Our lives can become so busy that, at times, we default to auto-pilot mode. We do things because “that is how we have always done it” or because that way worked at one point or because it is just the easiest way to get through the day. We can create habits in our thoughts, emotions, and actions without even realizing it, and these habits may end up keeping us stuck or working against our deeper desires. We can inadvertently become our own stumbling block.
In order to unwind these habits, the first step is always self-awareness. If we are not aware of the patterns we are living or the beliefs that are influencing our thoughts, emotions, and actions, we won’t do anything to change them. So paying attention to ourselves and how we react to the world around us throughout the day is pivotal. Noticing how we are showing up in our lives rather than mindlessly going through our days in reaction mode will help us to create the space in which to choose if we would like to show up in a different way. It gives us the option to move from reacting to responding.
As we are building our awareness, we want to engage with this process of noticing without the compulsion to judge what we find as good or bad. Our culture trains us into a comparative mindset and when we compare and judge ourselves, this can kick off unhelpful stories in our minds that may derail our intention to shift our patterns. It creates a positive feedback loop that keeps us stuck. So, broadening our awareness from a place of curiosity will help us to move through this process in a more effective and helpful manner, as curiosity is innately free from judgment.
In yoga philosophy, the teaching of Svadhyaya (pronounced svaad-ya-ya) is the practice of self-study or self-observation. This teaching asks that we look beyond our life circumstances to remember who we truly are. In the moment, if we can come back to ourselves, recognizing that we are the spirits that live inside of our bodies and that we are not our failures, our achievements, our roles, or job titles, we can find more grace and ease in our journey.
This teaching of svadhyaya asks that we shift into the perspective of the observer in our lives, recognizing when our actions may not be aligned with our values; when our reactions throughout the day do not represent who we authentically are; and when our interactions may not be aligned with who we want to become. The work of remembering, by tuning in to our authenticity and honoring our unique ability to contribute to the world in a way that no one else can, is the deep spiritual work of svadhyaya. Living from a place of authenticity in alignment with our core values will help us to experience more meaning and fulfillment in our lives.
The practice of engaging with our lives from a place of curiosity, becoming aware of the patterns we are in, and remembering that we are the spirit that lives inside rather than our experiences, will help us to align with our truth in the moment. At times, the stories in our minds distort the truth. This can lead us to think in ways that limit our potential for growth, to feel emotions that support our limiting beliefs, and to act in ways that we were taught to act so that others can feel more comfortable. Broadening our awareness and being kind to ourselves through the process helps us to uncover the truth of the moment and the truth of the patterns we may not have been aware of before.
Our truth can provide clarity. When we have clarity in the moment, we can see if we are moving in the direction of who want to be or if we are stuck in a pattern of being who others thing we should be.
This week, I invite you to engage with your life from a place of curiosity, to broaden your awareness and notice the truth of patterns you may be stuck in. From there, you will have the space to choose how to show up.
As always, I am in this work with you.
Chat again soon,