PADLE Your Way to Greater Awareness and Personal Transformation
“By becoming self-aware, you gain ownership of reality; in becoming real, you become the master of both inner and outer life.” ~ Deepak Chopra
When was the last time you caught yourself doing something that surprised or even appalled you, and you mentally berated yourself, “Why did I do (or say) that? I didn’t really mean it. Where, in the world, did THAT come from?!” We’ve all done it. There are times we simply are not aware of how our present state or past history is impacting us. But this lack of awareness can severely affect our relationships with others, whether personally or professionally. Learning to be more mindfully aware of self can minimize or avoid any damage that might result from times like these.
PADLE stands for:
We briefly covered information about our Primal Core, in our last blog post. Now let’s consider the second step, Awareness. The first move out of Primal Core and toward Extension is Greater Awareness. Becoming aware means that you begin to understand how you’ve embodied your history and why. You come to understand your personal themes and limitations. Awareness, without judgment, allows you to map your territory. This attitude of non-judgment brings compassion, which supports you as you begin to make changes. It takes clarifying your values to bring action and purpose to your life.
Greater awareness requires taking a Somatic approach — paying attention to the whole body as a source of wisdom and learning. We invite you to stand up right now, breathe deeply to center yourself and notice, with curiosity, the sensations in your body. What do you feel — tension, tightness, pain? Why is it there? Have you been slumped forward, so it’s difficult to straighten? What movements do you need to find relief? How does straighten your spine affect your self-confidence?
Developing greater awareness of your language, your body, your purpose, and your practices will unleash your potential to intentionally take new actions that are aligned with your vision, even under intense pressure. You can embody (completely own and sustain) the transformation. Getting your whole body involved takes transformation from the conceptual realm to the experiential realm. In other words, your new intentional way of living isn’t stuck as a mental exercise of what you desire to happen; it is your new way of living, of being.
To illustrate: a core skill required for leaders is deep listening, which means being fully present and engaged, without distraction. You can tell when someone isn’t interested and is only half listening, right? Deep listening is impossible if you’re not fully present. It takes the cooperation of whole body! No fidgeting, no looking elsewhere, and no doodling. Your eyes are looking into her eyes. Your ears are shutting out background noise. Your body is leaning forward to catch every nuance of speech. Your fingers may even be touching her forearm. The way you show up physically informs your emotional and interpersonal way of being.
Great awareness doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a consistent mindful practice. But be assured the more time you spend practicing, the more it becomes who you are. How would you rate your Awareness? We invite you to take our thought-provoking questionnaire to gain profound insight into this vital leadership skill.