“Our greatest human adventure is the evolution of consciousness."
We are in this life to enlarge the soul, liberate the spirit, and light up the brain.” -Tom Robbins
/Kon - shuh s/
Latin origin 1625-1635
Stem of scire — to know
I’m a definition girl. I spent my late teens and twenties looking up words in the Black’s Law Dictionary. Mostly because my dad was studying old law and he came to discover the power of a word is in its definition at the time. The word “person” is defined differently in Black’s 1st edition vs Blacks 10th edition. To know the definition of a word was to be able to wield its power.
With the vastness of the word “conscious," I couldn’t help but go to the dictionary and look up the general definition for consciousness. Before I did this I wrote my own definition, which is
“paying attention to the environment I’m in and the thoughts I think”
Very simple and easy, right? Well, maybe when I’m paying attention. In other words, if I’m in the woods then I do conscious things to help the woods. If I’m in the store then I’m conscious of the mother who has a screaming baby and I give her a kind smile that tells her “we have all been there.” Maybe I pick up the crackers her child just threw on the ground. I would consider consciousness to be in service to my environment.
dictionary.com states it a little differently.
1. Being aware of one’s existence, sensations, thoughts and surroundings.
2. Being deliberate
3. An individual sense of recognition of something within.
Wow, that felt very different from my own. This is why I go to the dictionary. My definition was an action for the world around me and the dictionary pointed consciousness back on to me taking the definition deep inside my sense of being. Both are true.
What is your definition of consciousness?
No matter what your definition is, there are probably a handful of people that you hold as highly conscious. How did they get that title? People like; Marianne Williams, Eckhart Tolle, Lao Tzu, Thich Nhat Hanh, Deepak Chopra, Paramahansa Yogananda and Mother Theresa to name a few. We may choose to study or praise these individuals and use them as examples.
I bet we all like to think of ourselves as conscious. Are we able to be conscious all the time? I know that when a challenge is thrown my way my brain loves to go off line and into lizard mode. Very unconscious. How can we stay in our lovely minds when we are being challenged?
In looking at the highly regarded teachers of consciousness, these are the five key points we can make about their habits: the behaviors they regularly follow until they are naturally entwined in their cells, minds and hearts.
/hab - it/
Middle English Latin. 1175-1225
Habitus state, style, practice
- Conscious people nourish themselves
They use food, prayer, meditation, books, teachers, ministers, leaders, the forest or a conversation to nourish themselves; to fill the inner most part of their cells and their souls.
2. Conscious people are quiet
They use the power of quiet to pray, meditate and listen, surrounding themselves with calm.
Becoming the definition of consciousness “being aware of one’s own existence”.
3. Let it go + FAITH = conscious people
This simple phrase “let it go” is the backbone of many healing conversations.
Not allowing the memory to stick to you or be attached to an outcome. Plus a bit of faith.
The belief that everything will work out as it is supposed to.
A recognition that all moments contain a gift.
4. Conscious people know where they are.
This sounds easier than it is. The most conscious people on the planet make a habit of knowing what they are feeling. They do feel anger and they know it AND they stay with it. They know what anger is doing inside their bodies and they know how they react with it. They also know how to move out of it or come back to it later instead of using their anger on the nearest person.
5. Conscious people integrate
They put into practice being aware of their sensations. Feeling, good or bad, and then they are deliberate about how it is expressed into the world.
These five points are fabulous until we’re shaken, disturbed or annoyed. We then forget any definition of conscious. Habits will help make us graceful in challenging times and help us to stay in our hearts and minds. A habit of being conscious is a steady anchor to rely on.
If you know your definition of conscious and practice those patterns regularly, then you have wielded a power of awareness in the world. Therefore, “enlarging your soul, liberating your spirit, and lighting up your brain”.
Lara Kenoyer, Board Member for The Ripple Foundation