Every path of change starts with awareness, whether it be one about food, health, work or spirituality. We feel we want to make a change so we start looking inward and outward for new paths. Then comes a time when I know enough. Sometimes it can even feel like too much. My awareness has reached the point where I’ve read, heard or thought of how I would like the new path to look like. But awareness alone does not create change.
I believe many people have experienced this phenomena in the last few years, at least to some extent. As a society we learn more every day about diet and nutrition. At some point we might feel guilty or ashamed because of having all the knowledge and still not making the change we would like to see. I like to call this Awareness Anxiety. It happens when there is a gap between what we know and what we do. Thinking gets triggered in this gap, causing us suffering in the form of self-loathing or self-doubt. We know what feels right, yet continue with our old patterns and it hurts.
Many of us in the West know the perils of industry farming and mass produced food. We know that buying locally sourced or organic produce is better for the world as well as our own health, yet sometimes I still buy the products I am used to since childhood. The anxiety seems to come from the knowledge itself often we stop educating ourself, and maybe even ignore the knowledge we gathered, in order to rid ourselves of the feelings associated with this gap. The awareness now highlight what an “awful person” I am.
Unfortunately awareness cannot be undone, and the feeling will keep resurfacing until a point where I can’t take the suffering anymore and I decide to make an active change. I call this point Awareness Awakening. Once I have gotten this far it is virtually impossible to return to my old patterns.
To make this process easier for myself, I can learn to recognize the anxiety before it becomes unbearable and make active decisions about how I want to change. As with all changes in habit, I recommend starting with one at a time and allow yourself to be human. Change is not a goal, but a path…start today!