“At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you
know what you want.”
Author and speaker Jack Canfield, best known for his ChickenSoup for the Soul books, tells the amazing story of the ten and a half foot tall Golden Buddha in Bangkok. He saw it while sightseeing there several years ago and was so moved that he wanted to learn its history.
Here’s the video that goes along with this post:
In 1957, monks were transporting a giant clay Buddha to a new temple to make way for a new highway coming through. During the move, while a crane was lifting it, the statue began to crack, so the monks had it lowered to the ground and covered to protect it from rain.
Later that night, while checking on it, the head monk saw something gleaming from inside of the tiny cracks. Several hours later, after using a hammer and chisel, the monk discovered the solid gold giant Buddha that had been hidden beneath the clay.
Historians believe it was covered with clay several hundred years earlier to protect it when their country was attacked.
“Much like the monk with the hammer and chisel, our task now is to discover our true essence once again—our natural self.”
This is what self awareness means to me knowing what you are made of deep down inside. It’s an ongoing process of learning what you’re all about. It’s discovering why you do the things you do, why you think the way you do, and why you feel the way you do.
It’s basically seeing yourself as you truly are. And it’s the starting point of every change and every improvement you want to make.
Here’s what you can do to get good at awareness:
- Make meditation a habit. Meditation brings awareness. It’s amazing how clarity, ideas, and solutions come after meditating.
- Ask yourself questions during quiet times. Ask all kinds of questions and see what answers come to you. For example:
- Why was I so bothered by that today?
- Why do I have these fears and worries?
- What is it that makes me angry about this?
- What do I really want?
- Keep asking and asking and asking. Make it a lifelong habit. Answers will come. I promise. They might not be immediate, but they will come.
- Journal. Keeping a journal is a good practice for gaining self knowledge.
- Be intrepid about digging into your past. See what things were like back then with fresh eyes.
- Keep in touch with your feelings. They are always trying to tell you something. You don’t want to ignore them or try to squash them. You always want to understand what on the inside is causing them.
The practices throughout my book, Finally Worry Free, will definitely help you gain awareness. Paying attention is a way to get good at awareness:
- Start paying attention to the beliefs you are operating out of.
- Start paying attention to the wounds that still need healing. What keeps upsetting you? This is a symptom of a wound you haven’t healed yet.
- Start paying attention to your thoughts and feelings.
- Start paying attention to the words you speak to yourself. Your inner dialogue.
- Start paying attention to the words you speak about yourself to others. Are you overly critical? What beliefs inside are causing this?
- Start becoming an observer of yourself. Listen at times to the conversations you are having with your family, your friends, and your co-workers.
- What is social media like for you? Mostly negative? A lot of complaining and blaming? Giving in to the fear mongering by the media? This is a tough one, because we want to stick up for the causes we believe in. But, all this negativity is affecting our mental health.
- Start paying attention to the fearful thoughts you have. All the thoughts and feelings that are causing your worry and anxiety. Dig into the beliefs at the root of them.
- Start paying attention to your emotions. How often are you angry, sad, frustrated, etc.?
- Start paying attention to the images playing in your mind. Especially when you are worried and fearful.
- Start paying attention to the crowds you hang around with. This might just be on social media right now. Are they positive people or are they mostly Debbie Downers?
- Start paying attention to your moods. Dissect them.
- Start noticing if negativity is a big part of your life. In fact, many people are addicted to it.
- Start becoming more aware of positive role models that you can begin emulating. What do they do differently that you can start doing?
- Start becoming aware of possibilities out there. What have you always wanted to do? Get to know yourself more. Uncover your dreams!
Thanks for reading!
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