I don’t think that there is anything in the world more needed today than for a person to get to know themselves
Why do I think this?
It could be the underlying answer for the many things that I see people trying to either enhance, develop within themselves or lose altogether.
Let’s look at a few things that are going on for many of you:
Trouble sleeping You could take sleeping pills or listen to ASMR or soft music to get you to sleep or you could get to know when you are ruminating and catch yourself before your thoughts spiral. By learning how to see your thoughts very clearly for what they are, so you can allow them to be as they are, you’ll find it easier to rest and not lie awake for hours in a state of worry or planning (these are generally the two default states we find ourselves in, in the middle of the night)
Powerful emotions If you have anger and frustration, rather than try and manage it by avoiding situations, using vices or blocking out thoughts that might take you into an emotional state, let yourself build up to being ridiculously aware of the fleeting nature of your thoughts and emotions, learn what triggers you, learn that your thoughts aren’t facts, and that current mindsets will determine how we receive information. You can then start to face all the things that trigger you and each time you do, more clarity is reached. You start to see the whole process as it’s happening.
Situation triggers a thought which triggers an emotion, which makes you feel feelings
When you see it, you can stop the cycle and work toward choosing how to respond rather than habitually reacting.
Confidence If you want confidence you can learn a whole heap of techniques to make yourself appear and feel more confident but if you get to know the limiting thoughts that have become beliefs that you’ve either been told by someone or you’ve told yourself but that isn’t true, you can start to know and feel something else very authentic and empowering about yourself which brings with it a natural confidence, that coupled with a few power poses and pow! truly standing in your own power!
Concentration/focus/tiredness having an extra coffee, a few more glasses of water to quench the brain, turning off technology and getting some fresh air are all good ways of re-focusing but more effective is becoming more present and truly living in the moment. There is a secret energy bank in the present moment that you can tap into at any time, when you’re not living on autopilot you are more focused and alert.
These are just a few examples, I have made a checklist of things that I see people are either seeking or would like to change, if you tick more than a few it may be worth thinking about getting to know yourself better and by this I mean, getting to know the truth about your thoughts and emotions so you can step towards real freedom, rather than trying to use tactics to deal with each individual thing.
If you recognise any of these things then it could be time to get up close and personal with yourself:
- You want to discover your gifts and strengths
- You have a desire to live a more ethical/sustainable lifestyle
- You’re raising your voice at your loved ones a lot
- You’re talking in an exasperated tone with loved ones and/or strangers
- You’re being a meanie
- You’re feeling frazzled
- You find yourself chasing positive experience
- You’re unable to concentrate
- You’re finding life hard and a struggle
- You’re addicted to technology
- You want more confidence
- You’re acting on anger and frustration
- You’re experiencing road rage/Impatience in queues
- You’re berating yourself
- You have trouble sleeping
- You find yourself zoning out
- You overthink things
- You sometimes live on autopilot
- You’re often using vices
- You worry about the future
- You worry and fret about the past
- You experience social anxiety/anxiety
- You’re experiencing bouts of depression
How was that list for you? Did anything ring true? If something did, know that you don’t have to live with this. You can change it up. Boom!
Are you ready for an adventure?
Think of getting to know yourself as stepping onto a path that leads to a sense of freedom. Of course, all good adventures have obstacles, we are both complex and simple beings all at once so suddenly seeing yourself as you truly are may be challenging, but it’s not your thoughts that would ever harm you, it’s your reaction to them and this is what you will be learning to see very clearly. Life becomes different, the purpose of it and the meaning of it begin to shift and change, it becomes much sweeter and lighter in many aspects.
There is always going to be light and shade to our lives, but a life lived with fuller awareness to the shade makes it less easy to get sucked into and dragged under by it.
But I’m not spiritual, that kind of thing isn’t for me
So call it what you want! Really the bottom line is that there’s a way of sorting out the messy stuff so that you can get on with being the best person you can be. Working out that we’re not our thoughts and we’re not our emotions doesn’t have to be spiritual…. it can be, of course, but it doesn’t have to be.
Some people call it self-development, some call it self-enquiry, some do call it going on a spiritual journey, some call it looking inwards, some call it self-improvement, or self-reflection, it’s all of these things but it really doesn’t matter what you call it. If you answered yes to some of the list above, it’s one of the most effective things you can do, not only for yourself but for everyone around you.
‘Getting to know yourself’ should be made mandatory in schools.
Imagine a world where each child had higher self-esteem, greater resilience, deeper compassion and the ability to self-regulate their emotions as they would if they were taught the true fleeting nature of their own thoughts and emotions to a point of experiential understanding. It should be the right of each child to get to know that they are not their thoughts and they are not their emotions. It is their right to understand parental conditioning and see that they may-be displaying ancestral traits and emotional behaviours that might not serve them and that they can indeed do something about it.
