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September is self-awareness month and since self-awareness has truly changed every single aspect of my life, I felt compelled to write!
Fifteen years ago, I was in a marriage not supportive of who I wanted to become, I was unable to work due to chronic pain and seven years of chronic disease, and was mostly unhappy and in fear of how bad my health would get as I was told I would wind up in a wheelchair.
I also had relationships around me that were not a reflection of self-love.
My life now looks completely different and I attribute every single change to self-awareness. I have been healthy and in no pain for 15 years. I have been in a beautiful, loving, supportive relationship with my partner for over seven years. I have become an internationally best-selling published author and have the career of my dreams where I get to help people discover their own inner power and abilities every single day.
I have aligned relationships that continue to inspire me. Every single aspect of our lives can change when we begin to become self-aware of the limits, habits, and behaviors presently in our lives and know we truly deserve better.
Here are a few of the steps I used and continue to use that help me create my life with self-awareness.
Man oh man, we speak so horribly to ourselves. Worse than we would ever speak to a loved one or a pet!
Starting to become aware of our self-talk is critical for changing our lives. If a child was spoken to in a disempowering way their whole life, they probably would wind up disempowered.
I was even beating myself up when I was sick. I was telling myself I was not a good enough mom, wife, friend, daughter, and so much more. I was mad at my body and so concentrated on repeating to my body how much pain I was in. I know firsthand how attention-getting pain of any sort is, but when we focus on it, we are sending it energy and are almost subconsciously asking it to expand.
By changing my focus to what parts of my body were not in pain and by thanking my body for all the years it had supported me, my energy and therefore my cells changed.
By telling myself I was doing the best I could do in the moment, it truly allowed for me to begin to feel empowered instead of disempowered. I began to feel like I actually did have some control over my life.
Exercise for self-talk:
Set a timer on your phone or clock for a few times a day. When the timer goes off notice what you were saying to yourself for the last five minutes. Was it empowering? If not, be gentle with yourself and ask yourself what you can replace that dialogue with. You can also do this at any time of day when it comes to mind: ask yourself, “Where am I?” Meaning, where are my thoughts? Am I in the present moment or am I lamenting the past or worrying about the future?
Self-awareness means pulling yourself back to present moment as often as possible—that is where your power lies.
I often say this was the most powerful tool for my healing. Humans have about 60,000 thoughts a day, 95 percent of the same exact ones as the day before and 80 percent are negative. That leaves a lot of wiggle room for growth and awareness.
When we pay gratitude for something we are saying:
1. Life is good after all.
2. We appreciate being on this planet.
3. We deserve goodness.
Gratitude opens the door for more to be grateful for. Paying gratitude to another will lift their spirits and help them feel validated. Paying gratitude for yourself will empower you! We tend to have no problem berating ourselves for something we did, but to sit in gratitude for ourselves can be downright uncomfortable. It is a pattern and one well worth turning your self-awareness to and changing. That way, you are sending out the energy of gratitude and that life is more than just okay.
Exercise for gratitude:
This exercise will take three minutes and can even be done in the shower!
I want you to name:
1. One thing you are grateful to yourself for.
2. One person or pet you are grateful for.
3. Something in your life you are grateful for.
When you do this exercise, I want you to do each for one minute and sink into the emotion and your senses. For example, if you have a hobby you love or if you have been a caregiver for someone or if you love animals, sink into what that means for you to have that quality and really give yourself credit for that.
Bring in every sense—what does that look like, feel like, sound like? Bring your whole awareness to that object of attention of what you feel grateful for. Do the same for the other person and for the thing in your life you are grateful for.
3. Energy and Breath
We and everything else on this planet are made of energy. Yet we rarely stop to marvel in it. We might walk into a room and sense it doesn’t feel good or go into a favorite restaurant or store or spend time with someone we love and notice how we love the energy.
But rarely will we stop, becoming totally aware of our energy and decide how we want to harness it. The same goes with breath—we breathe on autopilot and don’t usually bring our attention to our breath. Tuning in to see if we are breathing heavily or even holding our breath can allow us to become self-aware of what our body is feeling.
Harness energy and breath together and you can truly tune in deeply to your body and use that information to bring in a lot more peace.
Exercise for energy and breath:
My favorite easy breathing technique is box breathing where you inhale in for a count of four, hold for four, exhale for four, and hold for four. This exercise was given to the Navy Seals to relax and quell anxiety and is a wonderful way to sink into your breath and bring in peace.
After you do this for a bit (at least three rounds of the 4-4-4-4 count), please rub your hands together palms facing for a minute with your eyes closed. When that minute is over, place your hands a few inches apart and move them toward and away each other, feeling the energy between them. Smile, feeling and sinking into how cool it feels. If you do not feel energy, simply rub your hands together again.
Whether your hands are feeling tingles, warmth, or another sensation, notice and place them on your heart. Feel that energy going into your heart and imagine that energy expanding to cover your whole body. Bring the energy to any part of your body that might have been experiencing pain or discomfort and thank the energy for spreading warmth in that area.
As you are feeling your energy, intend your breath to stay slow and steady. Stay in this space of warmth and play with the energy in your body. Smile and become childlike, noticing how beautiful it feels to become aware of your breath and energy.
Thank yourself for taking this time to become so self-aware. There are so many tools you can use to increase your self-awareness. I promise you if you utilize these three tools daily for a week, you will feel a shift. They take five minutes each and I think we all have 15 minutes a day to dedicate to our self-awareness. I have seen my life continue to change using these tools.
We all can use more self-awareness and love in this world. You deserve all the goodness that comes with this awareness and my wishes are that you receive it with open arms!