How to Know Yourself: Part 2

About 3 minutes to read

In the first part of this three part series we learnt about the benefits of spending time alone on our quest to know ourselves.  When learning how to know yourself it is important to use your time alone is to:

Question, Reflect, Observe

Use the time to ask yourself critical questions, the big questions about you, and your life. Forget about “Why” as these can lead you into more drama about your situation.  Ask yourself How?  When?  Where?  What? Look at your beliefs; is what you held to be true still true for you?  Which beliefs no longer serve you or add value to your life?  How would letting them go bring about a paradigm shift?

Study your values; what are they and how have they changed?  We do not hold the same values throughout our lives.  As we evolve and mature we develop different needs and desires and our values change accordingly, how is this true for you?

Most importantly do not ask the questions thinking you already know the answers.  Spend time reflecting and waiting for the answers.  If you have a spiritual belief and wish to ask your higher power do so, but remember the answers also lie within, so as you ask take responsibility for your process and listen for answers.

Observe how you are reacting to this process of questioning and reflecting.  How is your experience?  Are you resisting and what does it look like for you?  When I am in resistance mode, I generally dissolve into a whining two year old in my head or I feel physical discomfort in my body.

Observe and notice what your triggers are.  Perhaps various issues have arisen and you resist, flee, or become angry.  This is normal and it is ok, BUT do not sweep things under the carpet.  Your consciousness is awakening and while it might seem uncomfortable, this is a great place to be in.  Often times our valleys of pain are our nurseries of strength.

I mentioned earlier that you should avoid the “Why” questions, however it may be important for you to notice patterns.  They can be indications of behaviours you need to change, lessons you need to learn or perhaps they are signs, which you are to follow.  Ask more questions, go deeper, discover, explore.

This may all sound so simple, but I know from experience that it is often quite difficult.  Sometimes it is so obvious to see things clearly in other peoples’ lives but for ourselves it is a little murkier. I sometimes forget to remember that in my life gigantic changes seem to occur after a period of extreme restlessness.  It can take on different forms; and I have recently discovered, it could be a taste intolerance for coffee.

This last one seems a bit odd but I first noticed my coffee “aversion” when overnight I suddenly hated the taste.  At first, I persisted trying to drink the beverage but I found it utterly unbearable.  The smell of coffee in a pot, or the beans brewing was revolting.  This phase lasted three months before I slowly started having the desire for coffee again.

When my next coffee “aversion” occurred, I experienced the same symptoms and attempted the same remedies but then I paid attention.  I asked questions, wanting to know what was going on. This is when I realised that my body was grabbing my attention, trying to make me conscious and mindful of impending change.

My body was causing me to surrender ritual.  As for many, coffee is my morning ritual.  During the day, I drink it habitually and it’s a social or energy drink for me.  I was being prepared to do things differently, not to hold onto the predictable at any cost, and to become conscious and engaged with the change wanting to unfold.

In both instances, I experienced extreme aversion to the situations I was in.  Everything seemed “normal” and part of the everyday ritual of life but I needed to remove myself and start in a different direction, away from everything that was comfortable and safe.

Even as I write this, it seems strange to me, but is it not wonderful how the most mundane and inconsequential activity, like drinking coffee, can hold within it a great lesson from life?

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