Pop quiz. (Don’t panic. You won’t be graded.)

You’re feeling overwhelmed by the number of “to do’s” on your list. No clear priority about what should happen first. Feels like everything on your list “needs” to happen NOW.

Here’s the quiz part. What tool should you pull out of your de-stress tool kit first?

Meditation, you say. Or how about a walk in the park. No wait, it’s an aromatherapy bath, a deep breath or… I know the answer. It’s, its, its…

Awareness? What? Why? Huh?

Awareness is a tool, you ask? Yep, one of my favorite and the first tool in the cool tool for 2012 series. 

When you feel stressed your reflex may be to reach into your tool kit and grab something that will soothe you quickly. The downside to the reach and grab method is that our tool kits contain some out dated tools. Like peanut butter.

Peanut butter as self-care?

Since I was a kid my de-stress tool kit has contained peanut butter. I’ve graduated to what one office mate called my “nut butter collection”-almond, sunflower, hazelnut…

When I reach into my tool kit and grab awareness first, I can then be mindful about choosing the right tool for the current stress. But if my little hand grabs the almond butter jar first, there is no discernment about what tool would be in my highest good. It’s almond butter all the way.

I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with nut butters. Clearly I’m a fan. If I’m feeling low blood sugar then a spoonful of almond butter will do the trick and get me back to work grounded and energized. But if I’m feeling emotionally drained, then nut butter’s not my friend. (Sorry nut butter.)

Playing with Awareness

I think we too often look outside of ourselves for the answers. Our body, mind, spirit, emotions, and energy all contain powerful information to help us get and stay on track. What track? The path of our purpose. The path of our growth.

I’m not saying you should never seek the wise counsel of your religious leader, business guru, psychic, best friend, or mom. But first consider checking in with your wise, wise self. Yes, I mean you.

How do I proceed?

Start by paying more attention to the signals from your body, mind, spirit, emotions, and energy. Make friends with these messengers and their messages. If this is a new practice you might want to ritualize it until it becomes something you do more naturally. Set a time and place to check in. Journal about what you find.

Have you signed up for my Body, Mind, Spirit Business Balance quiz? When you took the quiz you received your score and worksheet. You also received a link to an audio file containing an awareness body scan.

In case you signed up for my ezine before I added this feature or you don’t remember getting the audio file, I’ll include a link in the next ezine.

And if you haven’t already signed up, sign-up today and you’ll get your results and the mp3 file as soon as you complete the quiz.