Lasting inner peace, boundless potential, and true self-realization can be discovered through a critical common denominator, or core reality, that underlies the most effective self-help approaches, psychological methods, and spirituality.
It is often inapparent, not communicated directly, and in many cases not even known to those offering education around their respective subject areas.
It is always with you, yet seemingly hidden. Simple, yet misunderstood.
First, I will tell you what it is. Then, I will tell you why it’s not so easy to realize, yet so powerful when you do. Lastly, I will tell you how to align your life with it so that you will know how to find inner peace and reach your full potential.
The Key For How To Find Inner Peace And Reach Your Full Potential
The best word to describe this common denominator, or the key for how to find inner peace and reach your full potential, is “awareness”. It is also referred to as consciousness, the soul, spirit, and many other terms, but the word “awareness” may minimize stigma and prejudgments, and resonate with a wide range of cultures and perspectives.
In reaction to this, you may be initially unimpressed. You might think “Well, big deal. I’m aware. Everyone’s aware. There’s nothing special about awareness.”
That’s certainly a reasonable conclusion, and I’m not asking you to take my word for it. If you haven’t found freedom within, if you want lasting inner peace and to reach your full potential as a human, please give it a closer look with me. You will have plenty of opportunity to prove it to yourself without having to believe me or any kind of doctrine.
Become Aware of Awareness Itself
Awareness of your awareness is the key. The loosely held aim is to be effortlessly, yet consistently aware that you are aware. You may be able to do this now for moments or glimpses, but it is not so easy to always be aware that you are aware because of your habitual mind. That is, the repetitive and constant flow of thoughts that drive your emotions and block you from being aware of your awareness.
When you are aware that you are aware, you are truly perceiving in the present moment. Thoughts do not take you to the past or some unknown future unless you allow them to.
The Nature Of Awareness
You can think of your awareness as your true self. It is the one thing in you that is always with you for all of your experience. It is the one thing that observes everything that you experience in your life, whether inside or outside of your body. It is primary to everything in your knowledge.
Awareness is completely neutral and non-judgmental. It is always observing your experience, including all of your thoughts and everything that goes on with your body. While it is aware of your emotions, it doesn’t feel the same way as your emotions. You can be mad or sad, but your awareness will not be. You can feel physical pain, but your awareness will not. You can think unwholesome thoughts, and your awareness won’t judge you for it. All of these things that your awareness observes neutrally are part of the constant volatility of life, but the awareness itself is not volatile.
When you are not aware of your awareness, or aware in the present moment, your thoughts and emotions lead the way of your experience. They cloud reality and create volatility that overshadows the natural stability of your awareness.
When you see that the awareness itself is actually the best, most accurate definition of you, you can allow it to become your natural way of being, and you can experience life as open, inclusive, and whole as it does. You can experience life as lovingly and peaceful as it does.
The Benefits Of Aligning With Your Awareness
When you become consistently aware in the moment, you will become free of emotional volatility. You will become calm and relaxed inside, no matter what is going on elsewhere in your body or outer world.
Here are a few of the benefits of aligning with your awareness:
- Reality is experienced as it is, rather than as the interpretations that your mind offers, which are often inaccurate or detrimental to your well-being.
- Fulfillment, wholeness, and inner peace
- Deep, consistent relaxation and calm
- Centering and focus, including with what you choose to think about
- Painful habits and addictions fall away
- Creativity blossoms
- Productivity increases
- Purpose and your full potential are realized
- Energy increases
- Health improves
All of the above is possible because you become embodied by your true self and reality becomes clear. This realization of your reality grounds you so that you are no longer bothered by the volatility and madness of the world. A sort of knowing develops within you, which gives you a natural confidence driven by nothing that usually would give you confidence.
You can still engage with the world, and in fact you’ll engage better than ever. You will still care about the world, and in fact your experience of love will become more pure and beautiful than ever.
There are two main approaches to consistently be aware of your awareness.
Approach #1: Consciously be aware that you are aware as much as you can, sort of like a habitual check-in, so that your mind eventually allows it to take the forefront of your experience and lead the way effortlessly.
Approach #2: Let go of all of the psychological blocks that keep you from being effortlessly aware of your awareness.
It is quite likely that it will be most effective for you to take both approaches as one begets the other. When you are aware that you are aware, you begin to become much more aware of the blocks that keep you from consistently being aware of your awareness. The noticing itself is often enough to dislodge or eliminate a given block. In this way, approach #1 helps you undertake approach #2. From the other direction, by actively hunting down your blocks, you are purposely becoming aware of them and letting go of them, which frees you to be more aware of your awareness. In this way, approach #2 helps you undertake approach #1.
Because one approach begets the other, you can see them as encompassing a cyclical ongoing process, as described in the image at the top of this post. As included in the above circle diagram image, the process is concisely as follows:
STEP 1 OR 2 (approach #2): Let go of the blocks to awareness.
STEP 2 OR 1 (approach #1): Become aware of awareness itself.
It can be quite powerful to take both approaches during a given meditation, day, or as a continuous practice. They are labeled “1 OR 2” and “2 OR 1” because it doesn’t matter what you do first over any time window, and it’s not as if when you feel you’ve done enough of one, that you won’t come back to it. You are aligning with your awareness – you’re in essence becoming what you already are. You realize that there is no need to stop the process until your experience is firmly rooted in awareness.
Examples Of The Process
Here are a few examples to give you glimpses of what you’re looking for through approach #1:
- Close your eyes and imagine that you have none of your five senses, no sensations in your body, and no thoughts running through your head. What would be left? Feel the answer to that question. What is aware of all of your thoughts, what comes through all of your senses, and all sensations in your body? The experiential answer here is a glimpse of your awareness – your true self. For more detail about this example, see How to Find Your True Self Through Awareness of Awareness.
