The Awareness That Heals Podcast brings you meaningful discussions that provide guidance and insights into the way we care for ourselves during life's emotional, situational, and existential challenges. They can be faced and embraced by using the tools presented in the Awareness That Heals book and podcast.
Awareness That Heals offers you a variety of practices to support greater awareness of what may be troubling you, while simultaneously finding a place to actively care for yourself.
Host Robert Strock and guest David Knapp dig deeper into developing self-acceptance and balance as we continue on a journey through challenging feelings. Misconceptions about self-acceptance can lead to causing undue harm to others, especially when dealing with anger. However, true self-acceptance comes when we express ourselves with sensitivity, thoughtfulness, and honesty. Part of self-acceptance means saying yes to negative emotions, embracing them, and tolerating them without hurting others. Listen to this episode . . .
Host Robert Strock and guest David Knapp discuss the value of learning to identify our own challenging feelings, questioning them, and continuing to grow and develop as a person. Each of us must learn that outside standards don’t have to define us. It takes time to develop the autonomous self that can name, question, and grow. Self-rejection keeps us from realizing the autonomous self because we get caught in a reactive mode where we identify with what we’ve been taught. Listen to this episode . . .
Host Robert Strock and guest David Knapp discuss the continuing process of developing self-compassion. Difficult emotions elicit many predictable “normal” forms of self-rejection, such as withdrawing, anger, or fixing. However, normal doesn’t mean healthy. We can learn to accept challenging feelings as part of our human experience while learning to stop patterns of self-rejection. Listen to this episode . . .
Host Robert Strock discusses how to continually develop self-compassion by identifying the healing intentions that lie at the heart of who we are. All too frequently when we have challenging feelings, we react in negative emotional l ways, which is an expression of (usually unconscious) self-rejection. That’s when it’s time to remind ourselves that our feelings aren’t the most important part of who we are. Feelings are feelings, and in many cases, they’re perpetually involuntary. Listen to this episode . . .
Robert Strock continues a discussion of the third level of awareness with guest David Knapp. They explore deeper levels of moving toward self-compassion. The process of developing self-compassion is not a one-time experience. It’s a repeated course of thought and action where we continually identify difficult feelings and our response to them. Listen to this episode . . .
Robert Strock and guest David Knapp discuss the third level of awareness. This level of awareness requires that we become aware of and identify our most challenging feelings. To address these feelings, we must reach the first level of awareness, which is to be humble enough to be aware that in many areas we are unaware. Listen to this episode . . .
Host Robert Strock discusses the process of moving from self-rejection toward self-compassion with guest David Knapp. Emotions like anger or anxiety often carry a double layer of self-rejection. There’s the initial emotion but also the way we feel about that emotion. Listen to this episode . . .
The sixth and last principle of Friendly Mind is to focus on what is possible in the present or near future. When we pay attention to our true capabilities, we see more clearly the importance of staying in the present, and at most, the next few moments. Focusing on the present usually comes with great relief. It gives us the ability to see what we are truly able to do or how we can respond in the present or as soon as possible. Once we have that guidance, we can more easily be our best selves. Listen to this episode . . .
Never try to solve the impossible—that’s the fifth principle of Friendly Mind. Most of us wish to let our mind get the best of us where we feel secure in a future that we cannot realistically control or desire to be more than we are capable of. When Friendly Mind sees this, it reminds us with the neutral question, “Are you trying to create something that isn’t within your capacity?” When we understand and learn to successfully implement this principle, it usually creates a smile because we recognize how many times we have given ourselves a hard time. For many, it’s often a humorous relief and release of what was always outside of our control. Listen to this episode . . .
The fourth principle of Friendly Mind is making realistic best efforts toward ourselves and others. The word realistic is vital because of the danger of becoming perfectionistic and thinking our best efforts are not good enough. When we listen carefully and ask our Friendly Mind to guide us, we deserve genuine honoring. On the other hand, we need to take action and do what we are fully capable of as Friendly Mind is not blind ego validation. It needs to be earned and practiced to reach its potency. Listen to this episode . . .
The third principle of Friendly Mind is a subtle understanding that Friendly Mind doesn’t require us to feel friendly, even toward ourselves. This principle supports us when we are in any kind of severe distress, including but not limited to exhaustion, or anxiety, which limits the availability of friendly feelings. Friendly Mind contains the wisdom to steer ourselves in a beneficial way without the pressure to feel friendly or caring. At these times, we often feel neutral, which, once we get the knack of this principle, is a great relief. Listen to this episode . . .
In this episode, we explore the second principle of Friendly Mind—thinking empathically when we are in any kind of pain or suffering. We learn to develop the capacity to think and follow friendly, realistic, grounded thoughts that care for us no matter our feelings or circumstances. Friendly Mind acknowledges and faces feelings without suppression. It oftentimes guides us to relate to both our feelings and the situation in a way that supports both Listen to this episode . . .
