I noticed that where I place my attention determines how enlightened I am.
I have come to see that enlightenment is not something to obtain, or somewhere to get to. It appears to be a moment to moment, state of awareness focused inward. I have found that whatever draws my awareness from an inward focus to an outward focus, draws me away from my natural state of alignment or enlightened state of awareness.
What does enlightenment mean? For me, enlightenment means that I am perceiving the present moment clearly, without being obstructed by negative limiting beliefs or perceptions. It means that I'm able to perceive whatever I am perceiving as a neutral experience by remaining unattached to the mind’s interpretation.
To be enlightened means I can have an experience and just enjoy the moment, enjoy the experience, witness what I'm feeling as a result of being exposed to it, listening deeply and hearing what is being shared, and observing the whole of the experience without judging or comparing. It could be as simple as sensing the soap as I wash the dishes, observing the bubbles, the dish, hearing the movement of water and feeling it’s warmth. That to me, is being enlightened.
Recently, I was using the railing, inching my way to the ramp so that I could enter the public pool and I noticed that the tile underneath my left foot was exceptionally slippery. In that moment, I observed as my focus shifted from being inwardly focused to being outwardly focused. I began to project what might happen. I imagined slipping and falling. I imagined breaking a bone, I imagined the aftermath of dealing with that. I projected not being able to swim anymore, and that the muscular dystrophy would progress as a result of not exercising. I observed that my legs felt weak and were shaking slightly.
This all happened in an instant. I went from an enlightened state to a non-enlightened state. I recognized the shift because of the physical sensations of discomfort, fear and weakness. I also noticed the attachment to my negative stream of thought. By tuning into the signs that my awareness had shifted, I drew it back in, waited for peace and calm to embrace me, and then considered my options from a state of clarity and openness. I was enlightened, then not enlightened and then enlightened.
If I consider someone to be an enlightened being, that’s a judgement. Judgement is my mind’s way of drawing me outward. Striving to be enlightened, is my mind’s strategy of projecting something outside me as better than what I already am. That’s comparison. Judgement and comparison draw my awareness outward.
Enlightenment or awareness focused inward, keeps me in alignment with my true self, and allows me to perceive my experiences wholly and completely as the beautiful gifts they are intended to be. I believe this is our natural state.
Lori Brant is an Author, Teacher, ACC Life Coach, and Life Coach Trainer for ICF Life Coach Certification approved programs. She provides one on one coaching in person or by teleconference. Learn more by going to www.LoriBrant.com.