“Self-reflection is how we can transform society. Transforming society happens one person at a time, by our willingness to be kind to ourselves, and our willingness to be kind to one another.” ~ Sakyong Mipham
In the midst of human suffering all over the world, the idea of self-help or personal development can so petty and petty.
However, self-transformation is global transformation because when we put an end to our yucky, stinky karma, nobody ever has to experience it again.
That’s why getting to know ourselves and our own inner workings is an absolute necessity if we’re interested in changing and transforming both ourselves and the planet.
Here are five ways we can start:
1. Make Self-Awareness a Priority
If we’re not aware of who we are and how we’re feeling, we’re unable to make choices that align us with feeling good. Basically, if we don’t know what makes us feel bad, we won’t know what makes us feel good.
Start by making choices that put energy into our own awareness. It’s an amazing and profound step on the journey to feeling good.
2. Check In with Yourself All Day Long
This step is about non-judgement. It’s about mindfulness and just noticing. Once we’re ready to let go of our opinions about everything, we notice we can start pausing at least five times a day and just ask ourselves, “How do I feel right now?” and simply notice whatever there is to notice.
One option is to give the moment a quick number on a scale of one to 10, with one being really bad and 10 being great. This is a nice way of tuning into our intuition and inner knowing. It’s not about deciding there’s something wrong with us or our environment. It’s just about gaining insight into our own health and well-being.
3. Stop Trying Become Someone New
Pema Chodron tells us: “Our wisdom is all mixed up with what we call our neurosis. Our brilliance, our juiciness, our spiciness, is all mixed up with our craziness and our confusion, and therefore it doesn’t do any good to try to get rid of our so-called negative aspects, because in that process, we also get rid of our basic wonderfulness. We can lead our life so as to become more awake to who we are and what we’re doing rather than trying to improve or change or get rid of who we are or what we’re doing. The key is to wake up, to become more alert, more inquisitive and curious about ourselves.”
So, instead of throwing ourselves out, throw away the lists of all the ways we need to change.
Self-awareness isn’t self-improvement.
Thinking that if we were just different, we’d be happier is a useless illusion we don’t need to believe in.
That’s why we need to notice how we’re feeling now—not think about how we’re going to feel in the future, when we have the dream partner, dream house or dream body.
They’re just fantasies that prevent us from feeling good now—because the only place we can gain awareness about how we feel is in the present.
“How do I feel now?” is the only relevant question. Ask it and be courageous and feel your answer. (Did you notice I didn’t say analyze it?)
If it’s mad, then mad is what we need to be. If it’s sad, then sad is what we need to be. This is mindfulness. It isn’t sexy. But it is real.
We feel more freedom in our lives when we don’t deny ourselves the opportunity to be our real selves.
4. Eventually We Can Make a Choice
This is a work in progress. We notice how we feel each day, checking in on our body and mind states, and eventually life stops feeling out of control and we realize that we actually have some say on how we feel.
We realize that the external world isn’t punishing us, but we have the choice to feel good or bad in any situation. This is based purely on perspective. It can take time to manifest, but as mindful observation gives birth to insight and self-awareness, we can eventually choose to raise our own vibration. Or in other words, choose to feel good in our body and mind.
5. This Isn’t About Perfection
Getting everything perfect is also an illusion.
Raising our own vibration, or choosing to feel good, doesn’t mean we have to be happy and satisfied with everything in our lives.
At first we don’t actually have to do anything. We only need to pay attention. Then we notice which activities bring us up and which activities bring us down. With this information, we can begin to make life choices accordingly.
For example, watching TV is a childhood love of mine.
If I watch one or two quality shows and I laugh a bit, my vibration is high and my energy feels terrific. But if I watch TV to feel numb and escape, I end up binge-watching for hours, and my vibration or energy goes very low.
They’re both the same activity, but my reason and intention for watching television are very different, so the effect on my energy, mood and vibration are also different.
That’s why I recommend just noticing what’s going on in your life.
Notice when you feel positive energy in your body—tingling, glowing, feeling energized and really being in the present moment.
And notice when you feel low—sluggish, cloudy and unfocused.
Just noticing is enough.
We don’t need to beat ourselves up if we choose low vibrational choices. We will sometimes. But as we pay attention, we’ll slowly gain understanding about ourselves and how our own vibration and energy works.
And then we can make choices that make us feel good.
Author: Ruth Lera
Editor: Evan Yerburgh