By far one of the trickiest things to master in each of our lifetimes will be the ability to be fully, utterly and unapologetically self aware. I imagine that even 20, 30, 40 years ago this was a challenge — but add the influx of social media to the mix and it feels nearly impossible at times to tell up from down, let alone name our own thoughts, emotions and desires.
I hate to admit this, but up until recently, for really long stretch of time, I felt numb. Happy-ish — or happy enough, but nevertheless, numb. I knew my process with grief was and is a huge part of my downs, but I felt like I was just going through the motions of what I thought I should be doing rather than what I actually wanted to be doing. While all of my relationships were soaring and super healthy, inside I was feeling a bit robotic when it came to my writing, my creativity and my day to day decision making.
Then, as of just a few months ago, things started to shift in a major way. I’m not sure why exactly, but the only thing I can tie it back to is that I bought this book and began reading it non-stop. I’ve loved a lot of personal growth and development books, and some have absolutely impacted my life, but this book.. it was different. It was clicking in all of these extreme ways — forcing me to take rapid notes, nodding my head in agreement every two seconds, shedding tears here and there, and I can’t even tell you how many light bulbs went off throughout the duration of those two weeks I spent reading it.
It was then and there that I recognized my intense lack of self awareness.
I realized and began to own that I could hardly make a decision without looking for a second opinion, and I would stew over my own personal thoughts to an unnecessary degree. When I think about it, I’ve been making my life so much harder than it ever needed to be simply because of my need of validation from everyone around me.
In the book, there’s a lot of talk about living in your alignment. I never fully understood what that meant, but now I know it has everything to do with building your life strictly around your morals and your values, and operating from a place of true, undeniable authenticity. The most helpful part of this new learned behavior (that I’m still navigating) was writing down what those were for me. When I opened up my journal to get started and find out what that looked like, it flowed with total ease that I knew it was coming straight from my intuition. No BS. No outside noise. Just my vulnerable insides.
Here’s what I wrote, dated February 16th, 2018 at 10:39 AM
My 5 Highest Values to Be in Perfect Alignment with Myself
Peace, Quiet & Space
Having time to reflect with my morning coffee, be with my thoughts, meditate, read, journal, be still — sans interruptions. This allows me to be clear, balanced and level headed. In order for this to happen, I may have to wake up earlier, communicate my needs, and/or skip out on certain commitments.
Health & Well Being
Making space to do the workouts that feel good to me in that moment. Dedicating time to honoring my body, what she needs, when she needs it. Listening to her first and foremost. Filling her up with good food, less wine, keeping her hydrated, and recognizing when I’m making decisions out of boredom or discomfort. Feeling strong about sticking to these choices, especially when in social situations.
Nourishing and honoring those who fill up my cup and keep my vibrations at an all time high. Making sure they feel loved and cared for, listened to and respected. Expressing my needs and desires to keep the relationship honest and long lasting. Creating valuable space to be there for them in a moments notice, whenever it’s needed and I’m able.
Honoring and feeling confident in my choices, letting them come straight from my soul. Knowing that my yes’ mean yes and my no’s mean no. Those who find issues with it weren’t mean to hang in my orbit (as Erin would say).
Speaking as myself, for myself, slowly and with purpose. Honoring how I speak, how I write, and putting that out into the universe with no room or desire for comparison and/or validation. Protecting my story, vision, approach and message from being intertwined with anyone else’s. This may mean having to unfollow people I respect to ensure my ideas and creative patterns are strictly my own, rather than picking up waves from what they’re doing. Being aware of my throat chakra at all times, keeping it wide open and unblocked so I can live in true authenticity, and speak with conviction while remaining open minded and open hearted.
Truthfully, even just writing them down on that day was like giving myself an imprint. It’s rare that I have to revisit these notes to get back on track because the truth of the matter is, once I wrote them on paper and put them out there, they just stuck. They became a part of me — almost like someone asking me what my birthday is. I just know and can repeat it without a second thought. I assume it’s because for the first time since childhood, I spoke ALL of my truth, unapologetically. I said what I valued and what I held at high importance without anyone else’s opinion. I just spoke, and it felt right. It felt real. It felt like me. (I’ve also done some hypnosis work and whenever I’ve gone down deep into my subconscious, those alignments show up every single time. Cool, huh?)
Now just because you write these things down and they become imprinted, it doesn’t mean that you’ll move through life with zero issues because you’ve now named what living in your alignment looks like. I wish it were that easy! I’ve been pairing my alignment with a lot studying, meditation (I’m a total work in progress here), making the space to journal every single day – multiple times a day, and reiki sessions to unblock my chakras and keep myself in balance (if you haven’t done this yet and it interests you, or you feel stuck or maybe a little bit numb in your every day life.. don’t walk, run, and get yourself into a session. It’s one of the largest gifts you can give yourself. * If you’re unfamiliar, think of it a sort of massage. It’s super relaxing, but can be a bit intense).
Before we go further into this conversation, lets talk about what self awareness actually is, shall we?
What is Self Awareness?
By definition, self awareness is “the conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives, and desires.”
So by creating and choosing to live within your alignment, you free yourself up to be totally and authentically, 100% your true self. Your alignment is based off of your moral fiber and your intuition, and when you operate from that place and that place alone, you operate from a place of wholeness and love. Sounds pretty good, right?
