Self-awareness is a process of self-discovery. It is a process of finding the treasures that lie within your inner-self. Embark in the journey of becoming aware of the fascinating being that you are.
For easy navigation of this article, included table of content below
- 1 Introduction
- 2 What is Self? Eternal inner Self and Temporary Self
- 3 What is Soul?
- 4 Where is the Soul?
- 5 What does self-awareness mean?
- 6 What is emotional self-awareness?
- 7 Why is self-awareness important?
- 7.1 Why self-awareness of thoughts, emotions and beliefs are important?
- 7.2 Why is self-awareness of repeating patterns important?
- 7.3 Why is self-awareness of judgments important?
- 7.4 Why is self-awareness of values important?
- 7.5 What are values?
- 7.6 What are core values?
- 7.7 What are competing values?
- 7.8 What are societal values?
- 7.9 What are positive values?
- 7.10 Why is self-awareness of desires important?
- 8 How to increase self-awareness?
- 9 What is mindfulness? Mindfulness techniques
- 10 Closing paragraphs
Since ancient times this concept have been discussed. It is so important that it was inscribed in a temple in Greece as “Know thyself”. Philosophers Socrates and Plato have included “know thyself” quotes in their writings. Know thyself also appears in the bible. Know thyself means knowing yourself, and self-awareness is another word for it. Chinese philosopher Lau-Tzu said “It is wisdom to know others, it is enlightenment to know one’s self”.
What is Self? Eternal inner Self and Temporary Self
To properly cover the meaning of Self, we need to address the two main aspects of the Self: Eternal Self or Inner Self and Temporary Self.
Eternal Self is an individualized expression of the infinitive and eternal Oneness of the Universe/Source/God that is ALL. Each individualized expression of Source has free will and, at the same time, it is always connected with ALL.
The individualized expression of Source, that we are, is what we call our eternal soul or spiritual heart. We, as souls, choose the parents we are born into and therefore the society and culture. We do that with the intention of having certain experiences. The intentions are very complex and numerous, but the bottom line, is that we choose with our free will. Then, when we re-incarnate, usually we forget our past life experiences. In addition, our souls also have the option of choosing non-physical experiences in other planes of existence and dimensions.
Inner Self is another way to describe the Eternal Self. It is our soul or spiritual heart. The quote from the bible “The kingdom of God is within” refers to the Source spark that is within each of us.
Temporary Self is our personal identity of a given physical lifetime. It is what most of us believe who we are. Some elements that comprise our temporary Self or physical Self are our name, our physical body, our gender, our profession, our age.
What is Soul?
I learned from Julius that Soul is the emotional processor of thought. Source expands itself through the experiences of our souls.
In our language, often time, we use the word Soul to mean something emotional. For example: Soul to Soul means a connection that occurs at an emotional level. Soul music is a genre of music that evokes deep emotions. Soulful music refers to music that stirs up emotions in our inner self (it moves us internally).
If you are wondering who is my spiritual teacher Julius, you might want to check out the story of Brad and Kasey who channel a high-light energy group called Julius.
Where is the Soul?
During our human physical lives, our soul is located in the area of our physical heart. For this reason the words Soul and Heart are used interchangeably to refer to the light energy that is our eternal soul. In other words, soul means spiritual heart.
We can distinguish in the context of a phrase whether or not the word “heart” is being used for the physical heart or the spiritual heart. The following phrases refer to the Soul or Spiritual heart: “Heart based business”, “Desires of the heart”, “ Pulling the strings of our heart”, “Healing a broken heart”
What does self-awareness mean?
The meaning of self-awareness is being consciously aware of the different elements that play into the different aspects of our life. These elements are our thoughts, beliefs, emotions, repeating patterns, judgments, values and desires. Self-awareness means paying attention to your inner-self. It means spending time inward and having curiosity of all these elements that are running your life.
Self-awareness means knowing who you are, not only knowing the temporary self you, but more importantly the eternal self you. The journey of self-discovery of your eternal self is a process of gaining spiritual awareness.
What is emotional self-awareness?
Emotional self-awareness is becoming consciously aware of our emotions and emotional triggers. To become aware we need to pay attention to the entire range of emotions we experience.
There is a famous 3 words quote by mythologist Joseph Campbell “Follow your bliss”. This quote is full of wisdom and seemingly simply. However very few human beings are consistently in a state of bliss, which is intense happiness.
