It really is all about you.
All of it. All of life is about you. How you see yourself, how others see you, how you interact, how others interact with you. What you give to life, and what life gives back to you.
Yet, we don't spend enough time exploring who we are in a positive, helpful, "let's make my life better" way.
Don't get me wrong, we definitely spend a whole whack of time thinking about ourselves:
How such-and-such or so-and-so affects me.
What can I do to correct a situation.
If that were me I would do it this way.
How much sleep did I get.
What am I going to have for dinner.
Why can't I just do blah blah blah....
Why can't I just be blah blah blah...
Most of our 'self' thoughts are lathered in judgement (of ourselves and others), are reactive and speedy, and are produced in a state of "auto-pilot".
We are thinking all the time (we don't shut up in there!), but we aren't diving in too deeply, right?
We are running on this "auto-pilot" state, hardly aware of why we are doing what we are doing, and not knowing what we would really like to be doing instead.
We are afraid to switch off the "auto-pilot".
We feel that if we stopped for a second we would turn into lazy blobs.....because as we run around in our minds all we think we would really like to be doing instead is sleep or at the very least switch off from 'life'.
NOPE. You will pleasantly surprise yourself!
Quite the opposite will happen. You will feel even more alive!
If you view diving in deeper as the way towards a more 'alive' life, that is what your life will become: ALIVE.
Recognize that learning more about YOU is a way to get more out of life.
I believe that if we spend more time getting to know ourselves, we will find that we won't collapse on the couch with a bag of Doritos or crawl into bed for days.
I believe we would discover some pretty fucking fascinating shit about ourselves that will lead to wanting to know more and more.
To become interested in and excited by who you are means you become interested and excited in life itself. Because.....YOU ARE LIFE ITSELF!
Nothing else is YOU.
It is time for self-discovery and self-realization.
It is time for self-understanding and self- development.
It is for the betterment of your life (inside you and outside you)!
To become more self-aware is to live life more fully.
It helps us make the right decisions and to recognize and accept what doesn't feel right if we don't.
It gives us the skills necessary to stand solidly in who we are: what we believe in, what needs and desires we want met, what we can offer to others, what to say yes to without self-doubt, and no to with confidence.
Doesn't that sound awesome?
But, because we have been told that to focus on yourself is somehow "BAD", we tend to shy away from it, don't we. We don't want to look like all we care about it ourselves in an egoistical way. We don't want a narcistic label to be placed upon us.
But how the fuck are we supposed to navigate the waters of this life without knowing who we are?
I am giving you permission to self-absorb!
GO FOR IT!
HERE IS THE KEY THOUGH: As you journey along this fascinating path that is YOU....catch yourself as you start judging/criticizing yourself.
Oh, it's gonna happen.
"Why do I think that way? What the fuck is wrong with me?" "Shitballs, do I really feel that way? What kind of person does that?"
Becoming self-aware requires a compassionate, judgment-free zone from within.
Constantly remind yourself that you are learning.
You are doing your best.
Be the loving guide/teacher that will be patient and understanding as you make your way through this.
You are going to discover things that you aren't proud of/like too much about yourself. AND THAT'S OKAY.
Now you are giving yourself the opportunity to do better/be better. Awesome news!
You are going to discover things that you like about yourself and will be proud of. Also awesome news!
This is so worthwhile. Dive in. Think deeper about who you are.
1) Go for walks alone - for no other reason than to think about your thoughts (not to get to a store, or take the dog for a walk, or to listen to a podcast).
Observe (judgement free, don't forget) what is going on in that fascinating head of yours.
If a thought that you don't like comes in, look at it with a fascination lens: "Huh! Wow! Where did that come from?! Not digging that thought, hope I can change it now that I'm aware of how I feel about it."
No need to beat yourself up about it.
Now that you have seen it and made note of not being a huge fan of it.....you have the chance to switch that shit up. Fantastic!
2) Start reminding yourself about things about yourself (that was an awkward sentence).
When you first rode your bike without training wheels.
The first time you got on a bus alone, or called your first cab/uber.
How you felt the first day of high school.
Your first fight with your best friend.
Getting your first pet.
Think about a whole bunch of 'firsts' and take note of how you feel about who you were then and what it would be like for you now.
What if you got on a bus for the first time now? (If you've never been on a bus, go and get on a bus and see how it feels!)
Write shit down, or draw, or record your thoughts if that feels good.
3) Give yourself a list of some either/ors...then why?
What feels better to you: mountains or rivers?
Then ponder why. (For example: "I wonder why I feel more attached to mountains than rivers. Maybe it's because I feel air is more liberating than water for me, more expansive and I like that feeling. Cool! Maybe tomorrow will bring more discovery. Maybe tomorrow I will feel differently, who knows!")
You don't need a definitive answer. (But if you find yourself needing a definite yes or no to something... wonder why you do! WITHOUT JUDGEMENT!)
View this self-discovery with what the Buddha called "A Beginner's Mind".
Have a childlike wonder about YOU. There is no right or wrong here.
Do all of this without the pressure of:
"Am I doing this right?"
"How long is this going to take?"
I repeat: there is no 'right' or 'wrong'.
This is sooooooo unique to you.
Be kind to yourself. Be patient. Be fascinated.
Your odd, one-of-a-kind-ness is spectacular.
Give it the time to prove it to you :)