- Introspectively ask yourself what is the most specific experience within you that makes you feel like you exist? What is your primary sense of experience? Don’t answer the questions with words, but feel or experience the answer.
- Notice that everything in your body and mind, and outside of your body and mind is always in a state of change. Notice the place within you that is always still and never changes, but is always aware of what is changing.
- The next time you hug someone you love as much as you feel you can love someone, notice what it feels like when you are actually doing the hugging. It can be with your mother or father, spouse, child, or some other loved one. Notice that it feels like there is no barrier between you. Your mind is in full agreement with the moment and action and you feel complete and open unconditional love for this person. You think it is the other person that is making you feel that way, but you are actually unblocking the pure, open awareness that you are in that moment.
- Imagine that you are viewing your body and mind from outside of you. You can even pick a point of perspective from the side of you, in front of you, or up above you – it can be anywhere where you would be able to see you. From this perspective, comment neutrally and non-judgmentally, yet lovingly, about your actions, thoughts, and emotions.
- Say to yourself “I am aware”, or better yet, ask yourself “Am I aware?” This action will direct your attention to the experience of awareness.
Approach #2 revolves around letting go of the blocks to your awareness. Blocks are the useless thoughts and useless emotions often rooted in desire and fear that keep your awareness from taking the forefront of your experience. Desire and fear themselves can also be blocks.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have thoughts or emotions. It’s the useless ones that will be let go, but the big change, whether or not they are useless, is that they no longer drive you. Whether a given thought or emotion is relevant, you experience it in a much more grounded way.
Here are a couple of broad examples to help understand approach #2 and how to work with your blocks to awareness:
- If something stresses you out or angers you during the day, ask yourself what fearful thought or belief within yourself is the source of the stress or anger. Explore the thought or belief and find its roots. You will very likely find that there is fear or a false story behind it. The awareness of this thought or belief will help loosen its grip, and you can potentially even actively let it go. This can remove a block to your awareness in the moment or in a similar situation in the future.
- Explore what in life causes you to become defensive or insecure. Is it politics, religion, sports, family practices, hobbies, race, culture, your intellect, your appearance, etc? Explore what about these things leads you to defensiveness or insecurity, as these are the wants, needs, and fears that make up your unneeded attachments. If you can become aware of these things as emotional triggers, it’s a big first step that can go a long way to loosening their grip. If you can find the false beliefs connected to them, you can really uproot them for good. This doesn’t mean you have to abandon your love, interest, or support of any of them. It just means that you will no longer have to suffer because of anything associated with them.
Approach #1 and #2 cut out all of the confusing and unnecessary elements of the many approaches out there in the worlds of psychology and spirituality. They simplify the most effective and impactful aspects of these worlds. You will be able to discern what is of value in the approaches you’re currently undertaking and any new ones that you encounter.
You will see that effective psychology revolves around methods to remove your blocks to awareness. You will also see that effective spirituality attempts to connect you with awareness itself both directly as well as indirectly by suggesting the removal of blocks, often characterized as non-virtuous, sinful, or detrimental to well-being.
Expectations For How To Find Inner Peace And Reach Your Full Potential
So that your expectations aren’t mismanaged, this not likely to be a quick fix for you, but since when has a quick fix ever really worked, especially for something as big as lasting inner peace and reaching your full potential?
It is more likely to be a journey of ups and downs, and you may take some steps backwards before you move forward at various points along the path.
However, if you are persistent, you will start to notice the quality of your experience improving. You will notice positive changes in yourself that you didn’t expect and that now seem to be effortless. You will be able to look back and see the contrast. You’ll also begin to feel the wholeness and clarity that come with the shift to pure awareness.
How Do Inner Peace and Full Potential Unfold?
This post describes how to find inner peace and reach your full potential, but let’s summarize why this process results in inner peace and your full potential.
Find Inner Peace
As your identity and the forefront of your experience shift from thoughts and emotions to awareness, a deep inner peace will form. Even when a disturbing event happens and emotions arise, you will feel whole and complete with the event and the emotions. This is because you will have seen that awareness itself does not flinch in the face of anything. Painful thoughts, emotions, and events can come and go, but the awareness does not change. As you have become aligned with your awareness, this unchanging security and inner peace will override the volatility in your experience that would usually result.
Reach Your Full Potential
As your identity and the forefront of your experience shift from thoughts and emotions to awareness, centeredness and clarity set in. You are no longer distracted by small nor big issues. You can use your brain as a very effective tool to solve problems. Creativity blossoms from your clarity and relaxation. The energy that used to be sapped by stress, strenuous thinking, and exhausting emotions is now ready for valuable use. Your short and long-term actions will no longer be moved by thoughts or emotions that are irrational. Your sense of purpose will be come clear in the present moment and you will be open to not knowing how it may continue to change and unfold.
Again, please don’t take my word for it. See for yourself. I’m not asking you to believe anything. Decide for yourself if what I have said here makes sense and is worth further exploration. If nothing else, keep it in mind as you continue to explore your reality. If you see the logic, perhaps you can give the process a try and see how it goes.
If you find that this resonates with you, know that every article and communicative work of art on this 4Existence website revolves around what I have just described. As you embark on or continue this journey you will encounter many questions and uncertainties. I want to make 4Existence a place where you can get answers that are simplified, modern, and practical. I want you to be empowered to navigate your path as efficiently as possible and minimize unnecessary frustration and time that isn’t spent enjoying your life. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch in the comments or through the contact page.