What Is Conscious Awareness?
“If you want to awaken all of humanity,
then awaken all of yourself.
If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world,
then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself.
Truly, the greatest gift you have to give
is that of your own self-transformation.”
—Wang Fou, Hua Hu Chin
Have you ever uttered the words, “I didn’t realize what I was doing,” or “I’m not sure where that
came from” after doing something you later regretted? If you’re an average human being, the
answer is probably yes. We all, at times, find ourselves doing and saying things without knowing
why, reacting in ways that surprise ourselves, and tripping over invisible obstacles in our own
psyches. As human beings, we are blessed with the ability to be conscious of ourselves—to be
self-aware. But for most of us, conscious awareness is not an ongoing experience. We have the
capacity to observe the movements of our thoughts and feelings and make choices about whether
to act on them or not. We are not blindly driven by impulse and instinct—at least, not entirely.
But our degree of consciousness can vary dramatically. We all, at times, feel like victims of our
own unconsciousness, driven to make the same mistakes over and over again by patterns and beliefs we can’t even see. To liberate ourselves from this experience, we need to actively
cultivate greater consciousness.
Conscious awareness is the state of being aware of one’s own existence—one’s unique
thoughts, memories, feelings, sensations, surroundings and external environment. It is a state of
wakefulness of the mind.
Consciousness is an enigma. Science generally considers consciousness to be a complex
activity of the brain, but the truth is that no one has yet explained exactly where it comes from.
The idea that it arises out of the brain seems implausible—if you dissect the brain, you cannot
see consciousness, just as you cannot see thoughts or beliefs. I like to think of the brain is its
conduit. We need the brain to process consciousness.
Spiritual teachers and thinkers are less concerned with where consciousness comes from;
in fact, many of them believe that everything comes from it. Deepak Chopra, in The Seven
Spiritual Laws of Success, writes: “The source of all creation is pure consciousness … pure
potentiality seeking expression from the unmanifest to the manifest. And when we realize that
our true Self is one of pure potentiality we align with the power that manifests everything in the
Like Chopra, I see consciousness as being both a human faculty and a divine state of
being. In the human sense, consciousness is our awareness, cognition, perceptions, beliefs,
emotions and so on; in the divine sense, it is a field of infinite possibilities; the source of all
creation and potentiality. Divine or higher consciousness is the origin of everything, and
therefore it is also the nature of our true selves. The premise of this book is that, when we align our human consciousness to higher
consciousness, we become consciously aware beings, connected to our true selves. We come
closer to understanding the relationship between our human nature and our spiritual nature and
we integrate them in a meaningful way. If you are not trapped in the limiting beliefs of your past,
you can start pulling any possibility you want to become from the field of the unmanifest. In this
book, I have tried my best to create a process that can clear our thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and
patterns to allow us to connect to divine consciousness, the universal light. There are many terms
in the spiritual and religious traditions for this ultimate dimension. You can use the term God if
you are comfortable with it. Or you may prefer Supreme Intelligence, Great Spirit, Creator,
Higher Power, the One, or any other name that represents that all-encompassing light. I like to
use several of these terms interchangeably, but I often choose “the Source” as it points to this
dimension as the origin of everything.
Conscious awareness is not something that we “get.” It is something we unearth within
ourselves. Within all of us there is an awareness that is still and conscious at all times. It is that
awareness that we need to connect to the Source or higher consciousness. Conscious awareness
is a dance with the Universe—a dance between self-awareness and a conscious recognition of
our union with the Source.
The problem, for most of us, is that we are disconnected from our true self. We have built
up layer upon layer of a false identity, based on our conditioning, our beliefs, and our traumatic
experiences. To put it simply, this constructed identity is what spiritual teachers refer to as the
ego, although there are many different ways this term is used in academic psychology. For the
purposes of this book, I define ego as the constructed identity that obscures our true self.
Contemporary spiritual teacher Ekhart Tolle refers to the ego as the illusory self, because it embodies a misperception of who we are. He writes, “Ego is always identification with form,
seeking yourself and thereby losing yourself in some form. Forms are not just material objects
and physical bodies. More fundamental than the external forms-things and bodies- are the
thought forms that continuously arise in the field of consciousness.”2
All that we have to do is to reconnect with this awareness. Most of our frustrations stem
from the fact that we believe something is wrong inside and needs to be fixed; in reality, nothing
needs to be fixed, only uncovered. It all begins with self-awareness. My intention for you is that
each day as you complete the chapters and do the work, your awareness will expand and will
awaken to the origin of your true nature. Each day, through your readings and the stillness of the
moment, you will learn how to connect deeply to your true self. You will feel joy, passion and
abundant love as you reconnect with your natural state of conscious awareness. Over time, you’ll
create a magical relationship with yourself and with each person who crosses your path.
Many of the great spiritual teachers and wise men and women throughout the ages have
spoken of conscious awareness or self-awareness as the highest form of human attainment.
Spiritual seekers have answered the call to “Know Thyself” by journeying within in search of
enlightenment. Psychologists, too, have helped us to shed light on the inner workings of our
minds and emotions and bring them into awareness.
I like to think of conscious awareness as a process, not an attainment. It is a journey with
no end point, for there is always more to uncover. For the sake of this work, I define conscious
awareness as a process by which that which is subconscious or unconscious becomes
intentionally conscious. (For the purposes of this book, I am not distinguishing between the
subconscious and the unconscious, although psychologists use these terms in different ways.)
Conscious awareness is the process of purposefully observing and distinguishing our patterns at play, their connection with our actions and reactions, and their impact on others and ourselves.
We become deliberately aware of what operates our lives by opening ourselves to ourselves, to
others, and to the Source with love and compassion.
