Be Present in Your Life by Carole Langman
Following on from our theme of self care in previous weeks, we started with identifying our own worst enemy – ourselves! We learnt to identify how and why we judge ourselves.
The Present Moment
This week we are going to look at how to develop better self awareness. We’ll learn to be really conscious within ourselves, as well as noticing the range and clarity of where we focus our awareness. This doesn’t happen naturally, this needs training! We need to learn how to be in the present moment. When you are fully aware you feel more wide awake, and more tuned in and attentive. You get lost in the present moment. Awareness is the number one skill that will help to confront self judgement.
Take a look at these easy steps to help you to become more aware:
- Be aware of your body. Find a quiet spot. Close your eyes. Start with the bottom of your feet and take your awareness right up to the top of your head. Feel the awareness as you scan through your body. What is your overall sense of yourself when you finish?
- Look and Listen. These are the 2 most common senses we use on a daily basis. But we actually tend to focus on what we perceive rather than the experience itself. Keep your eyes open. Focus on the overall experience – look at colours, shapes and patterns. Copy the same exercise with listening. Be aware of yourself as the person who is looking and listening.
- Be aware for the rest of the day. For the rest of the day bring your attention back and be present in your own body. Stop what you are doing and take a moment to sense where you are, how you are feeling and what is happening
- Think about a fairly simple task that you can carry out, such as washing the dishes perhaps. Whilst you are carrying out the task, be aware of what you are doing. Sense it – look at yourself – listen to yourself. Keep awareness whilst carrying out other simple tasks. The more you practise, the better at it you will become and the more self aware you will be.
Develop an awareness of how and why judgement arises
We are constantly being judged across all areas of our lives. It helps to develop awareness of self judgement, when and why it arises; as well as the main areas that we tend to judge ourselves in. Byron Brown in his book, Soul without Shame, identifies the following areas:
- Your Body – your appearance, how your body performs, your failures and mistakes, your health and illnesses.
- Your Job – the type of work you do, how successful you are, your choices and your status.
- Your Relationships – what standards you base your relationships on, how you compare yourself with others, and how you believe your relationships should be.
- Your Inner Work – the search for understanding who you are, what your life means and what reality is for you.
In order to challenge these areas, we need to face up to our vulnerabilities.
One fundamental issue you can ask yourself is, “How am I doing”. And be honest. What do you really feel like underneath all the outer layers you hide behind? What is the true nature of your soul? Here are 2 exercises you can do to help to identify your own self judgement:
- Identify the areas of self attack – look at the areas listed above, your body, your job etc, and notice what are the areas of heavy attack for you. Make a note of them.
- Look at other occasions when you are confident, when you are developing and improving yourself – no doubt your inner judge is also operating at these times. List what your inner judge is saying and how this feels within your body, your energy levels and your confidence.
By identifying and observing the occasions of when and how you judge yourself, you will start to make changes. It is a bit like a light bulb moment, at least it was for me. Give it a go this week and see if anything changes for you.
One thing that stood out for me was when I had to say no to another’s request. I felt bad at saying no, I felt guilty and mean. But it really mattered to me. Saying yes would not have felt right. After much soul searching I realised I had to do what was right for me, rather than to please another. And if felt good, it felt right… and I do not regret it. From now on I will remember this example.
Let me know if you have any similar experiences, I would love to hear from you. Read more of my Monday Motivation blogs HERE.