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Self-Awareness: 9 Ways to Cultivate Awareness in an Unaware World

We are marching towards the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. The summer solstice, at its heart, is a period of self-reflection and a new beginning. The biggest thing we can do as conscious individuals is to self-reflect. We have to look profoundly within ourselves to look at our wounding, our patterns, our strengths, and our limitations. This is incredibly deep work and is the bedrock for spiritual growth. As the sun comes to the climax of its journey, it is a time to seek the right action and to choose to walk in alignment with your beliefs. It’s a moment to self-reflect and looks at what is no longer in alignment. It is time to start something new as the Earth is in a new season.

Self-reflection is that it is what gives us the space to do something different. I was talking to one of my clients who has been in a partnership for the past five years with someone who isn’t as invested. While we sat on the phone, she told me how she sat alone while her partner was out of town, and upon self-reflection, noticed that she was doing all the giving in her relationship as a way to try and entice her partner to participate. To make the shifts in her life that she wanted, she needed to learn not to give endlessly as a way to be loved.

When we practice self-awareness, we use our introspection to become aware of our thoughts, feelings, impulses, and behaviors. It’s a roadmap to knowing who we are, what we want, and why we operate. When we dive deeper, we can understand our fundamental beliefs and mental and emotional defense mechanisms to have self-understanding. When we are self-aware, we are deeply connected to our feelings and emotions, our beliefs, how we interact with the world, our habits, how we want to be perceived, our fears, our conflicts, our dreams, and our goals.

As emphatic intuitive, we have to be self-aware but not to be self-defeating. When we choose to look at our blind spots, it needs to be with loving compassion and connected to our sweet Spirit. We all have light and shadow, and our shadow work is incredibly important to bring more profound healing, compassion, and awareness to where we need to grow. When we aren’t self-aware of our self-defeating patterns, that’s where we get stuck, repeating the soul lesson again and again. The places where we are not aware are the parts of us that are driven by impulse and unconsciousness. It’s where we become self-destructive.

We resist being self-aware because our egos like to keep us safe. It wants to maintain an idea of ourselves and things that challenge our ego challenge how we see ourselves in the world. A healthy ego is essential so we can differentiate between ourselves and the outside world. It is an important survival tool for us to navigate, but it’s our job to train our egos to be in service to our Spirit and heal cycles of trauma and pain.

When we develop self-awareness, we can feel safe to share our authentic selves and feel empowered in the world. We become aware of our triggers and have more space and capacity for self-compassion. The more we develop self-awareness, the more intuitive and connected we become. Our relationships thrive, we know our life purpose, make choices to support ourselves. We feel more confident and connected, we can shift self-defeating patterns and mindsets. We take care of our bodies and our health. We make choices that fulfill us and make choices that are firmly based in our own value systems. Here, we are deeply connected to our Soul and to existence.

We all have places where we lack self-awareness. It’s universal. However, self-reflection and self-awareness is a fearless dive into our hearts, to help train our egos that when we dive deep, it’s not a threat to our identity but actually a doorway to being our pure self. There we find the keys to connecting to our purpose, to our authentic engaged self, to our joy, and it aligns us with our Spirit. When we are self-aware, we are connected to our purpose and to our needs and desires.

Here are some of my favorite tools to check in with myself.

Where do I feel defensive? Where am I triggered? Where have I caused pain? Where do I need to be, right? Where am I impulsive? How attached am I to how others see me? Where are the patterns that repeat in my life that are painful? Where do I armor myself against the world? What am I unconsciously afraid of?

These are not light questions. This is why the heart of spiritual-emotional development takes courage, which comes from the French word, Coeur, which means heart. My godmother, Aunt Lu, always said, what you don’t own, owns you.

To dive deeper:

  1. Practice Meditation – This is where we can start to observe our thoughts, patterns, beliefs, and start to craft and understanding of what is constantly running thought our minds.
  2. Journal – Journaling is one of my favorite tools. I write with a pen and paper as it gives me more space to think and process. Plus, I find it really cathartic. I love a good moleskin journal (unlined) and I love the pocket in the back to put in notes from people I love, quotes, stickers, or whatever I feel is important. I like to think that it’s infusing my journal with love.
  3. Tune into your body– our bodies hold our histories of experience and they register everything. One tool I love is to practice a body scan, find places that are holding energy and asking myself — what is this telling me?
  4. Ask Safe People in your life what are your blind spots. This one can be tricky. First off, MAKE SURE YOU PICK PEOPLE WHO ARE HIGH VIBE AND WANT TO HELP. Don’t open yourself up to a psychic slime.
  5. Talk to Yourself in the Mirror – we often don’t see or look at ourselves. There is tremendous power in looking directly at yourself and hearing and seeing what you’re saying to yourself. What judgements or blocks come up?
  6. Write down your strengths and weaknesses – use your investigative journalist hat and look without judgement. Taking ownership of where we shine is important and also where we need support. Being aware of where we need extra help isn’t a source of shame but can be a place of empowerment when we allow ourselves to turn it over.
  7. Pay attention to where you put your energy. Where our attention goes is where energy flows. This can be a key to understanding how you operate and can help you uncover hidden impulses, desires, and needs.
  8. Take workshops, courses, get readings. This is one of my favorites because learning new perspectives always helps to further unearth what makes us tick- consciously and unconsciously and help to raise our vibration and further gives us tools to use in our lives. This is also where our self-work can be fun, surrounded by like minded individuals who can reflect us back to us.
  9. Pay attention to your triggers. What triggers you the MOST? In relationships? In life? We often project our stuff onto others. It’s called transference and it can be a brilliant way to look deeply into your relationship with yourself.

The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.” – Pema Chödrön

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