Self awareness. I used to be terrified of that word: self. Because to me, “self” meant selfish and I couldn’t focus on myself if I wanted to be a good Christian girl focusing on how I could serve others. But what really happened was that I spent most of my time consumed with managing my life and cravings that I ended up focusing on myself anyway. Ironic, isn’t it?
Hello beautiful soul, my name is Emmy and I’m a yoga teacher and one of the couples’ experience-making photographers and CEO here at Celebrate Again, set out on a mission to provide you with embodied resources. Helping you step into deeper awareness to celebrate well, on a daily basis as well as for the grand events in life like your wedding or anniversary.
So what does self awareness really mean, and what’s the difference between that and this trendy word everyone uses: “mindfulness?”
While I’m not going to pull out the dictionary here, I’d like to share what it means to me. To me, self awareness means the intentional understanding of your emotions, your heart, body and spirit or soul.
It’s through self awareness that we become mindful of the life we’re living, intentional in all that we do. It’s in self awareness that we cultivate a life we want instead of letting life “happen” to us.
You see, this was my life: a lot of life happened to me. Back to that in a minute.
Self awareness then really becomes the action of being mindful, so one way to think about it is: self awareness is one piece of being mindful because it’s your responsibility.
I grew up sincerely being afraid of the word self because I was taught to associate it with “sin,” doing something wrong and not thinking of others before myself. My phobia of all of this made me completely shut down and stop listening when anyone even talked about self awareness or mindfulness. I was honestly afraid to even step into self care, let alone entertain what that even meant.
Then, in my mid twenties, I got very, very sick. My whole world turned upside down: I lost the use of both of my wrists, couldn’t care for my daughter or household, had to shut down my photography business because I couldn’t physically hold my camera and spent a month in a wheelchair because standing up made me too symptomatic. It was then that I had to learn self awareness real fast.
In the midst of my life as I knew it literally being stripped from me, I had a lot of grief and a lot of anger. I knew I needed help and soon was connected with a wonderful counselor who was familiar with chronic illnesses.
In the midst of all my grief I had to deal with myself, I had to learn about my emotions and feel them even though I was absolutely frightened they would consume me and eat me alive. (Let me tell you a secret–they won’t!) I had to become aware of my body because it demanded my attention.
Then, having lost the ability to do all of my favorite things, dancing, rock climbing, and snowboarding, I found yoga. It was here on my yoga mat that I was able to feel the feelings I couldn’t formulate into words. It was here that I was able to process the emotions and experiences my body held onto for me.
It was through yoga, journaling, meditation and counseling I learned self awareness. And it’s why I’m here creating my self care yoga membership for people like you who may also need more resources in your life, more support and permission to take care of yourself. If you don’t first fill yourself up, you have nothing to give. If you don’t step into self awareness, you end up operating in life as if life happens to you.
And guess what: you are in charge of your life.
Keep asking “why” when life does happen, there’s a lesson to be learned. Keep asking why when you feel emotional, your soul is trying to tell you something. Keep asking why when you feel lost, because you do have a direction.
Keep asking why and you’ll find wonder holding you up.
Keep asking why: You’ll find that beneath that darkness is light, holding you up.