Who are you? What makes you who you are? Where did you come from? Where do you go when you die? How much control, if any, do you have over your life? These and many more questions present themselves as we move along life’s journey.
Rather than have a set of rules, dogmas, or restrictive beliefs, those who search for an understanding of the natural flow of life are searching for themselves. They are looking for their essence. I happen to call that Tao.
We seek self-awareness—an understanding of our own talents, gifts, skills, wants, wishes, urges, beliefs, emotions, and everything else that seems to define us.
In seeking to understand our natural self, our essence, self-awareness is the path to change.
If you don’t become aware of how you act, what you say, how you affect others, you can’t change yourself. If you don’t become aware of your needs and wants and desires, you can’t seek them out. The more self-aware you are, the more aligned are your choices. When you cultivate self-awareness, you make choices that are aligned with your core self.
Observe the signs of your essence
Your world reflects your essence. You can understand your natural self when you become aware of your thoughts and actions and begin to make conscious choices about what you think and say. Your essence is reflected in how others respond or react to you. You can observe the responses you get and then make changes in yourself that alter those responses.
Become clear on what you believe. Where did those beliefs come from? From school? From your family? From your past? Do they serve you in your present awareness? Do you want to keep those beliefs? Think about releasing or redefining your beliefs so they are aligned with your current values.
What do you want to change about yourself, and how do you do that? Observing your own thoughts and feelings is a key component of self-awareness.
If I do this, what will happen? If I do that, how will things be different? What is keeping me from moving forward? What am I doing way over here? Questioning goes with observing. If something is working well in your life, observe it, figure out how you helped make that happen and do more of it. If, on the other hand, it’s something you don’t like, figure out what made it happen and stop doing that. We have the choice. Question your choices and keep them aligned with the direction you want to go.
Explore your essence
How do we do that? Well, we can explore our essence through stillness, the various forms of our spiritual practice. Meditate, do yoga or Qi Gong, or walk reflectively in nature. Journal, mind-map, or have philosophical conversations with others. How are you learning about the possibilities in the path you are on? How are you learning about the essence of your natural self?
You are on your own unique path
You are on a journey that only you can take. What it looks and feels like begins and ends with you. You will interact with others on your path. You will learn from them; you will teach them. Some you will walk with for a while; others you will avoid. Some you will lead, others you will follow. But the specific path you take is yours alone. How you walk your path will inspire and motivate others.
How you walk your path is the expression of your essence. Walk it mindfully.
To Sing a Deeper Song consider:
06– Unfolding And The Art Of Wu Wei (podcast, 20 minutes)
14- How Strong is the Foundation You Build On (podcast, 20 minutes)
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