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October 10, 2016 9:30 AM EDT

You know, the word that seems to be trending right now is so much deeper than just a word. It’s an actual action… an action that, believe it or not involves some stillness, some focus and some belief that taking a second to breathe is one of the most fundamentally sound things you can do for yourself as a human being.

That word is “awareness.” To me, it means thinking through the repercussions of your actions past that specific moment. If you are sitting in your truth, you are aware. Some people just live on auto pilot…when really there are so many amazing things in all or our daily surroundings that are meant to be noticed!

Having a sense of awareness can really help you be a more compassionate and connected human being, whether you’re in the office or at home. When I’m leading a class at SOULCYCLE, I am aware of all the people participating. I think that’s why my rooms enjoy the ride. I just really try to “scan” a room when I enter it. I feel the vibration of the people, the surrounding elements of it, I feel the temperature, I hear all of the noises, I breathe, and that’s it. Taking a moment to sit with my thoughts, and the moment that I’m in, helps me feel more in-tune to myself and the people around me.

Read more: How to Wake Up Happy

Being “aware” is something that I wish I knew much earlier in life. It was really hard for me to get aware of who I really was, not just what I thought I should be. Coming from a family of divorce, I had to navigate a lot of things on my own. I always felt like I could—and should—do things on my own. Now as an adult, with a partner and a family, I have to remind myself that I am not just a one-woman show. Having awareness of my actions, my surroundings and the needs of my family helps me be a better team player (or at least, I hope it does—you’ll have to ask my partner about that!)

So how can you tap into more awareness today? Paying attention is my best advice to open the door. Open your eyes to your surroundings, to the people you’re with, to your own thoughts and feelings.

I would also recommend finding your connection to what awareness means to you. For some, it could be meditation YouTube sessions with Deepak Chopra. To others, it may be a religious belief they grew up with, a Kabbalah class or an AA group. For many, it could just be as simple as finding a community of like-minded fitness enthusiasts. Find something that taps into the cellular makeup of who you are, and helps you get more connected with the world around you.

Stacey Griffith is a senior master instructor at SoulCycle. Stacey’s motivational coaching style combines a passion for dance, athleticism and mind-blowing music—all set to the beat of her voice. Follow her onTwitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Contact us at letters@time.com.

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