Intuitive insight is always presenting itself to us—in dreams, the things people say, the still truths that lie within or via, “coincidences” that seem to point us in a particular direction. The key to tuning in to them is sweet and simple—self-awareness!
“Knowing others is wisdom. Knowing ourselves is enlightenment.”- Tao Tzo
Self-awareness is the quality of being grounded, such that at any given moment you know who you are, what you want and can access the divine within.
There are so many benefits of being self aware—effective communication and interpersonal relationships, the ability to identify exactly what you want and how to get there, and the development of empathy—but most of all, self-awareness helps you to access your 6th sense. If you’ve been tuning in over the past two weeks, you know the 6th sense I refer to is none other than, intuition. It makes life so much easier…I promise.
In today’s post, I offer you three exercises to enhance your self- awareness.
1. Thin-slicing: Thin-slicing is very simply the practice of mindfulness. Choose any seemingly mundane activity that you do on a regular basis—like breathing, chewing, or walking.
For purposes of demonstration I will choose breathing. In thin slicing, if I were breathing, I would pay attention to each aspect—inhaling, feeling the air enter my nostrils and finding its way down to my quickly expanding diaphragm. I’d pause momentarily—waiting for my diaphragms ultimate collapse as I patiently observe the air that once filled my cavities, gently find its way out.
At each juncture, as I thinly slice each juicy moment, I’d ask myself how I’m feeling. I love breathing (sounds funny, but really…I do), so my thoughts, as I thinly sliced each moment were, “mmm!” “Feels good,” “I like how the air feels in my chest,” “Oh, right there. Like that.” “My lungs feel filled to capacity. This feels so good.”
In thin slicing, not only are you slowing the process and grounding yourself in the moment, but the mundane becomes spectacular and most importantly—you are increasing your moment-to-moment self-awareness.
2. Channel Surf: This is as simple as it sounds. Turn on the TV and flip those channels. On each station there will be some visual presentation. Pay attention to the emotions felt at every step along the way. No need to judge the emotion or what you’re seeing, just pay attention to the accompanying emotion. Keep flipping! And pay attention.
3. Vispana Meditation: This technique is used to acknowledge thoughts as they arise. Sit with closed eyes. Take a few breaths and center. As thoughts arise pay attention to them. So if you’re thinking, “Am I doing this right?” you’re unsure, and you would repeat, “unsure, unsure, unsure,” until another thought arises. “Bored, bored, bored.” You may even begin to feel peaceful, or depending on what just transpired, anger. In either scenario, acknowledge the thought. If you find yourself just thinking say, “thinking, thinking, thinking.”
Each of these exercises are somewhat different, but being the smart cookie that you are, I’m sure you’ve noticed they have one aim—to get you in tuned with yourself.
You might ask what does this have to do with intuition? Fair question! As stated in part one of this discussion, by definition, intuition is “quick and ready insight; immediate apprehension or cognition” –What we’re doing is learning to silence our mind. Much activity occurs from minute to minute in our busy little heads. These exercises help quiet that monkey brain, so when that quick intuition rises…you’re ready to discern it.
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