.
Awareness helps keep our minds clear of clutter, worry, and stress and it help us build a stronger connection with the people and the world around us. Florblanca is such an amazing place to find awareness, to slow down and indulge in an abundance of time surrounded by nature in all its exotic glory.
Outside of our travels and time at Florblanca, the need for awareness can be sparked by an outside event, something wonderful and inspiring, something tragic, or even something seemingly small that has a major impact. Something that jolts us from our routine and makes us think and feel more deeply, spurring us to action.
Awareness can also be intentionally cultivated from within when we want to reduce stress and anxiety or feel more connected. A simple desire to approach each day with more awareness is a perfect start. Then you can move on to incorporate some activities that will help make this happen.
Ways we can increase awareness in our daily lives
Physical activity – Yoga, Pilates, and surfing get a lot of positive and well-deserved attention when it comes to cultivating the mind/body connection. But any challenging physical activity can focus your mind. The beauty of exercise, especially anything that requires coordination, is that you are forced to live in the moment, concentrating only on what you are doing at that exact second. This is engagement. This is awareness. Pilates and yoga are so wonderful for this because of the direct link drawn between body and mind throughout the practice. We are honored at Florblanca to be able to practice yoga with Stefano and Pilates with Jenny, Nadia, and Lucia. Each of these teachers bring the practice beyond the mat and beyond the equipment, inspiring us to be more mindful and reflective.
Zen thoughts – Zen is the practice of living in the moment. When you are eating, you are only eating. You are not also reading the paper, making lists, talking on the phone. I am nowhere near Zen but I have moments when I remember to focus more on what I’m doing right now rather than worrying about something in the past or what’s in my future. And those moments are powerful. Anytime you can remember to live in the exact moment you are in is helping you to live with more awareness.
Meditation – Practicing meditation is something that you can do for 10-20 minutes every day that quiets your busy mind and releases you from stress. Meditation induces a state of deep rest and focuses your attention inward. I have practiced meditation in yoga, childbirth, and as an antidote to anxiety when I wake up in the middle of night worrying about every possible thing that comes to mind. It is an incredible way to clear your thoughts, refocus, and live only in the moment.
Unplugging – Smartphones and social media are wildly distracting. They have so many benefits and yet they can make us eternally preoccupied. Sometimes I feel crazed when I spend too much time scrolling, checking in with various platforms, or even just thinking how a particular moment should be captured and posted online. Dedicating time to being unplugged is essential to regaining focus and engaging in life as it’s happening.
Journaling – Writing or recording your thoughts and observations is an excellent way to increase awareness. I love the opportunity journaling gives me to complete a thought that might be swimming around in my head. Or at least explore that thought further. It also helps add perspective. Something that seems very intense inside my brain appears more manageable when I translate that to paper. This helps me feel more calm and level-headed, less reactive.
Massage – Getting a massage or body treatment is like meditation for your body. Massage is known to help reduce stress by relieving muscle tension and also by inducing a state of relaxation in the spa atmosphere. At Florblanca, our spa is designed with bamboo structures, pools and waterfalls to create a beautiful and relaxing atmosphere. Once you arrive at Spa Bambu, there is nowhere else you will want to be. That is the very heart of awareness.
Awareness is the true foundation of leading a healthier, more positive and emotionally stable life. Compassion for yourself and for others is a direct result of developing greater awareness.
We might still be busy in our day-to-day lives. But awareness keeps us from rushing through quite so fast. We can better appreciate each task, each appointment, and each encounter with other people. We can evaluate our thoughts and our goals with a clearer mind and feel at peace with our time here on earth.