To be able to follow our bliss, first we need to become emotionally self-aware. We need to be consciously aware of the painful emotions and the high frequency emotions (bliss, peace, love etc.) that we experience day to day; as well as what trigger us. Once we become emotionally self-aware, we can start following our bliss by re-arranging our lives to do more of what trigger in us high frequency emotions and heal/clear/transmute from our field the painful emotions. Let us know elaborate on the reason we get stuck with painful emotions and what we can do about it.
Why do we get stuck with negative emotions?
Our souls courageously decided to play in this dense physical dimension of duality to gain a higher understanding and appreciation of the high frequency emotions (positive emotions) by experiencing the contrast of the low frequency emotions (toxic/ painful/ negative emotions). In other words, experiencing painful emotions is part of the journey of our Souls; however, if we know how, we can move through them and out of them quickly and gain wisdom in the process of doing so.
The issue is that in a society of lack of emotional self-awareness, we get stuck with the negative emotions for decades and even lifetimes. The other reason we get stuck with toxic negative emotions is that, in our society, the information and tools of how to navigate out of our toxic negative emotions is not included in our education system. If each of us become aware of our emotions and learn to allow and transmute the toxic emotions, there will be more peace, happiness, collaboration, harmony and compassion on this planet.
Allowing the painful emotions means that when they arise we give our undivided attention to them by feeling the sensations in our bodies. Allowing is also means not judging them as being bad, not pushing against them. Allowing means not judging ourselves for being triggered and reacting with a toxic emotion. Most of us carry for decades, toxic emotions that were uploaded in our childhood. Society in general is geared toward suppressing emotions. Emotional equanimity is valued and then to comply we suppress our emotions.
When we suppress and/or judge a painful emotion, it gets trapped in our field. Then we become attractors of people and situations that will trigger us to experience again and again the painful emotion. Metaphorically speaking the toxic emotion is like a hurt child that gets louder and louder to get our attention and love. Interestingly when we direct our attention and shine love to the toxic emotion, then the door is open for the emotion to be released. There are numerous techniques to clear toxic emotions. My favorite clearing toxic emotions technique is the Antidote process.
Once you heal the wounds of the past by clearing your toxic emotions from your field and repairing your core fractures, it becomes effortless to follow your bliss. You will embrace higher levels of self-love and self-worth. As a consequence, you will allow yourself to do more activities that you love. In addition, smaller things that you had taken for granted and ignored before, become triggers of happiness. Then, as you pay attention with your awareness to the wonderful high frequency emotions, they get amplified as your soul generates pure bliss.
What is soul searching? How to do soul searching?
Soul searching is to find the joy and love that is the essence and core of your soul. Your soul is a courageous divine light of source purity and love. Soul searching is to find your way back to the purity and love of your soul by following your bliss and passion.
The process of soul searching is the same as the process of increasing your self-awareness. Please see, further down in this article, suggested practices in how to increase your self-awareness. Your soul is the generator of emotions, in response to thoughts. To find your soul, you need to become very aware of the emotional responses of your soul. To align with your soul, you need to choose thoughts and activities that light you up and make you feel good. In other words, you need to follow your bliss and passion.
Why is self-awareness important?
In today modern society we have become extremely externally focused. We are overwhelmed with information about others and the external world. Through social media we follow celebrities and friends, we pay attention to what others are doing and thinking while we completely neglect our inner world.
As we stay unaware of our inner world, we feel that life is just happening to us. Often time we feel victims of our external life events and circumstances. When we ignore our inner self we become powerless. One of the “Know Thyself quotes” by Socrates states, “The unexamined Life is not worth living”. This quote emphatically points to the importance of self-awareness.
Self-awareness is not only important, it is essential if you desire to steer your life in the direction of higher level of happiness, health, wealth, fulfillment and alignment with your Soul. In other words, if you desire to change or improve any area of your life, the first step is to become conscious of where do you stand now in regards to the elements that influence or moreover create your life. You might not be aware that you are creating/manifesting your life. If you don’t, you are doing it unconsciously as most people on this planet.
Because this Universe operates per the Law of attraction; you are surrounded by people, circumstances, opportunities etc., that are a frequency match to the vibrational frequency that you are generating from the inside out. In other words, you are creating your life through the frequencies you are generating and emitting. Your manifestations are a function of the thoughts your brain accepts and the emotion your Soul generates. What can be more important than self-awareness of your thoughts and emotions?
Why self-awareness of thoughts, emotions and beliefs are important?
Your vibrational frequency that creates your life is generated by your Soul by adding an emotion to the thought that your brain accepted. Each thought-emotion has a vibrational frequency that is felt through our bodies and is broadcasted out. Then the Universe brings us opportunities that are a match of our vibrational frequency.