Conscious awareness is a powerful process that will allow us to master our circumstances
and become independent actors in our lives, not influenced by our past or held back by limiting
beliefs, not reacting to emotional triggers, and acting independent of any social and cultural
programming. It will help us choose our responses based on the clarity of the facts and become
present to what is at play in our lives moment by moment.
Jungian psychology uses the term “individuation” to describe the process of transforming
one’s psyche by bringing the personal and collective unconscious into conscious. If I were to
draw a parallel, I would say that the process of conscious awareness is a process of individuation.
It has a comprehensive healing effect on the person, mentally, physically, and spiritually.
In Sigmund Freud’s theory of personality, the conscious mind consists of everything
inside of our awareness, but much of what occurs within and between us is unconscious. Freud
used the metaphor of an iceberg to describe these two major aspects of human personality. The
tip of the iceberg that extends above the water represents the conscious mind, while the vast
mass below the surface is the unconscious. Our unconscious behavior is a result of social and
cultural programming, which has often taken place decades, centuries, or millennia ago and
therefore limits and inhibits us from being more effective.
It is widely accepted by psychologists, from Freud and Jung to more modern scholars,
that by the time human beings are around seven years of age, ninety percent of all the learning
and habits in our life have been formed and become subconscious. We have formed the habits of
walking, talking, and thinking, and developed coping survival mechanisms. We have also established our beliefs around things like success and relationships, and inherited inner
programming and thinking patterns that may be positive or toxic in nature.
Since the twentieth century, much has been written about the conscious and the
subconscious or unconscious mind. However, many of the studies and opinions can be
contradictory or elusive in nature. In modern cognitive psychology, many researchers have
emphasized the degree to which cognitive processing happens outside the scope of cognitive
awareness, and shown how things we are unaware of can affect our behavior.
This book does not specifically address the psychological or neurological aspects of the
mind. Rather, it focuses on offering practical ways to find clues as to how to access some of the
toxic subconscious patterns we have, and transform and transcend them through a conscious
awareness process. The compelling question behind this work is: what if the mental
programming that you currently have within you is stopping you from achieving your dreams,
goals, and desires? How can you move past the inner voices that have kept you where you are?
The intent of this program is to enable you to start the process of becoming consciously
aware of your toxic beliefs and to show you how to shift into a game that makes you happy at
any point in your life. By choosing to partake in this transformational experience, you are taking
a powerful step toward creating a self-aware life that will allow you the freedom to be in the
world, expressing your authentic, original self. I am deeply grateful that you’re joining me on
such a worthwhile journey of self-discovery and self-creation.
To change is never a comfortable act—especially at the level of consciousness. It entails
overcoming our natural tendencies, our conditioning, and our hereditary programming in order to
adapt to a new reality. Let’s be honest here: who among us likes to change and relinquish the old
when it is comfortable and easy? We often say, “If it’s not broken why fix it?” Letting go of the old patterns and embracing the new and unknown is not a piece of cake. This is why most of us
will only decide to pick up a book like this when our lives start being uncomfortable, when
things get so bad that we can no longer afford not to make a change. Those who are able to be
pro-active in these matters, inspired by an inner knowing and a desire to lead the way for others,
are few. But whether the challenges in your life pushed you to transform or you are among those
rare pro-active individuals, you are one of the pioneers of conscious evolution. Those individuals
who choose this road will alter the pathways of their emotional and psychological patterns, and
may even be able to cause a change on a genetic level.
While still in its infancy, the new science of epigenetics is revealing that our genes are
influenced by many more factors than scientists had ever considered before. Developmental
biologist Bruce Lipton, in his book The Biology of Belief, writes:
“Epigenetics, which literally means ‘control over genes,’ has completely upended our
conventional understanding of genetic control. Epigenetics is the science of how
environmental signals select, modify, and regulate gene activity. This new awareness
reveals that the activity of our genes is constantly being modified in response to life
experiences. Which again emphasizes that our perceptions of life shape our biology.”3
What this means, for us, is that by affecting our beliefs, emotional states, and behavioral
patterns and by healing our negative traumas we may be able to influence our genes and
transform not just our own lives, but the legacy we pass on to our children, grandchildren, and
our evolving species. This, in a nutshell, is the rationale behind the process of conscious
awareness described in this book. This process is practical; it requires commitment, courage, and perseverance to complete. Furthermore, it requires the inner conviction that it matters—not just
for individuals but for humanity.
Life is a constantly evolving process. I believe that the purpose of our human experience
is to awaken to who we truly are and connect back to higher consciousness. Through the process
of our own healing, we help heal others and the planet. When we are on the path of conscious
awareness, we are contributing to the process of conscious evolution. To consciously participate
in the evolutionary process, you have to keep flowing with it. If you watch the flow of water
coming down from a waterfall and you see a big rock in the middle of the stream, you will see
the water taking a different trajectory and avoiding the rock, whereas a leaf that has fallen in the
stream will be freely flowing with the current.
This evolutionary process is not linear, but spiral. As we go through experiences and
challenges in our life, our conscious awareness unfolds in leaps and bounds. We fall, we learn,
we get up, we develop our game, and we move forward with the evolutionary process. If we
resist, close off, hold a grudge, engage in violence, or become bitter from our experiences, we
become like the hard rock in the middle of the stream. We block ourselves from evolving and do
not contribute to the whole.
On our pathway of conscious awareness, every challenge becomes our teacher and every
trauma becomes our opportunity for a leap of consciousness. Every difficult person in our lives
becomes an assignment for growth and development and an opportunity to practice. Every
sickness becomes our spiritual master. The lessons that we don’t learn will keep showing up in
our life until we learn them. The bigger the challenge, the bigger the opportunity becomes for
conscious evolution and healing. When approached in this way, the process of conscious
awareness becomes a continuous dance with the movement of life.Return to previous page