“Where awareness goes, energy flows.” – Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (Dandapani’s guru)

In my last blog, I briefly discussed the dynamics of listening, the power of mindfulness, and how both assist us with being more in the moment, particularly with our loved ones. Now, we’re going to take it a step further and go inward – into our own brains – with the hope of increasing our awareness of our thought processes.

Let me give you some backstory here…

On Valentine’s Day this year, Kris and I attended a conference in Omaha led by Dandapani, a Hindu priest, international speaker, and former monk. The workshop was designed to help entrepreneurs understand the mind, hone their concentration skills, and develop a sense of willpower. In other words, we learned about harnessing our awareness. Not necessarily an easy task, but it’s definitely doable with some mindful, intentional practice.

Dandapani’s message is based on the premise that although we can’t control our minds, we can increase our awareness around what we’re thinking. He likened the human mind to a mansion full of rooms, each with its own theme, such as anger, love, frustration, grief, or happiness. The idea is that wherever we spend our time is where the energy will be. And that’s what will grow. He further explained that we don’t have to step foot in a particular room if we don’t want to – it is within our reach to control and redirect our focus.

To illustrate this point, he guided us through an exercise, which I will share with you now…

First, close your eyes and imagine the last wedding you attended. Try to recall even the smallest of details, such as what you wore, the venue, the floral arrangements, the cake, the weather, who was with you, etc. Now, think about the last funeral you attended. Remember what you were feeling, how close you were to the deceased, the overall mood, and how others reacted to the loss. Finally, come back to the present and open your eyes.

You were just in charge of your awareness.

Take a moment to let that sink in. This simple, yet impactful exercise can be practiced at any time of the day, not just during mediation or while exercising. In fact, this is not about practicing meditation for an hour every day; rather, it concerns the general attitude you have about life.

TAKE-AWAY: We only have a finite amount of energy to use per day, so it’s important to build an awareness of how we’re spending our energy. If it’s spent on worrying, that’s what will grow in reality. If you think about happiness, fulfillment, connection, and joy, that’s exactly what you’ll have. The question, then, is what do YOU want to cultivate?