I hear it all the time: I know my truth and I am taking a stand for it! Setting boundaries! Expressing my truth!
I think that's wonderful. And, I am moved to insert a "yes....and...." here.
Because if we are doing our jobs in terms of maintaining and developing self awareness, our truth is going to change. And sometimes, what we think is our truth might just be, well, something else. How many times have you declared your truth, only to discover later that it really wasn't your truth, but simply a defense mechanism?
How do we know the difference?
Here are some tips:
- If you are just beginning a self awareness practice, know that it is just that: practice. This is a skill like any other, and it will develop with time and practice. In the beginning, especially, it helps immensely to run your "truths" by another person who is healthy (will simply listen, offer feedback if asked, and not try to fix you).
- Check in with your body. Our bodies are very wise. Any tension, or shallowness of breath can be a sure sign that it really isn't your truth. When you are contemplating something, check in with your body. I have a perfect example. When I went to graduate school and was approaching my senior year, there was a process we went through to ensure that we were ready to be a senior. Mostly it involved a conversation with the Dean to make sure we had enough units to graduate, and other administrative stuff, but it also involved an interview with a panel of folks. I passed my interview and was told I was ready to be a senior, and immediately I got a stomach ache. Like a big round basketball in my belly. I knew something was up. I wanted to graduate that year, but I also knew, after listening to my body, that perhaps that wasn't such a good idea. Then I had my conversation with my Dean, who told me that I was right on the edge in terms of enough credits to graduate, and that one of the classes I needed would not be offered in a timely fashion, and it would be best if I postponed graduation for one year. I breathed a sigh of relief, and the stomach ache went away immediately!
- Set up a time every day to check in. I do this in the mornings, but some people do it in the evenings. The point is to do it at the same time every day.
- During your check in, ask yourself: what am I thinking? Are my thoughts serving me? Remember, your thoughts are not the boss of you. Just because you think it doesn't mean you have to own it. You can change your thoughts.
- Follow up the check in with an affirmation that you will carry with you throughout the day.
Do this consistently and watch your life blossom!