We decided to devote a page solely to Awareness, not because it has a long elaborate explanation, rather because it is the key that unlocks the door to Dialectical Behavioral Technique.
The basic concept of awareness, also referred to as *mindfulness, is that in order for us to open up options for ourselves when we are suffering, we need to be fully aware of the circumstances surrounding that suffering. These circumstances may appear to be self-evident. However, there are so many things going on with us when our suffering is at its greatest. Going on inside and outside. Our environment has a lot of factors that are weighing in on our level of suffering.
Believe it or not, when we are not suffering, most of us are only aware of a fraction of all that there is to be aware of within us or around us. When we are suffering our awareness shrinks even more. There are options for every action, effective or ineffective. Options to speak, think, feel, or behave. These options are limited if we are not aware of everything that contributed to what we are experiencing. To bring about a self-awareness that will improve our chances of effective choices, we need to practice being in the moment we are in, for what that moment truly is.
This is not meant to sound cryptic, or confusing. When you are able to suffer in an aware way, it will be a totally different experience. In fact, over time being aware in your daily routine will reduce our suffering.
Awareness is enlisting all your senses. What you hear, taste, smell, feel, and see. "My Life" will focus on using all these senses and help to construct the entire picture from all angles of our experience.
The skill of being aware is paramount in your journey to recovery. Let's take this journey with wide open eyes, looking in all directions with awareness and curiosity.
*Mindfulness has an association with meditation and a "zen" experience, at a level that some consider it to be a spiritual practice. My Life strictly adheres to a representation of mental health and not that of spiritual practices. Due to this connection of mindfulness, we use terminology for this skill that gets to the point behind the practice of being aware of ones experience in order to increase the likelihood of an effective outcome. Rev 9/2018