Practicing Present Moment Awareness

JAIA’s principles for the Month is AWARENESS.  

Coupled with ACCEPTANCE, these principles make for powerful allies with keeping you focused on how relationships to the growth of the world you desire to create. 

What is awareness?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, awareness is “The knowledge and understanding that something is happening or exists.” Awareness of something means you noticed it, observed it, and made a mental note of it. That ‘something’ may have been there all along; with awareness, you now see it more clearly and are more able to address it head on. Present moment awareness allows you to check in with your body, mind and energy and notice what you’re aware of without judgement.

Three benefits of Awareness

Awareness Brings INSIGHT — Those “Aha!” moments…offering greater clarity and understanding to situation, to yourself and others. Awareness Makes way for honest COMMUNICATION—It can lead you to more meaningful conversations, which enrich human connections. Awareness creates opportunities for new AGREEMENTS —- Finding new ways of connecting, more things in common, expanding how we relate with others.

How Awareness Can Support Relationships

You and a good friend are enjoying a walk in the park (wearing masks of course). You noticed that s/he/they spends a lot of time texting rather than pay attention to what you are saying. This upsets you and you judge him/her/them as thoughtless, and perhaps judge yourself as unworthy or unimportant. 

In practicing awareness, you notice your feelings, physical and emotional reactions and judgments about this situation. You might even recall that you too, sometimes text during your time with others. The insight comes when you remove the judgment and blame. This allows for the awareness that you and your friend had a desire to spend time together, yet could have been clearer about how to accomplish this.

During your conversation, you share your awareness and insights with him/her/them, taking responsibility for your awareness of your present desire. Maybe even ask if you both could turn off your cell phones for the next 30 minutes, giving each other undivided attention, because you are aware that it matters to you. If both of you agree to this change, follow through with it. 

Being aware of your thoughts, actions, and behaviors while accepting what they are without judgement, puts you way ahead of the curve as the leader of your own life, having a positive impact on others. 

JAIA Warriors: Learning Resilience After Loss 

A FREE ONLINE SUPPORT group for youth ages 16-21. Starting WEDNESDAY OCT. 21 – Dec. 16,  2020 4:30-6PM. . SEATS ARE LIMITED to 12 youth. RESERVE your spot today. REGISTER here:  http://bit.ly/JAIAWarriors Need more info? Email info@jaiayouth.org

Dealing with anger, sadness, and confusion that come with loss, break-ups, and quarantine? Using mindful, interactive, and creative activities, You will learn how to manage emotions, understand the process of grief and loss, and set your intention for healing and recovery.

Join us for FREE JAIA Warriors Support group to remind you of your resilience. Real talk in a safe space. Be heard, feel connected and hopeful about your future.

 Be heard, feel connected and hopeful about your future!

Seating is limited to ensure a safe and creative atmosphere. Reserve your spot today.

This workshop was created by Fordham University Masters in Social Work candidate and JAIA intern Ms. Jemima Babb.

“As an African American woman, I have found a continual reluctance to discuss mental health issues within my community. Through my own experiences, I am aware that mental health issues greatly affect Black youth. My main goal as a social worker is to help end the stigma of mental issues within the African American community, particularly among Black youth and families.”

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