Research shows that almost half of the time we operate on “automatic pilot” or that we are unconscious of what we are doing or how we feel, as our mind wanders to somewhere else other than the here and now. Now you might be asking, “but how do I get to that place of being able to be in the here and now?” That’s where free journaling comes in handy, or reading books like The Four Agreements to give you some understanding and guidance. When you awaken your subconscious, you automatically give yourself permission to operate from a place of being acutely self aware. It takes work, yes, but just think of it as the most profound act of self care. It’s always worth it (and it’s imperative) to take care of yourself, first.
The Importance of Self Awareness
I wish with every fiber in my being that I would have addressed this part of life at a much earlier age. I won’t stew over that, as I’m grateful to have had this major lesson at all, but living my life now compared to just a few months ago? It’s incredible how much easier my days flow together, how much less pressure I carry, and how much happier and lighter I am. While there are so many important reasons to being self aware (as soon as possible), the utmost important reason is that you, my love, DESERVE to be living your most authentic, happiest life. You DESERVE to feel full, worthy, confident. You DESERVE to feel loved, at peace and at home within your own self.
Being self aware flows into every single aspect of our lives — be it our jobs, our relationships, our parenting.. even the mundane things like “what do I want to eat?” When you become self aware, you not only answer these questions with total ease, but you answer them based on what it is you’re lacking and what your soul and your body actually needs from you. Some people spend thousands of dollars a year on therapy or have a speed dial on their phone of people they call when they can’t seem to make these decisions for themselves! Some people simply look to Instagram or Facebook to see what others are doing and base their decisions off of that. I know, because I was one of them. (True story, I used to carry a coin around in my bag that I would flip when I didn’t want to decide — aka: when I felt too numb/overwhelmed to make a choice) It’s been a while since I’ve reached for that coin, because I no longer need assistance in being completely and utterly self aware (through practice, of course)
How To Become Self Aware
The million dollar question with a really obvious answer: Decide that you’re worthy. Deep, right? But it’s true. Until you commit to the fact that you don’t have to go through life feeling numb, stuck, unsure or uneasy — the magic can’t begin. You won’t be able to get one foot of the ground, because you’ll never be able to call out your own personal alignment. You have to be fully ready to let go of everyone and everything around you, and get real with yourself, first.
Here are a few of my biggest (simple) tips to get you there:
First thing’s first — you have to detox from social media.
I hate to say it, but this one isn’t optional. I know it sounds really difficult, but if I can run this strictly online business and lifestyle brand with taking detoxes here and there, so can you! If you’re worried about “losing followers” after not posting for a week or two, those people weren’t meant to be hanging your social orbit, anyway. So don’t fret over the numbers.
Detoxing from social media will give you the space and the freedom to completely disconnect from outside habits and lifestyles that aren’t your own. You begin to see what it is you’re actually about when you aren’t mixing your ideas/thought patterns with someone else’s. It’s incredibly freeing — and chances are, once you come back from your detox you’ll feel far more creative than you did previously.
Grab a journal (any kind will do) and start writing to yourself.
No need to have an agenda here — no perfect pattern is required, either. Just write. If you’re feeling a little lost here, simply follow up every question with “why?” Here’s an example:
How are you? / I’m feeling whole.
Why? / Because I’m putting in the work every day to go inwards.
Why? / Because I’m worthy of self love and internal comfort.
.. and then continue free journaling from there. Speak on your experiences — what’s feeling good, thoughts circling your mind, people who are treating you well, ideas you have, etc.
If you’re having a hard time, you may find the question pattern goes on much longer. Here’s another random, yet relatable, example:
How are you? / I’m feeling lonely
Why? / Because I’m not making any friends or putting effort into the friends I have
Why? / Because I’m feeling bad about my weight
Why? / Because I’m not going to the gym enough
Why? / Because I don’t want to be around other people
Why? / Because I’m worried what they’ll think about me
Why? / Because I know what I think about me
See that? You begin to get to the root of your issue, which is lack of self worth and confidence. While it can take some serious time to get there, you start to find cracks in your thought patterns — and that’s where the light gets in. It’s through this practice alone that I realized that I myself had some seriously negative thought patterns and need for outside validation. Had I kept it inside my head, they’d be running around in circles for God knows how long. Get it out on paper. Free yourself from those thoughts. See what happens.
When you’re faced with a decision — take pause.
This is actually something that I learned from Chris and my appointment with Shaman Durek, and I’m still a work in progress. Here’s the thing about making decisions: it can be really, really difficult to tell the difference between your ego and your intuition. Your ego is generally the one who puts thoughts on repeat that seem to be circling around in your brain. They’re not always bad thoughts, but they can be the ones that pursue you to act out of fear or anxiety, since it’s only job is to try and protect you from harm. Your ego will also be the one to challenge you, while your intuition just knows. When your intuition is giving you the answer, you’ll feel an overwhelming sense of peace and certainty; like a weight is being lifted off of your shoulders. Even if what you need to decide is extremely difficult, there’s no real “decision remorse” that comes along after following your gut.
Taking time to go inward and listen to your intuition for the answer is worth every single second. As you get more in tune with your alignment and who you REALLY are (I call it going back to basics), you won’t have to wait long for the answer. But in those beginning stages, it can take some time to feel your way through the process (literally).
It’s a topic that I’m so passionate about because it’s effected me deeply and drastically over the course of the past few months. You’ll be hearing more of this topic as well as my personal journey here on the blog, also more in depth over on the podcast — so be sure to tune in if you’re interested!
Lastly, if you have any lingering questions or thoughts on this subject (or anything else for that matter!), don’t hesitate to leave a comment below or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We love hearing from you over at TCC, and want to make sure that we’re all benefiting from each other’s unique experiences. All the love – x2