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I have been traveling for the past three weeks – to and from India, and extensively within India. It was a trip that turned into a long-in-the-coming family reunion, visits with old friends, making of new friends, and discovering some new places, thoughts and ideas. It was also a trip which helped me to see some ‘familiar’ places with new eyes, tear down some long-held misconceptions, and renew some of my beliefs and values.

For that is what travel does for us. It heightens our awareness of our surroundings. It may also brings us face to face with situations which implore us to make mental and emotional decisions in a heightened sense of inner awareness. And when travel places us in environments where the energy of love runs excitedly towards us like a river approaching the ocean, it raises the level of our spiritual energy. Our actions flow from an integrated, heightened awareness.

We need not physically travel to distant lands to reap the benefits of a raised awareness. To quote Wikipedia,

Awareness is the state or ability to perceive, to feel, or to be conscious of events, objects, thoughts, emotions, or sensory patterns.

The above definition of awareness holds a lot of promise and potential, for it invokes the actions of perception, of feeling, and of simply being conscious. The objects of these actions are varied, and include events, thoughts, emotions and more. Hence, if we permute the actions with their objects, our interactions with awareness holds forth a lot of possibilities!

So, what are the challenges that our everyday life presents to us, that may block our interactions with awareness, prevent us from performing awareness based actions? We often hear or read about the related term, self-awareness, and are encouraged to raise our levels of the same. We may even be intuitively or experientially aware, that the seeds of actions planted by us in self-awareness, produce the best fruit. Despite this better knowledge, we often find ourselves reacting to the push and pull of emotions, don’t we?

The new calendar year tends to propel many of us with renewed energy to achieve our goals and dreams. It fuels us with the determination to act on our well-made plans, and our daily action steps. Let us take a few moments to pause and reflect. Are we deeply aware of the actions that we are about to take and the results to follow? How will these actions affect our own inner health? The health of our near and dear partners? The health of those who will feel the ripple-effects of our actions over the course of time?

As I was planning this latest trip to India, I had made a commitment to my daughter that we would go see the Taj Mahal. She had never seen it, and I hadn’t seen it in twenty years. So, I was determined to make this visit within a visit happen. In this awareness, I made it abundantly clear to those in the know, that a day-trip to the Taj Mahal was non-negotiable. My actions, based in awareness, fed by past experience, created magic. I share this magic with you. Enjoy! 🙂

Taj Mahal, Agra, India

Kumud

P.S. I invite you to join me as I resume hosting duties on Jan 4th 2015 at 9am ET in our weekly twitter chat. The topic will be – Awareness and Action. Namaste, and have a wonderful 2015!