Is self awareness ‘essential’?

Human beings are endowed with this amazing ability of self awareness, reflection and consciousness.

Through this trait we can endlessly engage in questioning our own existence, that of a ‘higher power’ and the ‘purpose’ of life (all the while perhaps going further down the rabbit hole). But through this ability of self awareness we can also learn so much about ourselves and affect incredible shifts in certain patterns that diminish or limit us in everyday life. We can grow our ability to understand other points of view, engage in authentic communication and allow our awareness to bring us more gently into balance with ourselves, others and the world.

Through the engagement of awareness I feel anything is possible as we take off our ‘blinders’ and see more possibilities for how we choose to think, feel and live.

How incredible to have the ability to grow (and possibly change) each day by directing this ability of awareness.

And yet why does it feel that we forget or even choose to not engage it throughout much of our days and lives?

It seems that we have developed the idea that having this level of awareness is complicated or too much effort. Or perhaps we never learned that it is actually already ours and living within us……a tool simply waiting to be engaged or recognized. Perhaps that is why so many of us seek out teachers and books to learn how to ‘get it’ or ‘find it’. It doesn’t appear that our status quo is about empowering the individual to look within themselves. And this is not a commentary against teachers or seeking insight. I truly believe that each of us needs guidance and support throughout our lives and teachers, books, a stranger on the bus or our community can offer this at different times. What I find challenging is the perspective that you are looking for something ‘outside’ of yourself. This is different from someone or something helping you find and nurture that which is already within you.

(And sometimes, with teachers in particular, we put them up on pedestals and elevate them. Doing this keeps them on a different level and can perpetuate this feeling of personal lacking.)

I see so many ways in which we are generally taught (or have learned) from birth that most of what we seek is ‘outside’ of us instead of within us. It’s almost like reaching into the dark looking for your glasses while all the while they rest upon your nose. Self awareness (along with so many of our skills) offers each of us a unique resource right there within ourselves.  Why is the first place we look every day not within?

I rarely think you will ever find your ‘glasses’ out there but rather deep within yourself and the nature of being human……our capacity to cultivate awareness, engage thought, create choice and adopt change. All of these lie within each of us (along with our ability for love and compassion). Yes, it looks different for each of us but it is generally there within us all……at times ‘hidden’ but not necessarily more than a seed beneath the soil.

We tend to look and feel past this abundant garden of potential seeds within us and head straight to the grocery store where food waits ready and packaged to buy.

Again, none of this is to say you should be an ‘island’ in and of yourself without outside inspiration, guidance or tools……just not at the exception of finding and sourcing it from within.

Hmmmmmm, let’s try a few things……..

First let’s just imagine ourselves as these resourceful individuals that are not lacking. Believe for a moment that most everything you need is within you and that you can nurture and cultivate it through a daily practice using this amazing tool of self awareness as your guide. (Discover what works for you in imagining this and whether it is through visualization, verbalizing, breath…….one is not better than another so simply be creative in discovering what path can get you there.)

Notice how it feels when you can breathe into that and let it rest as being ‘true’ for even a moment. Notice the challenges that may arise as you offer this vision. Just notice from an open and non-judging perspective.
Little by little each day see what happens if you take time to do this.

Now, as you continue to do this and expand this sensation of personal resource……begin to also develop as a compassionate witness to the ever unfolding network of your thoughts, emotions and physical impulses. Use your awareness to be curious about your choices and behaviors throughout the day and in certain situations.
No matter how benign or habitual just notice and gently inquire ‘why?’. An innocent question that can elicit incredible responses when we use our awareness to help us listen.

If you can start there and are able to stay with this awareness… slowly begins to widen. Like a window, it opens a little more each day you engage it. It will increase exponentially as you use each new ‘widening’ as a platform from which to ‘see’ and question even more. Awareness can help us to see options that might be more essential to our livelihood and living…… a more authentic and connected way of being in the world. A place of opening ourselves to new perspectives and choosing what feels most essential to our individual core.

I would say play with that for a few months and see how you feel and what you notice.
Ask yourself how you can keep yourself interested in it and make it fun as opposed to ‘work’ that feels tiring? Follow your curiosity about yourself.

Once we nurture self awareness there is no end to how we can observe, question and choose. And like most things we must actually engage and cultivate our skills of awareness.
If we don’t engage or interact with it, it’s like having a garden we have taken the time to nurture and cultivate but instead of eating and enjoying the abundance….we let it wither. We end up surrendering much of our own personal internal resource. Why not choose to be your own gardener and harvest the abundance inside of YOU?
When we trust a little and take a leap…… letting go of concepts, habits and pictures of ‘reality’ we have held for so long…….we can create so much possibility within ourselves and the world (a choice for growth and not from a sense of lacking in how we are right now). This practice asks you to disorient yourself and dwell in uncertainty just a little bit to potentially unwind and re-learn yourself in familiar and new ways. All this by simply choosing to bring greater awareness and loving curiosity to yourself.
It’s all pretty amazing………..

Thanks for reading…….much love


About soundbodywisdom
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