Two years ago, the US Pentagon asked me to collaborate on what has become one of the most meaningful missions of my lifetime: the Army Spiritual Readiness Initiative. Now every young soldier can be supported through building a “spiritual core,” to be fit and ready, mentally healthy and resilient if called to win in war.
This experience of working with the Army has shown me the life-saving importance of situational awareness, or SA, the ability to see new information, innovate, and update the best course of action in a split-second on the battlefield.
SA reminds us that life has a voice and that there are forces greater than us humans driving the unfolding of our very lives. When we don’t listen to life, when we plow right into the wave at 100% effort, we get pummeled by it. The solution is to watch out for the tidal waves of life and learn to ride on top of them. The battlefield of life offers the same opportunity for awakening to a new way of being.
To get started, ask yourself: What is the great force in life showing me now? If you are a spiritually oriented person, pray or meditate on the question: “Higher Power, what are you showing me now? Please touch my heart, my awakened awareness: what do you want from me? Which way shall I go? Please work through me. ” Note that these are not requests for specific outcomes, objects, or people. These are requests for guidance.
Awakened awareness allows us to ask “what is living showing me now?” and get a catch of inspiration in our mental mitt. It might be a new friend or family member sharing precious guiding information. Sometimes it is a direct catch, where a Higher Power speaks to our heart through intuition, a sudden realization, or a dream or mystical experience. It leads to the understanding that we are loved, embraced, and guided by life itself.
One way to awaken our awareness is through using an elegantly simple practice called Hosting Council taught to me by the late Gary Weaver, Ph.D., a psychologist who worked for over 30 years with people who felt cut off from spiritual life. I have shared this practice with thousands of people from patients and clients, investors in midtown banks and Army leaders, to homeless youth, top high school students, psychotherapists, and teachers. I shared it in my book, The Awakened Brain, along with other practices of awakening to the loving and guiding presence or force in life. I shared it with Margaret, and I now share it with you in the hopes that you share it with your own children or loved ones: