It is said that developing self-awareness constitutes some 90% of the journey of personal development. You are likely familiar with the disconcerting experiences of needing to deal with people lacking in self-awareness, or, conversely, the illuminating experience of dealing with a person of high self-awareness.
Too many parts of the world are at the throes of people beset with self-awareness blackout, which is a state of being disconnected from one’s human core, to the point where the facility of that life is hijacked by a feeding frenzy power that is alien to the very essence of humanity.
This is a big and complex subject, so this issue of the Fulcrum offers a grounded framework that would hopefully assist you in the thrilling process of developing self-awareness.
Part One: The Doorbell Analogy
Part Two: Five Key Practices
Consider your home’s doorbell. When it rings, it prompts an acute awareness of something that you expect or perhaps not. Who and what is at the door? An expected guest? The postman delivering a parcel? A volunteer asking for a donation? An unexpected visitor? A stranger? The neighbour seeking assistance in some matter? A friend popping by? Children fooling around? So many possibilities.
Whatever and whoever it is, the sound of a doorbell calls up your attention, increases the body’s metabolic rate and activates various combinations of inner formations relevant to handling the situation.
Now think about the postman bringing an important package, repeatedly ringing the doorbell, but alas, the noise levels at home are such that no one hears it. The postman then moves on with the undelivered package.
Now let’s take this to another level. The door has one bell. The human body, with its incredible range of physical and energy formations, accommodates countless inner ‘doorbells’. Each, with its own unique ‘sound’. And then, there are the externally sourced ‘bells’, some easily recognizable, many falling into the dog-whistle category.
How much of this vast spectrum of signals one picks up depends on one’s personal development and nature of alignment to living. Developing self-awareness – one’s personal guide and news service – lives at the heart of human development.
“As above, so below. If you want to study man, study the universe. If you want to study the universe, study man” Developing self-awareness is key to this process
The following five self-awareness practices, presented with brevity by way of five key question-contemplations, are organically inter-connected. Instead of being numbered, each is assigned a colour code. They are purposefully crafted to be open-ended.
Change is often preceded by unobtrusive signals and subtle gut feelings. The human possesses a remarkably sensitive perception and detection capacity. Consider for a moment noise pollution, light pollution, electro-smog pollution, atmospheric pollution, mental and emotional pollution… and all together now… Most people’s minds and processes are so interfered with, to the point of them missing out on much that crosses their sphere of clouded consciousness.
What stands out to me today? What stood out to me during the past week? What stands out to me about life and living?
A developing self-awareness makes life so much more interesting and meaningful
This is a tough one, isn’t it? How much do you perceive of the full spectrum of how you come across to others at any given point in time?
Thankfully, none of us is perfect and we are not meant to be. Next to developing impartiality and mental robustness, a good dose of self-humour and not taking oneself too seriously are essential to this awareness-building process. The closer a person is to her/his core and natural uniqueness, the more they do not mind exposing their (endearing) imperfections while being self-adjusting and self-correcting on the move.
A purpose-driven person is an ‘impact designer’, able to impartially perceive how they are coming across and determine the nature of impact she or he make on people around them.
Self-awareness enables the leader of self to be the author of one’s behaviour
Which diet is best for me? Which micro-nutrient is my body crying for? (The body thinks about food through the micro-nutrients required for its good maintenance; the person occupying the body mostly thinks about food through his/her emotional balances and educational DNA) What do I consume that chips away at my well-being, physically and mentally? What kind of impact is electrosmog having on the body? What kind of impact do chemicals such as artificial perfumes and food/beverage ‘enhancers’ have on the body?
Listening to what the body is trying to tell me today may prevent much aggravation tomorrow
You are likely familiar with the experience of trying to communicate a message of importance to someone, with the person’s reaction and behaviour making it abundantly clear that they are simply not getting it. Why not? Too big an ego; a distorted self-view; excessive stubbornness; insensitivity; being closed to feedback; disregarding what others have to say; being too full of whatever it is they are too full of… And then comes the rude surprise…
The self-aware person feels what people are trying to communicate to the point of being unable to ignore it
While paying attention is threaded through the previous four practices, it deserves its own important spot.
We live at a time where attention deficit syndrome is a global epidemic. Paying attention assembles the building-blocks of developing self-awareness. Because you want your self-awareness to be broad rather than narrow, it means training oneself to pay attention to literally anything that moves. To the point where one can register small changes, shifts and nuances in many different contexts and levels. Train yourself to pay attention with no specific reason attached – simply pay attention.
Paying attention to the little things prevents missing out on big opportunities
These five practices can be turned into meditations. Create a bit of space and re-read a few times, at different times. A self-aware person is a precious asset to have around.
In concluding this writeup, it is important to highlight the distinction between self-awareness and self-centredness. Self-awareness is a window to the universe. Self-centredness is being arrested in the prison of one’s self-importance.
World Copyright 2019© David Gommé