Understanding Your Daily Focus
I want to talk about self-awareness this week. Sometimes, it can be easy for me to focus on who I want to be, on the kind of person I imagine telling people I am, and moving from there. I think it’s a great way to motivate change, push forward, and continually wind along the curvature of the future. Sometimes, though, it’s important to stop, breathe, and take a good, long look in the mirror.
We all have flaws and facing them is not so much an
admission of failure, but rather a desire to better ourselves. Beyond that,
recognizing our own patterns of behavior can help us see where we’re reacting
emotionally versus authentically to situations. How often do you find that the
final straw is something small, something that later seems so silly? When do you
find yourself asking, “Why did I lose it over something so meaningless?” The
key is to look deeper at your own emotional state, the things you may have put
off, and what about these seemingly small incidents trigger larger feelings
In this week’s Daily Focus, I want to look at some of the ways we can stay self-aware without drowning in our own feelings, and how we might embrace parts of ourselves that we sometimes feel at odds with.
Saturday, September 25
“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just
as I am, then I can change.” –Carl R. Rogers
Conscious, guided change is different than the change that sneaks up on us. Being able to look at yourself honestly and ask what you need to focus on and change about yourself is often a choice we have to make after many hours of self-reflection. If the things that come to mind are physical, take a deep breath, set those aside, and dig a little bit deeper. Our physical bodies are vessels for something much deeper, much more cosmic, and wonderful. Sometimes focusing on the outside is just a way to ignore the inside.
Sunday, September 26
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us
to an understanding of ourselves.” –Carl Gustav Jung
The core of the Shadow Self is this; the things we find
annoying or irritating in other people are just things we recognize within
ourselves. We become critical about small things when we know how difficult
they are to change, and how insidiously they may dictate our lives. Again,
awareness is the key. Why do you find that behavior so morally corrupt? Why do
you think that other people should change their behavior? Food for thought
Monday, September 27
“You can’t get away from yourself by moving from one
place to another.” –Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also
As someone who has moved a lot in the last decade or
so, let me tell you, this one rings true. Changing the external, be it town,
body shape, hair color—it doesn’t work to change the internal. Now I believe
that a clean slate can be a catalyst for change, without a doubt, but it is not
the change itself.
Tuesday, September 28
“Man is not what he thinks he is, he is what he
hides.” –André Malraux
Again, our Shadow Self, what we are ashamed of and keep tucked
away, has so much control over us. The more we hide it, the stronger it
becomes. So, the key is to face it, let it out of its cage, like Bukowski’s
bluebird. Let it see the light and watch it shrink.
Wednesday, September 29
“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will
direct your life and you will call it fate.” –C.G. Jung
Our own fears have a way of making choices for us. Even if
we want to do something, we can think of a hundred reasons why we
shouldn’t. It’s easy to let these things become truth, become the guiding light
that leads you. Change is hard, especially when the path of disliking yourself
is so well lit and smoothly paved. It takes courage to wander off the path.
Thursday, September 30
“I have been and still am a seeker, but I have ceased
to question stars and books; I have begun to listen to the teaching my blood
whispers to me.” –Hermann Hesse
The things the world, others, and history can teach are
infinite. But so are the lessons from within, the things from our own past we
may have hidden away, or the pieces we don’t want to examine. We can find
parallels and peace when we take the time to look at these things.
Friday, October 1
“I think that we are like stars. Something happens to
burst us open; but when we burst open and think we are dying; we’re actually
turning into a supernova. And then when we look at ourselves again, we see that
we’re suddenly more beautiful than we ever were before!” –C.
At the center of all of this introspection is growth. We are adaptable creatures, changing and growing from the moment we arrive until we depart. We are not the same person year to year, decade to decade, and yet, of course, we are. We are the foundation we build upon, and the canvas we get to paint. When we are able to see the whole picture, we are able to change the landscape, add in color, and create our own truth.
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