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New Year - New Opportunity for Self Awareness
Each year, new year's eve marks a time for reflection for many across the globe. The big question is how will this year be different from the rest?
Here's a radical thought for reflection: Society is our extended mind and body.
Well, perhaps not too radical and definitely not my original thought, Alan Watts wrote this in The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are. And, I find it absolutely worth contemplating with 2011 in mind.
I believe it is important to understand that perceived limitations often have external sources - borrowed beliefs and values that limit the individual. To a degree, it is impossible for the average person to not be influenced by his/her environment, but it is possible to become aware of external influencers.
Society naturally promotes groupthink and shared values, but the values and beliefs perpetuated in a society may not empower the individual to transcend the limitations of the society. Over a century ago, external influencers were largely based upon religious ideals using fear of supernatural consequences if one did not abide by societal norms. Now, in our current era, it is easy to witness large corporations tapping into those same fear patterns subcommunicating that their product or service will allow a person to maintain status (or importantly, will not be socially shunned or outcast). At times, the problem is manufactured so that the cure can be sold.
Now, let's be clear, I'm not saying that all big corporations are evil and greedy; purely seeking power. Nor is all government or organized religion... but looking back through history in practically every era it is easy to see the masses of people being manipulated by such institutions toward various outcomes that did not necessarily benefit the individuals over the long run. Almost always, the outcome was to support a cause that benefited the "collective" or "group" even at the loss of the individual's autonomy. However, everyone loses out over time in such a model.
As you are likely aware, life is full of people and organizations attempting to manipulate your thinking and behavior to both beneficial and non-beneficial outcomes.
Awareness is choice.
How can you help cultivate a keen self awareness for the new year? What other choices are you planning to make that affect how you perceive and operate in the world? What could be different in and about your life if you truly wanted to see positive change?
One of the ways I manage to gather perspective and cultivate awareness of external influencers is by staying close to my purpose in life. If you have never considered such a concept or are curious to know how I do this, then I encourage you to check out my personal development audio program: The Call.
This is a unique blend of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) communication models, Ericksonian Hypnosis, and binaural beat frequencies creating an internal environment for the listener to experience my variation of Joseph Campbell's archetypal "Hero's Journey".
Download the iPhone or Android app
Of course, I encourage you to download my free iPhone / Android app and/or join my mailing list to gain access to the Intro to NLP and Experience Trance audio programs.