Your brain filters thoughts based on your belief system. The first step to start upgrading your thoughts, emotions and beliefs is to have self-awareness of them. Once you do that and start the upgrading process, your outer world will reflect it. In addition, being self-aware allows you to be the director of your movie called your life.
Why is self-awareness of repeating patterns important?
When you examine your painful life experiences and notice that there are common patterns that are repeated, it is an indication that will help you identify toxic emotions and limiting beliefs that are a high priority for you to work on.
Being betrayed by romantic partners and/or business partners repeatedly is an example of a repeating pattern. The common theme is being betrayed.
Repeating patterns are screaming to be healed, for that reason is important to become aware of them.
Why is self-awareness of judgments important?
If you have read or heard any Law of Attraction material, it is very likely you are already familiar with the phrase “What you resist, persist”.
When you judge as bad a situation in your life, you are causing the situation to persist with your resistance. The reason is that you are feeding energy to the situation with your judgment.
Therefore, the first step to dissolve from your physical reality an unwanted situation is to become aware that you are judging it as bad. The second step is to move into neutrality. The third step is to keep your attention and focus in what you desire to create.
So far we touched on the importance of becoming aware of judgments of the circumstances of our life. The other aspect, which is even more important, is gaining self-awareness of our judgments, first toward us and second toward others.
When you judge others, you are judging yourself at some level. This might not make sense to you. However, each time you find judging somebody else, asks yourself: “When have I judge myself for the same reason that I am judging him or her?” You might be surprised.
On the other hand, you might already be very self-aware of the judgments toward self. You might know very well that you have a tendency to beat yourself up. This is an indication that you uploaded to your field toxic emotions (shame, guilt, self-rejection, self-loathing). Then the next step for you would be to make an inventory of life events that contributed for you to become self-critical and clear the toxic emotions of those events.
Some people might say that being self-critical is positive because it is a motivator to become better. Although there is some truth about this statement, it is also true that is much more fulfilling and enjoyable to grow and become better from inspiration rather than motivation. Inspiration never comes out of self-judgment; rather is a result of self-awareness, self-love, self-acceptance and alignment to your magnificent inner light.
Why is self-awareness of values important?
Our values influence greatly our decisions and our priorities in life. Most of us have acquired values from our family and society and never question them. Self- questioning to become aware of our authentic values is essential for our happiness and fulfillment.
What are values?
Values are ways of being, acting and spending your time and energy that you deem important and valuable.
Your values encompass all your relationships starting with the relationship with yourself. Relationships also include the ways you relate to other people, animals, plants, nature etc.
Most of us keep most of our values for long periods of time. However, some of our values change with time. This is more so when we embark on a journey of self-discovery.
What are core values?
Core values are the ways of being that we value and therefore are important and desirable to us. Core values are the ways of being that makes us feel a certain emotion. Our inner core (soul) generates emotions and we feel in our bodies the vibrations of those emotions.
Examples of core values are: Being kind, being peaceful, being joyful, being delighted, being authentic, being healthy, being fit, being optimistic etc.
Each state of being is tied to emotions, which in turn feels a certain way in our body.
What are competing values?
Competing values are related to two or more activities that you consider important that are competing for your time and energy. Sometimes you might find yourself with the challenge of how to allocate your time to do all the activities that seem equally important and valuable.
However, gaining self-awareness of your values will help you gain clarity of your priorities. The deeper you go with the self-questioning of your values, the more insight you will gain. The insights will help you to set your priorities with greater ease.
What are societal values?
Societal values are the ways of being and acting that we learn from others that is important. As children and even as adults, we take on and accept values from family, school, community, religion, society, culture, and media.
Unfortunately, often time, the societal values are embedded with heavy dose of requirements and agendas that might not be congruent with our inner core being.
In the process of self-discovery, the most important aspect of gaining self-awareness of your values is to gain clarity of your authentic values. In other words, becoming aware of which values, you are living by, are aligned with your inner core being (soul) and which ones are not. Then you can start moving the balance toward being and acting in congruency of your authentic values, also called positive values, and therefore moving in the direction of more happiness and fulfillment.
What are positive values?
Positive values are ways of being and acting that are important to you because it contributes to move you in the direction of one or more high vibrational emotions (positive emotions) of peace, joy, freedom, love, fulfillment, contentment etc. Positive values are authentic and are aligned with your soul.
