Answer: As Alana tunes into this question and I feel the you have the intention to to discern if greater levels of awareness are leading you toward an enlightened state.
The second question you ask is easier to answer than the first. When you have the answer to the first, the second question will not exist.
Now let us return to the first question. The way you begin to be more conscious and more aware is to recognize that you are not always conscious of everything that goes on within and around you. The first step is to be able to distinguish the difference between being aware and being unaware. So I must congratulate your gentle being, for your nature already knows this.
This brings about the next step to becoming more awake, which is gratefulness. What you dwells on and what you think about expands. You get more of what your attention goes to.
Let us be grateful for awareness.
Let us be grateful for the ability to feel self awareness and to feel what it is like to be in a body.
Let us be grateful for our ability to feel what it is like to sense hunger.
Let us be grateful that we have eyes to see the butterflies.
Let us be grateful that we have ears that can hear the songs of birds.
Let us be grateful that we can smell and taste good cooking when is occurring.
Let us be grateful that we can sense a kind heart within a friend.
Let us be grateful that we can witness an action of another and feel their emotions and inner nature.
The first step to being more awake in life is to be more sense-aware by opening your senses more to allowing more information to be channeled through you. By being grateful, you begin to tell the universe that "I want more". The more that you are grateful for, the more that you are expressing that you want more. Therefore, more shall be delivered to you.
Eventually it becomes a rhythm. It becomes a dance of recognizing when you are sensory-full and when your awareness needs to sleep. Just like when a baby sleeps, your senses at times need to rest and re-generate. This does not mean that you are asleep or are lacking consciousness, it just means that it is time to regenerate. You can learn to recognize that sometimes when you forget, it is just because you are balancing. When you recognize that you are asleep, you have an awareness that you are asleep. Therefore, in that moment you are actually aware. Do you see?!
What we have here is an observer. We have now cultivated the fact that we are within ourselves and we are also within ourselves seeing the "within nature" of our self. This is the way to become more aware. This is the way to become more awake. This is the way to feel more enlightenment and to know that enlightenment is a full range of feelings.
Many believe that when one is enlightened they do not have anger or they do not feel sad. There is a belief that they are just connected to the God-Source and that they live only in a constant state of "is-ness" and that their is-ness has a singular expression. Yes, there is 'isness' but the thing we must not forget is that 'isness' embraces all and it does not exclude anything. Your 'isness' includes whatever comes into your nature since you are full-sensory and you are feeling it. That is your 'isness'.
This is why enlightenment is kind of funny because it is really about just being. Enlightenment is a joke. There is no place to go since you are there already.
So begin by saying...
I am very grateful that I am enlightened in this moment.
I am very grateful that I have enlightenment in my being.
I am very grateful that enlightenment exists in my world.
I am very grateful that we have free will to have enlightenment in our natures.
I am enlightened.
So be it.
Thank you for your question. Thank you for your gentle being. Thank you for your benevolent nature for bringing forth such a delightful question.