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Mindfulness

Higher Self-Awareness and Consciousness: 4 Ways to Connect With Your Inner Self

Most people make very few moments that feed and nurture their self.

They push through life with a sense of duty and responsibility, and they feel more like they’re enduring their life rather than living it, let alone enjoying it.

If you find yourself feeling this way, know that you’ve also become hardened to your self and, consequently, cut off from your consciousness.

In this article, you’re going to learn powerful ways to raise your awareness and consciousness and get in touch with your inner self.

Ready? Let’s get started!

What Is Your Inner Self?

The inner self, also referred to as the “true self” or the soul (in spiritual contexts), is a person’s internal identity.

This identity is distinct from identities defined by external factors, and is closely linked to the person’s values, beliefs and goals.

The main way to tune into the body and align with the inner self, is to raise your awareness.

Why Is It Important To Get In Touch With Yourself?

1. Self-Awareness Is Key To Mental Health

Without self-awareness, you’ll find yourself depending on other people, events, and objects to define yourself.

You end up defining yourself in terms of your relationships with others and struggling to deal with your difficult emotions.

As a result, your identity becomes vulnerable to self-deprecation, anxiety, and unhappiness.

2. It Is Not A Selfish Endeavor

Improving your mental health and focusing on your personal growth is the opposite of selfish.

You can only contribute the best of yourself to society when you begin to understand yourself and find inner peace.

You can accomplish this is by sitting down with yourself like you would do with a friend, and ask: how am I feeling right now?

Once you’ve identified each separate feeling, try to identify which event or thought might have caused these emotions.

How to Raise Your Self-Awareness?

#1. Learn to Quiet Your Mind and Listen Within

There are many ways to help you get in touch with your inner self, including deep listening, relaxed breathing, meditation, and prayers.

1. Deep Listening And Relaxed Breathing

One exercise to practice deep listening is to listen to a favorite piece of calming, classical music with your eyes closed. Try to identify the particular instruments.

As you lose yourself in the music, don’t be surprised if you start having inspiring thoughts and subtle pieces of information leap to mind.

When this happens, graciously view it as an introduction to your inner self and deepest desires.

Relaxed breathing can make you receptive to your deeper awareness.

You can also combine deep listening and relaxed breathing.

2. Meditation

To meditate, you don’t have to sit upright and start chanting “Om”.

You can meditate while enjoying a walk, cooking, cleaning, gardening, etc.

The key to enter into a meditative state is to stop thinking about the future and the past and focus on your breathing as you enjoy the world around you – practicing giving your full, undivided attention to what you’re doing at the moment.

3. Praying

Praying isn’t just about pouring your heart out. You need to also remember to thank your Creator for all of the blessings in your life as well.

Prayers of gratitude help you raise your awareness of all of the love and support that are already present in your life.

#2. Shift Your Attention

In order to raise your awareness, you need to shift your attention one hundred and eighty degrees and look inside your internal landscape.

When you become aware, moment by moment, of what you are feeling and the decisions you are making, you face the most unhealthy parts of yourself—the parts that blame, criticize, judge, resent, envy, and hate others and yourself.

When you do that, you learn to see your inner experiences as primary, and your external circumstances as secondary.

You begin to understand that getting a new partner, a larger home, or a better car are all ways of pursuing external power, but that doesn’t make you feel more whole and secure.

Instead, you shift your focus to uncover, acknowledge, and change the causes of insecurity.

Practical Exercise 1 – Change Your Intention

Spend some quiet time. Consider the things in your life, what you eat, what you do throughout the day.

Ask yourself, “Do I do this for survival? To feel more secure? To feel better about myself? To feel better than others?”

For every Yes, ask yourself, “How could I see the things that I do or have differently?”

For instance, instead of exercising to make yourself feel good, or to feel more secure, choose to exercise with the intention of taking care of your body.

The act is the same, but the quality of the satisfaction you derive from it will be different.

Instead of having a partner to feel better about yourself, or safer, choose to be with them to enjoy a true partnership.

Make it a habit to ask yourself Before doing anything, “What is my intention for doing this?”

When you become your own source of worthiness, you will still eat, exercise, buy clothes, and get into relationships. The difference is that you will not do these things to control or impress others.