On the other hand, we make un-authentic values important to us based on fear (fear of judgment, fear of what others might say or think, fear of rejection etc.). For example, we might have accepted some un-authentic values to gain acceptance of our families, peers and communities, because of fear of rejection, fear of loneliness, fear of failure etc.
Why is self-awareness of desires important?
Desires are anything and everything that you desire to be, to do, or to have. A desire is important to you; however it has not been manifested yet.
Of course you know that the first step to initiate the process of manifesting your desires is to identify them. It is important to reach clarity of your desires in the different areas of life and the “why” of each of your desires.
The reasons behind your desires are very important. Question yourself; go deep.
If you do not identify the “why” of your desires, you might spend decades chasing the wrong desire. You want to avoid spending a lot of effort and time to achieve the realization of a desire and then find out that is not giving you the fulfillment that you expected.
During the process of self-discovery ask yourself all the questions that you can think of. Some examples of journaling prompts for self-discovery of your desires are provided in one of the next segments of this article.
How to increase self-awareness?
Increasing self-awareness is a process of self-discovery and self-questioning through activities such as journaling and mindfulness.
What is journaling?
Journaling is a great tool to increase self-awareness of your thoughts, beliefs, emotions, repeating patterns, judgments, values and desires. Journaling is writing down the flow of your thoughts. It can be free writing where you just capture on paper the thoughts that pass through your mind without any specific intention or direction. Or it can be more structured journaling by answering self-discovery questions that act as journaling prompts. Both alternatives are very helpful in the process of self-discovery to gain self-awareness.
How to practice journaling throughout the day?
Carry a small notebook and jot down, several times during the day, thoughts and emotions as they arise. Pause and ask yourself: What am I thinking? What am I feeling? What body sensations am I feeling in response to the thoughts and emotions I am having?
Make a note whenever you catch yourself judging yourself or others. Also write down any limiting beliefs as they arise in your mind.
Do that until you notice the patterns of the same or similar thoughts, beliefs, judgments and emotions.
The benefit of this way of journaling is that it will give you a panoramic view of the building blocks of your vibrational frequency that you are broadcasting and creating your reality from. The awareness of it will empower you to start upgrading your beliefs and emotions and therefore your thoughts.
How to practice self-questioning? Examples of journaling prompts (get to know me questions)
Once you have identified the patterns and predominant thoughts, beliefs, emotions and judgments through journaling as described above, it is time to draw out your inner wisdom by self-questioning on how to improve.
You can imagine, there is 2 parts of you, one that is asking the questions and then a wiser you with a broader and higher perspective answering the questions. Journal the answers by hand writing in a free flow. Do not edit your writing; just allow the answers to flow.
Some examples of journaling prompts for your self-questioning process are:
- Which of my predominant thoughts, beliefs and emotions aligned with the life I desire to create?
- How can I turn around my thoughts and emotions from non-beneficial to uplifting?
- When did I buy into this limiting belief? What would be a more empowering version of the belief that would benefit me?
- What evidences can I gather to start accepting the empowering belief as truth?
- What positive thoughts can I focus on to illicit uplifting emotions?
- How can I view the present situation of my life under a more optimistic lens?
- What can I learn from the stories of my life?
- How can I use the stories and lessons of my life to help others?
- What common denominators (repeating patterns) can I identify from my stories and life experiences?
- How can I embrace the perspective that all of my experiences have served me to learn, grow and expand?
- How can I embrace the light and love that I am?
- How can I embrace the higher truth of the infinite magnificent being that I am?
- How can I be more loving toward myself?
The above list of journaling prompts, are provided to get you started in your self-discovery process. Please feel free to customize the questions and/or create new ones that suit you best.
Be patience, it might take multiple journaling attempts to start to get some answers. In any case, even if you do not get answers, just writing down the questions set the intention to the Universe and to your non-conscious mind.
To help you shift into more optimistic, thoughts and emotions, engage in the practice of intentionally focusing on noticing on what is beautiful and uplifting in your environment and focusing on what you can feel grateful for.
Examples of journaling prompts as questions for self-discovery of your values and desires
The other aspect of journaling to gain self-awareness is to use self-questioning of your values and desires.
For each area of your life and each relationship ask yourself, the following questions:
- What are my values as it relates to ——–?
- What are the ways of being and acting that are important to me in relationship with———? Why is important to me?
- How does it make me feel being and acting according to this value?
- How does it make me feel when other people act toward me according to this value?
- What do I desire in this area of my life? Why? How would it make me feel?
- Why this desire is important to me?
- What emotions I would feel when I manifest my desire?
- How and how much the manifestation of this desire contributes to increase my wellbeing?