We enter the first core principle of Friendly Mind—an awareness of life’s most challenging feelings and situations. Friendly Mind subtlety grounds and benefits us by looking at this awareness in a neutral or positive light. This episode explores this principle, which is the underbelly of all the other Friendly Mind principles. If we don’t stay grounded with clarity of the specific challenges we face in our daily lives, we limit our capacity for fulfillment, inspiration, and personal evolution. Listen to this episode . . .
This important episode highlights and contrasts Friendly Mind with other methods, identifying similarities yet making the valuable differences clear. Friendly Mind clarifies how affirmations, positive thinking, ‘fixing’ feelings, self-judgment, and the more conventional expression of “I’m fine” all fall short of true healing. They miss the critical element of responding as simultaneously as possible with awareness of life’s challenges and the value of guiding ourselves toward well-being and healing. These distinctions help us understand the subtlety of Friendly Mind. Listen to this episode . . .
We continue to explore impossible standards that impale our progress toward healing. Friendly Mind guides us to do and be all that is realistically possible while helping us to not be slaves to these pressures. With personal examples, we closely explore the myriad of ways we guilt and pressure ourselves to be different from who we are and can be in our own bodies. We push ourselves to get rid of our anxiety, depression, and fear or religion, spirituality, non-spiritual beliefs, or intelligence. However, Friendly Mind teaches us to come back again and again, doing and honoring our best efforts. Listen to this episode . . .
Childhood experiences and culture teach many of us to strive for impossible, unrealistic, or unreachable standards. This episode explores the trap created by these standards and introduces how to free ourselves. Friendly Mind creates a realistic, present focus on supportive and realistic thoughts. We look closely at standards and expectations relating to family, friendship, work, love, sex, youthfulness, and success. This is the first episode to deal with unreachable standards by identifying a grounded, balanced focus on what is possible. Listen to this episode . . .
With practice, Friendly Mind helps us identify with who we are becoming rather than with our feelings in a given moment or situation. Friendly Mind steers our focus and understanding toward our own wisdom, with it becoming clearer and clearer that Friendly Mind’s guidance and response is more important than what we feel. This Friendly Mind could be called wisdom, God’s guidance, or intuition. However, listening to and finding the best guidance, no matter what we call it, to deal with our greatest challenges is the most important step. Listen to this episode . . .
In the Friendly Mind, we learn the value and benefit to ourselves and others of focusing on our responses to challenging emotions and situations rather than trying to change the feelings themselves. Accepting these emotions feels counterintuitive at first. However, with encouragement and practiced dedication, we learn the importance of thoughts, especially those that help us accept our situations and feelings. Acceptance begins a process of learning to independently act from emotions without denial. Listen to this episode . . .
This fourth level of awareness is where the vast majority of healing takes place. This is awareness that heals. We are not only aware of our present challenging feelings and situations, but also we experience a genuine motivation to move toward healing and well-being. We see the challenging state(s) we are in and at the same time we care for ourselves enough to respond toward healing and well-being. This creates a sense of purpose and inspiration to be our best selves. Listen to this episode . . .
The vast majority of healing takes place in the fourth level of awareness. This is awareness that heals. At this level, we are aware of our challenging feelings in the present, but we also experience a genuine motivation to move toward healing. We see and acknowledge our challenging state(s) while at the same time, we care for ourselves enough to respond with actions that take us toward healing and better well-being. This creates a sense of purpose and inspiration to be our best selves. Listen to this episode . . .
This episode explores one of the most dangerous traps of what is often misconceived as awareness. It occurs when we can see and identify what we feel but believe that this alone will allow us to address and overcome the challenges associated with those feelings. Often, we hear in the psychological world, I am aware of my anger, jealousy, grief, and a wide array of other emotions, but true healing takes more than acknowledgement and recognition. Listen to this episode . . .
In Episode 2, we discuss accessing “Fleeting Awareness,” which allows us to glimpse into both our greatest challenges and our wisdom. As we work toward stabilizing this awareness, we have the chance to both face difficult challenges and access our own flashes of insight. This gives us the opportunity to bring a new consciousness to our responses and actions, opening us to greater healing, fulfillment, and inspiration. We invite you to tune into our ongoing series. Listen to this episode . . .
In Episode 1 of Awareness That Heals, we explore the first of four levels of awareness: “Being Aware of Being Unaware.” It is a challenging revelation when we recognize that we are often unaware of our own reactions. This is especially true at times when we are stirred up within and impacted by difficult feelings like fear, anger, anxiety, or pain. By facing our human limitations, we begin to set the stage to genuinely live more humbly and connected with ourselves and others, rather than overly confident. Listen to this episode . . .