You will live true to yourself, without fear.

#3. Feeding Your Inner Self

It’s not hard to understand how one can lose touch with his deepest desires.

Our culture encourages people from childhood to put others before themselves and to call any personal interest or self-care activity “selfish”.

As a result, most people don’t know how to feed their inner selves.

1. Discovering What Feeds Your Inner Self

The following are some ideas:

Fun/pleasure

  • Sport (watching or taking part)
  • Enjoying music/attending shows and concerts
  • Watching a movie/going to the cinema
  • Hobbies
  • Reading books, magazines
  • Listening to podcasts
  • Practicing relaxation techniques/yoga/meditation

Achievements

  • Learning something new/class
  • Planning and cooking regular meals
  • DIY projects

Spending time with people you like

  • Seeing people you like  
  • Phoning or texting friends
  • Going to church, mosque, temple or synagogue
  • Going to a clubs and support groups

Routine

  • Spending time with your pets (e.g. walking the dog)
  • Looking after the garden

Write down your answer then ask yourself, “Why am I not doing more of these things?”

If you feel disconnected from your inner self, start by paying close attention to your day-to-day life.

Recognizing the moments when you feel most engaged and peacefully involved. What were you doing? These moments are when your inner self is inspired.

Identify the activities that leave you with a sense of contentment and satisfaction, these activities are in line with your deepest desires, and doing more of them will help you access your inner self.

Related: Take Care of Yourself: (26 Simple Self-Care Practices for a Healthy Mind, Body & Soul)

2. “If I weren’t afraid, I’d . . .”

You can also try to take a few minutes every week and fill in the following: “If I weren’t afraid, I’d . . .”

For example, “If I weren’t afraid, I’d take a day off from work and relax.” “If I weren’t afraid, I’d call my mother and tell her I love her.”

By doing this, you raise your awareness and allow your inner self to speak in a free and uncensored manner. After a few sessions, you’ll discover what nurtures and feeds your inner self.

3. Freeing Yourself From Guilt

Dome people know what their inner self wants, but feel guilty to allow themselves such indulgence.

For instance, a busy mother who loves nature might deny herself a walk in the park because she feels that other obligations in her life are more important.

Feeding your inner self doesn’t have to mean that you’re going to neglect other obligations in your life. A guilt-free Half-an-hour walk in the park every now and then can be all you need.

A little can go a long way when it comes to being sensitive and responsive to your inner self.

The inner peace you find after feeding your inner self will help you perform more effectively in other areas of your life.

4. Stop Playing the Victim

Perhaps the greatest way to slam the door shut on your inner self and deepest desires is to say, “I have no choice.”

Choice is the one thing you do have in life that no one can take away.

Practical Exercise 2 – Spend Time With Yourself

Set a free period of, 15 to 20 minutes every week where you answer to no one but yourself.

During this time, allow yourself to do something you enjoy, such as spending time in the garden, or simply daydreaming—guilt-free.

Gradually add more time to that period and move up from once a week to twice a week or more.

You may have to let others, like family members and especially children, know that this is important time that needs to be respected.

#4. Become One Who Forgives and Doesn’t Judge

Nothing disconnects you from your inner self like being judgmental or holding a grudge.

Forgiving might seem like a tall order, but if you think it through, you’ll realize that forgiving and not judging are easier and far less work than condemning.

Forgiving and not judging allows your awareness to be channeled into seeing important things, such as you inner self.

One way to free yourself from the habit of judging and bearing grudges is to state your intention to do so every day.

Affirm to yourself: I release myself from all of my judgments and resentments.

Practical Exercise 3 – Noticing Unhealthy Parts

To notice your unhealthy parts, as you go through your day, begin to notice when:

  • You judge others
  • You blame others or yourself
  • You are self-critical
  • You feel angry
  • You feel upset
  • You feel defensive
  • You experience a painful reaction to something or someone

Locating within your impulses to control others or the circumstances around you is the first step to become aware of your unhealthy parts.

Your turn…
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Resources

  • Portions of this article were adapted from the book Ask Your Guides: How to Connect with Your Spiritual Support System, © 2007 by Sonia Choquette. All rights reserved.
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