While brainstorming blog topics and reflecting on my own week, I came to the conclusion that the lessons I learned this last week could be applicable to many of you. I had a little bit of a reality check from a friend in regards to my feelings and actions….almost an external self awareness check. Sometimes we need a little help from others to get a better perspective on our own actions, emotions, and character.
Self awareness is an important aspect of working towards bettering yourself, achieving your goals and being the best version of yourself. At this point you might be asking yourself, BUT HOW can I cultivate more self awareness when I am knee deep in work, to-do lists, and other responsibilities that demand my energy and attention? Here are a couple stories that might help you normalize the struggle.
At a friend’s recent birthday dinner a woman was talking about how she used to be a real estate agent. Her husband was sharing that she is a naturally talented sales person but real estate wasn’t the right fit for her. The woman went on to clarify that it made her crazy. She said, “one night I told my family they were getting in the way of me working and that is when I realized I needed quit.”
As I mentioned in my previous post, I am a mental health therapist and my partner of 5 years has been in another state for 5 months going to school. So, I have the amazing opportunity to be endlessly supportive to others all day long (I really do truly love my job) and come home to absolutely no emotional support to fill my tank back up. Needless to say, I have been putting my energetic and emotional output on a very low setting to keep from completely running out of battery altogether. My friend was going through some issues that I was being entirely un-empathetic towards… to be blunt, aggressive and forceful with my comments about her situation and advice for her. It finally came to a head and she noted that I have been taking out my sadness on her, and I, of course, being so emotionally shut down was like, WTF are you talking about?!? Then I went into the yoga room to teach a yin class and had some excellent insights to what she was trying to say, this is the self awareness I found…
I was emotionally blocked. I had been trying to feel empathy for her, but kept running into a wall which has caused frustration. I was overwhelmed and lonely and taking it out on my friend, which sucked.
Sometimes you have to be pushed into self awareness by others because you are so busy that you can’t see how much of an ass you are being. Just like the woman that got mad at her family for being in the way of her work, I was mad at my friend for needing me to be a friend. Being mean to others is not part of my core values. It’s not ok to be rude to your loved ones because you are draining yourself with being a “productive member of society.”
This is what Penny does when she is drained.
Below, I have made a list of self reflective questions you can journal about to make sure you are not being a total ass to your friends and family.
- What are my core values? (love, happiness, work, education, fitness, health, honesty, empathy, inner peace, spirituality, change, risk, beauty are a few examples… Google search personal values if you are having a hard time with this)
- What am I giving my energy too?
- Is that in line with my core values?
- How am I treating the people I care about?
- How much time and energy am I giving to those whom I care about?
- What changes do I need to make so my actions are more in line with my personal values?
- What do I need to do right now to replenish myself? (p.s. sometimes it is hiding under the covers for a few minutes 🙂
Here is a picture of me at Burning Man when I had the self awareness that I needed to go out into the desert by myself for a while. It was one of the best times I had at burning man because I was being true to my own needs and wants.
Tell me about a time that you were self aware in the comments below!