What do you think of that title? Stop for a moment and think
about this: Is being aware of our
surroundings the same thing as being careful?
The answer to that question can be argued either way, and
both would be valid positions. Here are a few thoughts that might come up. See
how they jive with you own.
Being aware –
awareness, mindfulness – has increasingly become the “in” thing to do.
That’s not to say it’s the same as a fad diet. But in some ways what’s out
there in the media about mindfulness and basic awareness is far from what the
It isn’t necessary to
work hard at everything just to achieve positive benefits. Some acts come
easier to us that they might other people, and vice versa, too. But almost
anything that is going to make the impact that awareness of our world and mindfulness
about our path does will require us to practice consistent, daily application
of these concepts.
When we tell someone
(often our children), “Be careful!” we are expressing a genuine concern for
their well-being. Yet the child, or anyone for that matter, who is always
careful will never grow. As the baby grows into the toddler, she will decide to
go for it when it comes to taking those first steps. The results will not be
stellar. But does that stop her? Does she become careful? No. She gets right
back up and tries again.
If we are aware of
our surroundings we will, at times, be a bit more careful. Driving through
work traffic is not the same as a leisurely afternoon drive down a deserted
road. But if that afternoon drive doesn’t include mindfulness of our
surroundings, we could easily drift off the road, or end up on the losing end
of the “Dodge a Deer” game.
The same is true for the rest of our lives. Often, we will
be on automatic, while other times we will need to be more mindful, or even
careful, of our actions – how they will affect us and those around us.
Challenge yourself from time-to-time, when it is appropriate
for you, to release the idea of being careful. Be aware of your situation, know
where to stretch yourself, and know when to ask for a hand in moving to your
If we’re always careful that new job, the new home, that
vacation we want, or a new partner in life will continue to allude us. Go
ahead. Take a chance. Be mindfully aware of how uniquely qualified you are to
make your own decisions, chart your own course, and live a life of