Welcome to the Course on Self-Awareness!
“What I am looking for is not out there. It is in me.”
— Helen Keller
If this is NOT your first course, feel free to skip the video below, although it’s a good reminder before diving into more Self-Study.
I bet you already have a decent amount of self-awareness, so you will notice and note this in writing, and then build on it by learning more. And since you are always changing, there’s always more FOR you to learn. Who you were yesterday is different from today and tomorrow’s version of you. Have some fun getting to know your body, mind, personality, and more in this course.
And remember– you are here to learn, not to criticize or fix!
Rationale for Pursuing Self-Awareness: Why Self-Awareness? Why Now?
Self-Awareness Course Outline
NEXT: The following video gives an overview of the self-awareness course and specifies the concept of “self” we are focused on in this particular course. A spiritual or transcendent conception of self is not contradictory to one’s biology, humanness, or human nature. It is an important part of being human, so I would be remiss to bypass it; however, I have purposely limited my self-study curriculum (for now) to merely get you started traveling your inner landscape to learn. If the discoveries you make lead you deeper and deeper into the deepest part of your human nature which I would call the spiritual realm, well okay– and if not, well, okay! We are not outcomes-focused. We are focused on observing what is and what happens when you study yourself, and ALL of it is just what it is. Do not be alarmed by the door slamming next to me in this video below! LOL
NEXT: The following video provides a brief overview of the Practices below for developing deeper self-awareness.
How much do you know about yourself “off the top of your head?”
START HERE to measure how much you will have increased your self-awareness at the end of the course! I could give you a “test” at the end of this course, but I would rather you did that for yourself. Perhaps after completing the Self-Awareness Course, you could come back here and repeat this course and this practice in the future.
In these two exercises, you are asked to consider subjectivity, bias, and phenomenological inquiry.
Gaining more specific language is helpful and also where writing is powerful in the process of articulating yourself to yourself. Articulating yourself to yourself with clarity and specificity helps. These articulations can change over time—some more rapidly than others, many of which are influenced by external forces and your internal forces.
It is a good idea to know what you’re like in terms of your temperament, disposition, and character traits. Not only can you understand your own nature better with effort, you will better understand and appreciate what other humans are like. This will likely increase your ability to relate to yourself and all your complexity and subtleties as well as relate more appropriately and with more compassion with others and all of their complexity!
As I noted in the videos above, it is the opposite of selfish to know your human nature, so please engage as deeply as you can to become more self-aware through understanding personality and your personality!
Please watch this video before you embark on traveling on the MindBody landscape. There are lots of diversions on this path, and it is easy to get lost or fall down some rabbit holes, so I want you to be aware of this before you get after knowing your mind, your body, and your emotions.
Most people start paying closer attention to the body only when the body begs for attention via pain. When you are sick—do you pay much closer attention to the sensations in your body only because you want them to go immediately go away? Pain (in all its various forms) is a great teacher because it can draw us closer to our interior selves. Thank you, Pain! But why only study your body in response to pain? Why not study it all the time so that you can know “what’s happening” for your health and wellness?
Study the body to know it better–– simply notice what’s right with it as well as what may be neglected, unused, weak or what’s not going so well with it. You can do this by being CURIOUS and WITHOUT CRITICISM OR DESIRE TO FIX ANYTHING. Remember we are after surveying the WHOLE of you, so that requires looking at what previously you may not have wanted to look at. You might also notice that you hope to discover all good things and that you fear finding bad things. Try to drop those expectations. Adopt curiosity and focus your attention on noticing– just watching sensations come and go. Develop awareness of yourself as a body, on purpose, non-judgmentally.
Study your mind to know it, honestly.
You are on mission to discover your own mind, its thoughts, how you relate to them, perhaps even noticing how you respond, label, push away or react to them, and so forth. What is the nature of your thinking and thoughts? Do you notice how your thoughts come and go? We are getting meta here.
This may be a frustrating and fascinating challenge to building deeper self-awareness. Just keep failing!! Recall that learning is trying and erring (trial and error) over and over and over again! No grades! No comparison! Only try to know yourself for wellness.
The more time and attention you pay to your mind, non-judgmentally, on purpose, perhaps you’ll become the best of friends with it? Hey, stranger things have happened. Try to trust the process.
*Don’t forget to SMILE when the Mind does what it does! Say, “Thank you, mind, for showing me how you do you.”
What usually leads people to seek psychotherapy is overwhelming emotions that they struggle to manage—the ones that cause chronic and problematic forms of excessive stress to the body and mind. Unfortunately, this is the area of our selves where many of us are simply not taught to pay enough attention to emotional being because we are taught to use reason, analytical thinking, and a predominantly left-brained approach to living.
**Perhaps you may notice where you are more prone to listen to your mind than to your emotional body during your self-study.**
Observing emotions can get quite confusing, since emotions combine both physical sensation in the body and are named by the thinking mind too. And, when we feel particular emotions, we may have already developed reactions to them and beliefs about the way they make us feel and think. It’s hard to be angry and observe yourself being angry, but what the hell– just give it a try. You have nothing to lose!
Without deep diving into neuroscience, it’s simply the goal of this Self-Awareness Course that you notice that you have/feel emotions within the inner landscape and get to know more about the unique way you experience and relate to them. Again– this is a study of your inner landscape, and you don’t need to know the “science” behind “what’s happening” within you to be wise and well and know more about your unique nature.
What have you learned about yourself from having learned more about personality? About using specific vocabulary to define your character, habits, temperament, disposition? What about your body? Your mind? What have you learned about your emotions, and how all of these facets of YOU comprise your inner landscape?
Write about your learning and perhaps revisit the original Who am I? Practice to see how you have grown in wisdom about yourself. And… perhaps while reflecting in writing about your journey in Self-Awareness, you may even stumble upon the discovery that not only ARE you a mind and body, but YOU are so much more than that. Perhaps your SELF is connected to everyone else outside of you, or that your Self transcends boundaries and limitations.
Remember, your best resource is YOU.
I hesitate to share resources with you because these courses are about you studying yourself, not studying what others have learned about human nature in their various ways. There’s SO much on the topic of human nature, mind-body/brain etc…I really don’t even know where to start. I will say, try not to lose sight of self-study if and or when you decide to dive into learning what others have discovered about human nature. I am not saying don’t go there, please just don’t lose yourself as THE PRIMARY SOURCE– THE book to read, while also reading others’ books.
A lot of times, we get lost in the interesting information, science, and descend into Self-Help, losing sight of our own insight available within ourselves right here, right now. I like to think all the answers you need about yourself (and the world) are literally right under your nose.