In a world of massive disruption and distraction, of obsessive connection to the internet and to our devices, ironically, we have come to lose the most important connection: the relationship with our essential self. In subtle and less subtle ways, this disconnect creates significant stress and anxiety that often lead to illness.
So, how do we reconnect?
The key is awareness. It is also called mindfulness, consciousness, vigilance and often, more simply, paying attention. However, it is far more than that; it is a way of being. Awareness could be compared to an embedded antenna that allows us to effortlessly scan our inner and outer environment. Being a musician, I call it the art of listening to the subtle music that plays within.
In my new book, 7 keys to Serenity––a musical metaphor about creating harmony within––awareness is the first key, one that plays in synergy with all others and allows us to truly become the composers and conductors of our lives. The biggest challenge to awareness is that most of us live in “autopilot” mode, meaning that many of our thoughts, words and actions are created by our subconscious mind. We think one thing and say something else. We say one thing and, again, do something else entirely. Sound familiar? Thoughts, words and actions create subtle energies which, when not aligned, generate dissonance and therefore inner conflict.
Awareness allows us to produce coherence and to implement a convergent strategy of self-care throughout the four essential sections of our “orchestra”: the Physical, the Mental, the Emotional and the Spiritual. Self-care isn’t about being selfish or self-centered in a narcissistic way. It is about nurturing and empowering ourselves with self-love, self-respect and self-esteem. If we don’t love, respect, and care for ourselves, chances are we won’t be able to care for others either.
How does a strategy of self-care unfold in day-to-day life?
Physically, we become aware of the “information” we take in through food, drink and any other substances that we ingest (drugs, medications, etc.) Everything we absorb has a specific frequency that interconnects with the frequencies of our cells, creating either harmony or dissonance––hence the importance of carefully listening to our bodies. Thus, we become aware of our internal rhythms, of breathing deeply, of balance between movement and rest.
Mentally, we also learn to become mindful of the “information” we absorb: the junk news, the manipulative news, the false news, the trivial and the many ubiquitous distractions we are tempted with, every day. We learn to filter what comes into our mind, in turn creating clarity and coherence.
In the emotional section of our “orchestra”, we attune to the energy of our feelings. Ignoring them or repressing them creates subtle energy blockages that often lead to the onset of psychosomatic illnesses. Emotions are like waves in the ocean. They can smash us to pieces or carry us to bliss. Rather than suppress them, we need to express them, yet manage them by tapping into what is called the “heart intelligence”.
Lastly, in the spiritual section––the section of the heart and soul––we learn to assess the validity of our beliefs, many of which are acquired by conditioning. We become aware of who we are at the core and begin to live in authenticity. We learn to trust and believe in ourselves and to harness the inner powers that lie within us.
These four sections are all interconnected in holistic fashion. What happens in one affects the others. Our health and wellness and ultimately, our happiness, are shaped by how mindful we are in creating and implementing this strategy of self-care.