Content by: Deanna Niceski - Accredited Exercise Physiologist
For thousands of years those yoga gurus and ancient monk traditions have felt like ‘poppycock’ to most, but if you can have a radically open mind, they might be the answer to awakening your self-awareness. When you look around, you see most people stuck in an everlasting rut of forced routine and constant (mostly negative) habits. You see zombies on autopilot who have lost control of their actions, reactions and emotions. We shift responsibility and are completely unaware, functioning in our own little world.
Self- awareness essentially is about being aware and confident in who you are. We always hear the phrase, “stay true to yourself”, but how the hell do we do that when we don’t know who we are? Perception opens us up to opportunities we couldn’t see before, and by understanding our essence, our weaknesses, strengths and patterns we unlock a new level of us.
There is endless content and information available out there on consciousness and awareness that’s easily accessible. Have you ever googled something relevant then out of nowhere you’re on YouTube watching videos of dancing lamas for 15 minutes? That’s a perfect example of avoidance and distraction which is the embodiment of Mark Manson’s Level 1 of self-awareness. Becoming aware of your distractions and reducing the numbness dulling your reality is the first thing to develop, and like anything practice makes perfect. Shift your attention and focus on what your interruptions are to create an understanding of why things are happening and to open your mind to a whole new perspective of the world. This is the beginning of you de-zombifying and Waking Up!
Now in Level 2 it starts to get uncomfortable, What the hell are you feeling? When we remove distractions, we must deal with emotions, and who wants to do that? Emotions can be quite overwhelming, especially if you love to bottle them all up and deflect. It’s very easy to go on a never-ending trail deep down, removing layers and layers of trapped emotions to the point you’re curled up in a ball, crying. We don’t want to go quite that far into it, but all we want to do is draw cognition and mindfulness to what we are feeling in a particular moment. We need to feel sensation but not go into sensation; don’t be it, acknowledge it and let it pass. Discover how you feel to understand why and what you need to control.
Level 3: What the hell are your blind spots? “Knowing our weaknesses to stop our weaknesses.” Don’t take yourself so seriously, learn your patterns, recognise the problems you create for yourself and be realistic. Addressing these will elevate your awareness levels and help you become more in tune and take responsibility for your actions. Easier said than done though right?
“Self-awareness is like great sex: everyone thinks they have a ton of it, but in reality, no one knows what the f#@k they’re doing.” – Mark Manson
John Amaral and Lauren Roxburgh discuss awareness through ‘Unlocking the energy that holds stress and causes pain’ in our body. They talk about bringing our awareness inwards to create change. “We can’t change what we can’t connect to.”
We are energetic beings and by reframing our relationship with pain we can change our consciousness from “I am the victim” to appreciating and thanking our body for showing, protecting and teaching. This shift in mindset can help create change in your life with emotional energy, body alignment and lifestyle transformation which leads to improved wellness and well-being (and that’s what it’s all about).
We all want to heal and be pain free (both emotionally and physically), have an amazing, adventurous and fulfilling life. Healing is about returning our energy to a free-flowing state and integrating it with information through our system and body. “We can’t create or destroy energy; it just transfers from one form to another”. Once we recognise that we have constant vibrating patterns of energy and we can find and feel any experience in a different way, we instantly shift. That is creating internal awareness (those gurus are starting to make sense).
It’s amazing, that light bulb moment where we just get it, the world aligns, and it all makes sense. The moment we’ve created awareness and can see experiences, perceptions, discussions and reactions on a different level, is bliss. Where we are communicating with ourselves, others and the world through ripples, connections and acoustic waves. Like I said, it’s definitely not easy (and at times we do need some help) but that feeling when we get it is worth it.
The 3 take-aways;
1. Express your emotions, tune into your feelings and let them move freely through your body. Let your sounds come out to expel unwanted energy and connect to the sweetness and depth of your soul. “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.”
2. Talk to yourself (maybe not too loudly in public). Ask yourself questions and be positive in how you treat your mind. Listen to your inner voice but also talk to your body, it’s your precious vessel in this world.
3. Reflect on your blind spots; no-one is perfect and we each have things to work on. Awareness is about growth and personal development.
With all this awareness and consciousness comes self-acceptance, and that’s a whole other chapter. We will get to that eventually, one thing at a time.