How I Became Aware

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If I could share 500 words to inspire, this is the important wisdom I'd want to pass along to others...

  • One of my first really big insights came when I read Fritz Perls’ little gem of a book, Gestalt Therapy Verbatim. He wrote that simple awareness can often be curative. What a brilliant perspective on life: if only I could become more aware, I might be able to solve a whole lot of my “problems.”

    Shortly thereafter, I heard Eric Hoffer say, “You can never get enough of what you don’t really need to make you happy.” That one got me thinking about all the “things” I had been focused on and how little they actually mattered once I had created them. Awareness indeed began to unfold and it became increasingly clear that what really mattered was the quality of my life experience much more than the quantity of worldly possessions.

    The third leg of the stool showed up one day on the strike lines at UC Berkeley when I picked up a tear gas canister to throw it back and heard myself screaming “why don’t you a******* love us?” Boom! Instant awareness! My purpose was peace, love and caring and my strategy was to yell, scream and throw things!

    Since those days in the early 1970’s, my life experience has been informed by the choices I make that come from loving and caring, as well as from the choices that I also make that move me away from that same loving and caring.

    As I have discovered, the loving, the peace and caring is always present with me and within me. The challenge is that I am not always present with the peace, the loving and the caring.

    I challenge myself each and every day to choose the loving, to choose the peace, and to choose gratitude, even when the circumstances don’t seem to line up with peace, loving or gratitude.

    Not too surprisingly, what often seems like a roadblock, an obstruction or a bit of bad fortune actually turns out to be a gift in disguise. Spirit sometimes has to wrestle your limitations away from you so the greater gifts can appear.

    So, my guidance for you is to remember the following, which I try every day to remember myself:

    • God loves all of Its creation, including me
    • Remember we are each divine – seek the divinity in others
    • There is balance and perfection in all things
    • Every day is another opportunity to become more of who I already am
    • Peace is present

    Blessings to you!

    Russell Bishop

    Russell is the managing partner of Bishop & Bishop, a consulting and coaching company helping executives and managers increase alignment and improve execution across the organization. A recognized expert in personal and organization transformation, Russell brings 35 years of consulting and operating expertise to the implementation of strategy and improving organization performance. He is an internationally regarded speaker, educator and consultant whose clients include Fortune 500 executives in aerospace, healthcare, pharmaceutical and biotechnology, information technology, telecommunications and oil and gas. He has extensive international experience working in Europe, Asia, North and South America. Having started five different organizations in his career, Russell is well versed in the growth and expansion challenges faced by founding entrepreneurs and CEO’s. In 1978, he created Insight Seminars, one of the largest and most successful personal transformation programs in the world, with well over one million graduates in 34 countries. In addition to running his consulting practice, Russell also serves as Senior Editor-at-Large for the Huffington Post, bringing fresh voices and new perspectives to the Business and Living sections. Along with his recent book, Workarounds That Work: How to Conquer Anything That Stands in Your Way at Work, he is the author of numerous articles on the power of choice and awareness in improving life situations. He has lectured on productivity for the executive MBA programs at UCLA, University of Texas and Washington University in St. Louis. Russell previously served on the Board of Directors for the University of Santa Monica and was a charter member of the Advisory Board for the Points of Light Foundation. He received a Master's degree in Educational Psychology from the Davis Campus of the University of California and currently resides in Santa Barbara, California and Mauna Lani, Hawaii with his wife, Valerie. Russell is an avid golfer and amateur chef. Contact Russell by email at  Russell@RussellBishop.com or by visiting his website at RussellBishop.com.

    For more information, please visit russellbishop.com.

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