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  • Stephen Scott Johnson

Awareness - are you on auto-pilot?

Updated: Mar 31

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of hearing Corey Muscara, speak in Melbourne. A former monk, Corey is an international teacher on the topics of mindfulness and positive psychology. His latest book, STOP MISSING YOUR LIFE: The Power of Being Present – to Grow, Change and Find Happiness is an international bestseller.


When I say, ‘thank you, Corey’, I can safely speak for everyone in the room. Your session cut-through the noise to bring awareness and insight, and it was a real privilege to learn from you in person. What amazed me was how oblivious we are to the power of presence. So often, we replace true connection with self and others, with ‘being busy' and accept being immersed in routine as a sign of achievement, even success, all the while going about our lives on ‘autopilot’.


Be it the school run with kids, pre-office coffee stop, connecting with ‘friends’ on social media, even gym workouts – how often do we stop to tune-in to how we feel in these moments? If autopilot is our ‘normal’ – are we disconnected from what is going on within us at a deeper level?


Imagine the possibility of a world ‘awake’ and people achieving their full human potential.


During Corey’s session, he asked us to close our eyes and led us through a bell meditation exercise, a practice used since ancient times to focus attention on the present moment. He rang the bell and invited us to acknowledge when the frequency stopped. It was all that was needed to bring awareness back to the body. Whilst focusing on the bell I stopped focusing on everything else. So simple, yet extraordinary to acknowledge the ‘autopilot’ in my life and the beauty that exists in the space between doing and being. In my forthcoming book, The You in Us, I introduce 20th century mystic, philosopher, and spiritual teacher, George Gurdjieff, renowned for his Fourth Way system for self-development and introducing the ancient traditions of the Enneagram to the modern world. Gurdjieff describes ‘autopilot’ as not having a unified consciousness (which means, integrating sight, sound, and all the senses so that we think and ultimately, act in ways that unite us to ourselves). Thus, most humans go about their lives in a state of hypnotic “waking sleep”.


How often do you stop to bring awareness to your mind, and ground yourself in the present moment? If you’d like to learn more about the power of presence and how to stop missing your life, I recommend you grab a copy of Corey’s book.


Until next time.