You might think it is a privilege to be able to start thinking about ourselves in this way, a luxury to spend this time with ourselves like this, but to me, it seems completely odd that we don’t.
Here we are living day in day out with a body and mind that we hardly know. Isn’t that a little bit odd?
To start to explore ourselves costs very little in terms of money – it’s more about time, but if we switch off the tv in the evening or get up a bit earlier in the morning with the knowledge that anything is possible well, then.. anything is possible
The world becomes an easier place to live in when our communication is more solution focused and our relationships are more harmonious, it takes practice to truly listen to yourself which is why it makes sense to start young. When you understand yourself it connects you in with everybody else in the world. Get to know yourself and you get to know everyone – that’s a huge bonus and a much better starting ground for a happy and successful life.
The benefits of getting to know yourself are long and plentiful and create in you the feeling of being free. Freer than when you acted on your emotions and thoughts without any thought, freer than when you told yourself you weren’t worth anything, freer than when you felt bound by anxiety, freer than when you felt eaten up by guilt, freer than when you realised you were hurting others in your life, freer than when you woke up after a broken nights sleep.
Isn’t it true that a person has to reach rock bottom before they realise that something needs to change, I’m not there?
In some cases, yes, but times are changing, there is more information out there so why wait till rock bottom? why live with and put up with things that could be different? We are lucky in this era, I mean, the environment may be in dire need of our attention and the government is… well, let’s not go there now, but we are lucky to live in a time where ancient teachings are merging across continents through modern adaptions such as Mindfulness meditation, and are now available for whoever wants them.
Look at the list above to see if anything rings true, and then to consider doing something about it now rather than:
- Waiting until everyone around you has truly had enough
- Waiting until you’ve berated yourself again, telling yourself you’re not good enough and have comforted yourself with vices
- Waiting until you’ve had yet another argument with someone and hurt them and yourself really badly
- Waiting until the next positive experience comes in to feel good/validated
- Waiting until you’ve lied again and you have to live with more guilt
- Waiting until you went out and felt eaten up by social anxiety one more time
- Waiting until you eventually burn out from tiredness, overwhelm and overwork.
Isn’t it just a bit easier to carry on with things as they are?
In terms of the phrase ignorance is bliss, maybe it is, but if you’ve answered yes to any of the questions above then maybe all is actually not quite so blissful? If I look back to how I treated myself and others before I got to know myself I have immediate gratitude for taking the time to look inwards.
I know that I have a choice in how I respond and I may not ALWAYS respond in the most perfect way but we’re not trying to attain some elevated untouchable position of greatness, we’re getting real with our thoughts, real with our emotions, real with how we relate to others and we’re bringing in compassion, authenticity, acceptance, respect, truth and a love for ourselves and others that is palpable.
Our life becomes a juicy training ground giving us ample opportunity to keep practising being in the here and now. When you gain greater awareness of yourself you start to notice that you keep being presented with situations, relationships and events that allow you to have another go at giving a response that is more in line with the person that you’d rather be.
We want to work towards healing our world not destroying it because we are part of a whole, interconnected multiverse. We are vibrational beings resonating a frequency that affects every being we come into connection with. I heal my world by being present, taking responsibility for my thoughts and emotions and for the frequency I resonate out.
If our inner war stops the outer war around us will start to fade away as well.
What can I do then?
The most effective ways inwards are doing things like Meditating, getting into the Body and Moving, either doing Yoga or some other Movement, Breathwork, Being Mindful.
Mindfulness is quite a buzz word at the moment, but there is a good reason as being mindful will allow you to see your thoughts and emotions much clearer and eventually be free from many of the above list. There are so many talks and books out there to start you off. The Power of Now, The Tao of Pooh, The Alchemist, Deepak Chopra, Thich Nhat Hanh, Jon Kabat Zinn. You could listen to Jeff Foster, Mooji, Alan Watts, Nisargadatta and so many more speakers talking about the nature of reality.
I serve up a mixture of Dru yoga, Mindfulness and Awakening Coaching in Bristol and online. All of which are aimed at allowing you to recognise the present moment as it is; palpable, vivid, potent, always on.
Yoga, Coaching and Mindfulness techniques and exercises bring greater understanding to you as a whole unified being and to your thoughts and emotions, also highlighting your zoning out and ruminating mind and autopilot existence.
It may be that you only need to open the door a little bit to let some light pour in so that you see things clearer, it may be that you need to delve deeper and see what that brings. Whatever opens up for you will bring wisdom, insight and clarity and it will contain far greater riches than grabbing moments of short-lived happiness from more non-sustainable situations.
Please get in touch to chat about anything that I offer.
I’m currently taking bookings for private clients and have 2 spaces available. I’m also starting an 8-week mindfulness course after Christmas
If you’re a parent and live in Bristol I run a Yoga and Mindfulness class on Tuesdays for both parent and child where you can enjoy starting the week being mindful together. Now on Move GB.