A friend approached me one day and said, “I don’t know how I would respond if I ever faced having to deal with a tragedy in my life.” As I listened to these words, I began to wonder how I would answer the same question. It is possible that we do not know what we would do under certain conditions, perhaps we don’t know ourselves to the extent that we don’t give this much thought? Take a moment and ponder this statement; there is so much that we don’t know about ourselves. If you are one of the blessed ones that knows yourself completely, then it’s possible that this writing will be irrelevant, otherwise, then it may be worth your time.
Our life’s journey provides us with multiple opportunities to discover ourselves -if only we stop and listen- to the people that surround us, the circumstances we live in (both the good and challenging) the environment that surrounds us among many other things. As we live our daily lives we grow, quietly and subtlety, but grow nonetheless, and if we are paying attention we will know ourselves through the days and circumstances we face. When we stop and consider all of our experiences, to become aware of what we are doing – right now, like reading this Primer, we become “conscious” of oneself and we become present; no better way to get to know ourselves than to be constantly “present”. That is when we are most in touch with ourselves, and how we gradually discover who we are.
Here are some steps to How we can get to know more about ourselves; these are some things to consider:
• Step outside your comfort zone- We engage into our comfort primarily due to our natural pursuit of safety. We are naturally prone to pursue our safe place, our security, on occasion to the point of omission of living. The more we abide by a routine -to do the familiar- the more we are in a place of comfort, and the less we are present. Require yourself to do things differently, such as taking a different route home after work every day to be spontaneous.
• Listening to our inner heart – We are products of a culture that places a premium on our intellect, perhaps at the expense of our emotional voice- that still, small voice that some of us on occasion ignore. You may call it intuition or gut feeling or instinct, take your pick. Yet, if listened to, it will not steer you wrong. As we listen to our instinct, we awaken our sense of spontaneity and in the process discover some of the joys of such living that it will awaken joys that we may have not felt otherwise.
• Meditation – This is indeed a powerful and yet simple process to surface our inner higher self. Take a moment every morning and pause even for just a few minutes, perhaps five or ten minutes- close your eyes, inhale by the count of four through your nostrils, hold your breath for four seconds and exhale through your mouth by the count of four. Repeat this four to six times (what may be comfortable) and you will feel relaxed. This action will be a great start to your day and will provide greater clarity, help surface your best self and help you discover the jewels of each day.
• True to yourself – It is said that we are products of our environment, here is the paradox: we are a product of the very environment that we create or over which we have influence. These are the times that we must take a pause and determine if what we are doing is a product of habit, or a deliberate and conscious initiative from our creative selves.
Dare to dream, even if it is contrary to conventional thinking or expectation. Allow for your aspirations to surface and give them energy- especially if they resonate with your inner heart.