My metaphysics teachers would use the term Conscious Consciousness, and I had no idea what it meant. Now I know that one meaning, the one most relevant to me, is to be present, to notice, to be able to make conscious, aware choices. No wonder I couldn’t understand what it meant. Rather than being present and noticing, I had the nickname “Frantic Fran”.

Being present could mean meditating and being willing to be in the present moment. It could also mean noticing when I’m angry – until I’m not. Paying attention to the downy softness of Little Bear’s coat. Feeling the transition from stubble to smooth when I shave my husband. Taking stock of how I feel right now, and what I really want to do, or don’t. Noticing anxiety, overwhelm, sadness . . . and not needing to do anything about it, just being with it, even if it’s uncomfortable. Being aware of whether I feel centered and grounded, or floating and on auto pilot. Asking myself, am I full or do I just want to keep eating because it tastes good? Am I really hungry, or am I angry, lonely or tired (HALT)?

Conscious consciousness can be just noticing, being aware, paying attention without judgment. Just being willing to check in and be kind and compassionate about where we are at that moment. And if we do that, we will be much more able to then ask, what’s the most loving thing I can do for myself right now?

With awareness, choice is much more possible. And those choices can be much more loving.