Getting to know yourself is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. Paying attention to your thoughts, your feelings, to the bodily sensations created by these same thoughts and feelings to increase your awareness. If you know what direction your thoughts are leading you, if you’re aware of the tension these thoughts may be imposing upon you, then you can start creating other thoughts and making choices that support you.
Napolean Hill’s quote: “most people are the servants and not the masters of their emotions”, tells us that what we lack is self-awareness. Another quote from him illustrates this also: “Life either rides or is ridden. It never stands still. What choices you make determine whether one becomes the horse or the rider.” A powerful metaphor. In order to make choices that ensure you are ‘life’s rider’, you must take the time for self-reflection. And what better way than by immersing yourself in solitude, even if it’s just for a few minutes each day?
In these days of being constantly electronically connected to the world, with noise pollution a common factor, finding time to connect to ourselves isn’t something we can take for granted. We need to plan for it.
A while back, I was having lunch with a friend and she commented on how addicted she was to checking her emails and especially her telephone for text messages. Both of her daughters are in their 20’s yet still she needed to feel connected, at all times. But what she had come to realize is that she had very little time without distractions. She promised herself then and there that she would take one day of the week to commit to being ‘offline’. Laptop out, mobile out. Contemplatively enjoying the time alone, with just herself for company.
Disconnected for one day might be a big stretch for many of you. It would be for me. So plan carefully when you can give back to yourself. It’s the best gift you can possibly give to the person who is most important in your life.
Remember that as you ‘indulge’ yourself in this practice, you are re-wiring your neural hard wiring. As you increase your awareness in these moments or hours or during a day, you will notice that you’re more alert even during the busyness of your day. You will be able to bring yourself back into a harmonious state much more quickly when confronted with one of life’s many challenges.
And remember in these precious moments, to go to your heart, breathe deeply and slowly in and out and activate a ‘feel good’ feeling for yourself. You are worth it. More than you might even know.
“Know thyself” Socrates