Observing yourself, noticing your thought patterns, your habituated reactions and acquired mental attitudes is truly the beginning step of higher awareness. It is only once you become aware that you actually gain the ability to change whatever patterns no longer serve you. As long as you are unaware, the conditioned mind is running you. Once you become aware, you have a choice. So the cornerstone of an effective spiritual practice is to simply raise our awareness, and one of the most effective ways we may do this is through meditation. As you learn to quiet your mind and turn within, you find that all the stuff that was previously below the level of your conscious awareness begins to bubble up. When this happens, rejoice! For you now have been given the option to free yourself from the self-inflicted bonds of the conditioned mind, and to return into a realization of your true identity as a free and limitless being, here to reveal nothing less than the face of God in all that you do.