I can remember a time when where I was consumed by my shit and spent a lot of time pissed off at everyone and everything.
I thought life was painfully unfair and it there was always something or someone to blame for my life not being perfect.
I was completely unaware that I could actually choose my outlook and that when someone pissed me off, chances were it was in fact something in me that had gone astray, rather than the idiot boss/boyfriend/relative that was the centre of my dilemma.
I was so unaware that I spent the better part of my 20’s trying to escape myself.
Through various sources, I was introduced to a new friend: self-awareness. She was new and interesting and exciting. She whispered sweet words of advice whenever I was consumed by anger “You are not your thoughts; you are not an angry person.”
When fear arose, she helped me watch and observe how my breath would quicken and my body would contract. She taught me to recognize the tell tale signs of the old stories I had so carefully woven into my character that I thought they were part of my skin.
Self-awareness was my new best friend. She helped me realize that the world around me is simply a mirror of my mind; how I perceive reality was a choice I could make.
She was pretty amazing.
Then like all relationships, things shift and change. You get comfortable, take each other for granted. Self-awareness started pointing out some things I was not so excited to hear. When I wanted to blame the chaos of city traffic for my foul mood, she would come back with “What is the chaos within?”
When my colleague would point out for the third time that I had not done something to their liking, it was self-awareness that would ask “Your ego is hurt…what is your response without the ego’s involvement?”
When a loved one and I had a disagreement, it was when self-awareness had taken a break that I responded in anger and slammed down the phone saying things I should never say.
Self-awareness is an amazing friend to have—she is the voice of reason and logic in states of emotion, she is what makes me question my actions and motives and is the honesty check on myself.
Self-awareness is like a penguin who mates for life; she is never far away. I can not get rid of her, and sometimes, just sometimes I wish she was not around.
She is the reminder that not everyone else is wrong or to blame or at fault. Damn girl, life was much easier when I could get pissed off at everyone else, as it was their problem I was not happy.
I now know the meaning behind ignorance is bliss. Oh, to be ignorant for one day, to not be aware of how your actions affect others, of how you are responsible for your own happiness and your outlook on life.
Can’t I just blame someone, once?
Self-awareness can be a right bitch sometimes—reminding me of what is useful and not so useful; of helping me see the big picture and how everything is connected.
I can not hide, even though sometimes I might try—I might ramp up the distractions, keep myself busy, skip my practice for awhile.
But she is there, even after my attempt at self-distraction or self-destruction.
There to remind me—just like any best friend should be.
Fleur is yoga lover, nomadic wanderer, coffee drinker, writer and personal development coach. She left her HR corporate gig to follow her dreams of travelling, volunteering and working with people on their personal development and growth. She lives in the north of India, studying Tibetan Buddhism, and dreaming, daring and doing (and helping others do the same).
A qualified Yoga Coach/Instructor (RYT 500) she combines her leadership development and coaching experience with her yoga knowledge to work with individuals and groups supporting them in being the best they can be. Dare to live and be the best version of you. Connect with Fleur at fleurcarter.com | twitter @fleurcarter or on Facebook.
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Ed: Bryonie Wise