I’ve been reading and thinking about what it means to be self-aware.
On the surface, it means to be aware of yourself. From the You Can Choose perspective, it means realizing all your choices are reflected back to you in your experiences. It means every experience you have is because of you. And when I say you, I mean the Whole-you; including the Active-you, the Believing-you, and the Greater-you.
For more about the three you’s read here.
To be self-aware means you understand nothing happens to you. You are the cause and source of all that you experience.
That is a huge leap for some people, probably for most people. It’s certainly not how I was raised.
We will go through the idea of being self-aware many more times in these posts. What I wanted to share with you here are two experiences I had on the same day that helps me, and I hope it helps you understand more about being self-aware.
Being self-aware isn’t an either / or kind of thing. Rather there are levels of self-aware from not at all aware to total self-awareness. I’m certainly not totally self-aware. I’m learning all the time, and I want to share as I go along.
WALKING TO MY CAR…
The other day, I was walking to my car after going to the gym. I saw a group of kids playing. They were having a blast. Several groups were competing in a game that required each group to work together. As I watched them I appreciated the fun they were having, the teamwork they displayed, and the overall joy they seemed to be feeling.
As I watched them, I didn’t wish for the days when I was a kid, nor did I have any sense that what I was doing was not as fun. I simply appreciated them for what they were doing – just having uninhibited fun.
I continued to my car with a smile on my face, and as I rounded a blind corner, I ran into a family heading towards the gym. I was looking the other way and nearly smashed into the man, who suddenly had to stop so he wouldn’t run into me. His wife and children bumped into me as we all came together.
He smiled and reached out to catch me, just as I did to him. Seeing the smiles on everyone’s face and feeling the unexpected joy. It was such an intense moment of excitement and fun as we all laughed, giggled and smiled.
As I reached my car, I realized the joy I felt running into the family was a reflection of the joy I felt watching the kids play. I was feeling the same joy I saw in watching them play their game. I radiated that joy out to the universe and got it back in the smiles of the family I ran into.
Being self-aware is realizing you create everything. It means seeing what you experience as a result of your thoughts, beliefs, and feelings. I felt more self-aware as I realized how I created the joyful experience of walking into the family. My feelings of joy toward the children created the opportunity for more joy.
WAITING IN THE CAR
Later in the day, I was riding in the car with my wife Beth, and we were talking about impatience. I was telling her how I notice parking spaces open up just after I park. I told her I recently recognized I’m more impatient than I want to be and that feel the impatience is showing up in missing parking spaces and many other ways in my life. The universe works in magical ways – it always brings you more of what you think about.
We reached an intersection and waited while someone crossed the street in front of us as the walk sign counted down from 24 seconds. Beth and I waited and talked as cars crossed the intersection. Then I noticed the walk sign was counting down again. The light skipped us! We had to wait for another cycle of lights at this busy intersection before we could go.
I laughed out loud. “Look how obvious it is!” I said to Beth. “Just a few minutes ago, I was putting all this energy into talking about my impatience, and here we are waiting at the intersection.” She said, “I didn’t even notice the delay. You’re feeling the impatience, not me.”
Wow, we were both at the same place but experienced something totally different. I was putting out impatient energy and getting it back. And even though Beth had to wait just as long as me, she felt no impatience at all.
Both of these examples help me see how I can become more self-aware by recognizing how my thoughts, beliefs, and feelings come directly back – when I take the time to notice.