- How the manifestation of my desire contributes to the good of my family, others, the world and myself?
- Is this a soul desire that aligns with following my bliss and passion? In other words, is the thought of this desire being physicalized lights me up?
Since values and desires change overtime, periodically review and update them. Make journaling about your thoughts, emotions, judgments and beliefs a regular practice. Make gratitude journaling a daily practice.
Journaling is a great way for you to monitor the progress of your journey into increasing levels of self-awareness and progressively higher levels of consciousness.
Benefits of journaling
Journaling is a key tool for your process of developing self-awareness. Some specific potential benefits of journaling are:
- Gaining access to your inner wisdom to help you in: making decisions, problem solving, following your bliss etc.
- Increase creativity by tapping into higher levels of your intelligence
- Developing self-awareness of your beliefs, thoughts, emotions and repeating patterns. The self-discovery process of where you are at is the first step to upgrade your life.
- Developing self-awareness of your values and desires. It helps you to align with your authentic self.
- Discovering your passions and purpose
- Translate your life experiences and lessons into inspirational stories to help others
- Capture on paper the trajectory of your journey. This serves as inspiration and celebration of your own progress when you read earlier chapters of your journey
- Raise your vibrational frequency through gratitude journaling
What is mindfulness? Mindfulness techniques
Mindfulness is the practice of living in the Now. Mindfulness is giving your undivided attention to the present moment, without judging. During the practice of mindfulness you are the curious, non-judgmental observer of the thoughts of your mind, the emotions of your heart and sensations of your body.
Our minds have a tendency to be living in the past or future. Unfortunately often time our minds are replaying past experiences with regrets and playing out the future loaded with worries. This contributes to stress and anxiety.
The practice of mindfulness is choosing to bring back your attention to the moment of Now. A way to do that is through meditation. In a typical mindfulness meditation, you do belly breathing while you pay attention to the breathing, to the body sensations and to the space and stillness between the breaths. As thoughts rise, you just let them pass as clouds on the sky without any judgment and take back your attention to your breathing.
Another technique to practice mindfulness is contemplation of nature in the present moment. If any thoughts of past or future arise, just return to the present moment, without judgment. Focus your attention on what you are looking at and to the vibration of your body or feeling of your body.
You can also practice mindfulness during various daily activities, such as showering, washing dishes, eating, listening to music, walking etc. You do that by feeling the sensations of your body, while focusing in the present moment.
How to practice mindfulness to increase your self-awareness?
When your focus and attention is in the present moment without judgment, you are observing and noticing your body sensations that arise in response to different sensory or thought stimulus. For example: How does it feel like the air rushing into my nostrils? How does it feel like looking at this yellow flower? How does it feel like the smell of the rain? How does processing this thought make me feel? Etc.
An effective way to increase self-awareness is as follows:
- Find a list of emotions that you can easily access, print or bookmark in your mobile or computer
- Several times during the day, get into the state of mindfulness and ask yourself “How am I feeling?
- What emotions am I feeling? Where in my body I feel the emotion?
- Go through the list of emotions and find the emotion or emotions that best describe the way you are feeling
- Write down the emotion/s and the thought and/or sensory stimulus.
- Ask yourself, what is the belief that is underlining this thought?
This self-awareness exercise helps you to get in touch with the emotions of your soul and become more conscious of choosing thoughts and experiences that feel good.
You are the center of your Universe. This might sound an overstatement but it is truth. Your vibrational frequency that emanates from your inner core is broadcasted out and the Universe mirrors you back opportunities and people that match your vibrational frequency. In other words, you are creating your reality from your inner core; therefore you are the center of your Universe. Your beliefs, thoughts and emotions are the fabric of your Universe. This means that it is wise for you to be for yourself the most interesting and fascinating person in the Universe.
Practicing self-awareness is not selfish or arrogant. On the contrary, as you become more loving and accepting toward yourself, you will become more loving and accepting toward others. In addition, as you embrace the perspective that you are the center of your Universe, you will recognize that the same is applicable to everybody else. You will inspire others to embrace self-awareness and discover the treasures that lie in their inner self.
Stop paying so much attention to the outside world, to the social media, to the news. I am not saying to completely isolate yourself. However, do make it a high priority to increase your self-awareness. Make it a high priority to discovery who you are beyond your identity of gender, family role and profession. Give high priority to discover your authentic values and desires. Make it a high priority to be aware of what lights you up. It is the path to happiness. It is the path to discover your greatness. May your greatness be revealed to you and the world!