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7 Tips to Becoming Self-Aware

Updated: 5 days ago

Finding our true selves can feel like trying to get through a dark cave without a flashlight or a compass. But the fear that comes begins to fade away with the guiding light we find in the universal truths from age-old traditions and beliefs combined with new global insights. These illuminate our path and bring us out of the cave of darkness into the light of self-awareness. Where we live freely and openly as our true self. The person we've always been on the inside and grown into on the outside.
Below are integrated activities and tips to try for helping us move closer to self-awareness on our path. Self-awareness is a gradual process that takes patience and dedication. By using these activities in your daily life, you will deepen your understanding of yourself and improve your overall well-being.

Consider these activities...

1. Mindful Practices
Using these practices regularly helps us to observe our thoughts, emotions, and sensations without judgment, leading to increased self-awareness

-Mindfulness meditation (Buddhism) This practice helps bring awareness of the present moment and is used as a way to develop insight into reality and self. Try including mindful meditation into your day by closing your eyes, placing your hands on your stomach, and focusing on each breath in and out. Tune into the sensations and the feelings of your body.

-Principle of Mentalism (Hermeticism) Mindful Breathing: Practice mindfulness of breath, focusing on the connection between the mind and body. Notice how your thoughts influence your breath, and vice versa, bringing an awareness of your mental state. While sitting down pay attention to the breath you inhale through your mouth and nose and think about it flowing through your body. Pay attention to whatever thoughts and feelings come to mind.

-Tafakkur (Islam) Nature Walks: Spend time in nature, observing the beauty and intricacy of the natural world. Reflect on the signs of God's presence and wisdom in the environment around you. Think about how the things you see in nature are symbolic of your own life. What patterns from nature do you notice connect with your own experiences?

2. Start release writing with Reflective Journaling
Keeping a journal where we write about our thoughts, feelings, and experiences is a way to release past energy and feel a sense of renewal. Reflecting on our entries can also help us gain insights into patterns of our behavior and thoughts.

-Examen (Christianity) Daily Reflection: Take a few moments each day to reflect on your experiences, acknowledging moments of gratitude and areas where you could have responded better. Write down your reflections in a journal, so that you can come back to them later.

-Cheshbon HaNefesh (Judaism) Evening Review: Before bed, review your day with honesty and compassion. Acknowledge your achievements as well as any mistakes you've made during the day and consider how you can learn and grow from them. Note your reflections by writing them down.

-Muhasabah (Islam) Daily Journaling: Set aside time each day to journal about your thoughts, feelings, and actions. Reflect on your successes and areas where you could improve. Set intentions for personal growth and come back to them as you make progress towards them.

3. Self-Questioning
Regularly checking in and asking ourselves questions about our core beliefs, values, motivations, and reactions deepens our understanding of who we are.

-Nature Communion (Caribbean Beliefs) Beach Meditation: If you have access to a beach or other natural bodies of water, spend time connecting with the elements. Sit or walk along the shoreline, feeling the sand between your toes and the rhythm of the waves. Offer prayers or intentions to the spirits of the sea, expressing gratitude for their presence and blessings in your life.

-Purifying Ceremony (Native American tribes) Sweat Lodge: The experience includes prayer, song, and meditation in a hot lodge with steam. The intense heat and steam create a purifying and purging environment. This ceremony brings about introspection and self-reflection as each person confronts physical discomfort and mental challenges. That encourages the person to ask questions about their life journey, relationships, struggles, and aspirations. Consider using a hot sauna with some of the same techniques and questions for deep introspection and cleansing.

-Questioning and introspection (Taoism) A central concept of Taoist philosophy, where practitioners seek to align themselves with the natural order (Tao) by constantly examining their beliefs and behaviors. Find a comfortable place to sit or stand and pay attention to your surroundings. Allow the elements and energies to dictate your thoughts and next actions. Use the world around you to continue forward.

4. Seek Feedback
Ask for feedback from trusted friends, family members, or mentors. They may offer perspectives that we hadn't considered, helping us see yourself more clearly.

-Sheikh or Murshid (Islam) Spiritual Advisor or Mentor: In Islam, seeking feedback from a mentor or spiritual advisor is a common practice. Consider discussing topics related to your life journey and purpose with a trusted individual with expertise in the area you feel connected to.

Elders or Spiritual Leaders (Native American Spirituality) Indigenous cultures often emphasize community and interconnectedness. Seeking feedback from elders or spiritual leaders is a way to honor traditional wisdom and gain insights about one's place in the community and the natural world. Think about seeking out advice from elders within your family and discussing ideas surrounding their beliefs about the journey of life.

-Socratic Questioning (Philosophy) Practice of Philosophical Dialogue: A method of seeking feedback and gaining insight into one's beliefs and understanding of the world. Find a trusted person to have an open dialogue conversation with. Consider deep thought-provoking questions about life, including the meaning and changes that are experienced.

5. Emotional Awareness
Paying attention to our emotions and trying to understand their underlying causes can help us become more attuned to our inner workings and how they impact our actions.

-As Above, So Below (Hermeticism) Self-Reflection Ritual: Create a daily ritual where you pause to reflect on the interconnectedness of your inner world (microcosm) and the outer world (macrocosm). Consider how your thoughts and actions ripple out into the greater cosmos.

 -ìwàpẹ̀lẹ̀ (Ifá) Emphasizes understanding and balancing emotions through rituals, prayers, and offerings to Orishas (deities). Emotional awareness is typically nurtured through practices aimed at deeper self-awareness, empathy, and compassion, Try creating a daily routine that helps bring balance in your life like scheduling in a nature walk and a prayer at the same time each day.

-Spiritual Baths (Caribbean Beliefs) Purification Ritual: Incorporate spiritual baths into your self-care routine. Before bathing, infuse the water with herbs, flowers, or essential oils known for their cleansing and protective properties. As you soak, visualize negative energies being released from your body, leaving you feeling refreshed and aligned.

6. Body Awareness
Engaging in activities that promote mind-body connection help you gain deeper awareness of both our physical and mental states.

-Hitbodedut (Judaism) Solo Meditation: Practice solitary meditation, by finding a quiet space where you can be alone with your thoughts. Allow yourself to be present with whatever comes to mind, without judgment or attachment to "why" or "what it means".

-Hatha Yoga: Focuses on bringing an awareness of the body through physical postures (asanas) and breath control (pranayama) to promote physical health and spiritual well-being. Look up a short sequence of Hath Yoga poses to do in order to have a stronger body-mind connection.

-Qigong and Neigong (Tao) Internal Alchemy: Increases an awareness of the body's energy (Qi) through movement, breathwork, and visualization to harmonize mind, body, and spirit. As you meditate or sit quietly think about the energy moving through your body. Visualizing your energy in flow with your breaths to align your mind, body, and spirit.

7. Self-Study
Deliberate and systematic exploration of our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, behaviors, and motivations with the aim of gaining deeper insight into ourselves helps us become self-aware.

-Itá (Santeria) Divination Tools: Whether it's tarot cards, runes, or another divination tool, use them as a means of introspection and self-discovery. Reflect on the insights gained and how they relate to your life path.

-Lectio Divina (Christianity) Mindful Reading: Practice mindful reading of any text, not just sacred texts. Slow down, pay attention to each word, and reflect on its meaning and relevance to your life.

-Svadhyaya (Jainism) Self Study: Jain philosophy emphasizes self-study as a means of self-awareness and spiritual growth. Track your activities for a day or week and then look for any patterns that might indicate a deeper meaning of you and your life journey.


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