Is Being Aware Being Careful?


Photographer:Min An

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 practice requires.

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 next adventure.

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 magnificence!

Copyright © 2019 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.
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