In our weekly series, we offer a little inspiration to kick off your week.
Some simple wisdom, elegant and accessible. From one soul to another.
We hope it helps you ease into your Monday.
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“To know yourself as the Being underneath the thinker, the stillness underneath the mental noise, the love and joy underneath the pain, is freedom, salvation, enlightenment.” ~Eckhart Tolle
After years of “doing the work” I thought I knew myself pretty damn well. That was until I had a frequency session recently with my friend & business coach Ellen Ercolini. As I was learning all about earth, fire and water and how it all applied to my business, and life, I couldn’t help but think: “our work is truly never done.”
There’s always more to learn about ourselves. Always. Even when you think you’ve mastered your craft, healed your negative love patterns, exorcised your mom & dad stuff — you’re still not done.
At first this might seem like bad news. I mean, who wants to spend the next 50+ years working on the same ‘ol thing. Not only does it reek of boredom, but honestly, the shit is HARD. And if we’re being honest here, wouldn’t you rather just wrap it up with a bow and never have to look at it again? I feel you.
But, that’s the thing about life.
Nothing is ever done.
We are always learning. We are always growing. We are always finding new ways to dig deeper into the mystery and beauty and complexity of who we are. And, believe it or not, I’ve come to the place where I’m super happy about it. Because it means that my relationship with myself will never plateau. I’ll never be bored.
The fact that we can always discover new things about ourselves gives us the chance to fall in love again and again and again.
As with any relationship, without attention and open, honest communication, it will suffer. That’s why it’s so important that we dedicate time to self-discovery (or as the Barnes & Noble book aisle in Glendale, CA likes to call it “Living Your Best Life”).
Here are a few ways you can dive a bit deeper into self-discovery:
DATE NIGHT FOR ONE
The solo date night is one of my favorite ways to spend QT with myself. Whether it’s dinner + a movie, a few hours in a bookstore or visiting the botanical gardens — a solo date night (or day) is a great primer for getting to know what makes you . . . you!
READ A BOOK
Curling up with a great book always helps me get to know myself a bit better. I’ve found that anything by Brene Brown, Maya Angelou or Joan Didion gets me goin’.
Have you ever taken a trip all by yourself? It could be to another country, but it could also be to a nearby town you’ve been wanting to check out. Traveling solo enables you to get introspective, get to know your likes/dislikes and travel preferences. It can be a totally transformative experience.
I’m a sucker for a personality test. I took my first Myers-Briggs test when I was 10 years old and I’ve never looked back. Recently I found this test which is incredibly comprehensive. I also love the work that Ellen does. Use your findings to deepen your relationship to yourself while gaining clarity around who you really are. It’s often eye-opening what you discover.
BOOK A SESSION
When I’m feeling extra disconnected from myself, I like to book sessions with a healer (one of my go-to’s is Natalie Kalustian). Sometimes, the “work” that needs to be done is intangible, meaning that you can’t read a book or massage it away. Often times there are old patterns at play, ancestral burdens we’re carrying or stuck energy. Working with a trusted healer or attending a week-long intensive can help speed up this type of work, in a big way.
HOP IN THE BATH
Why is the bath such a sacred place? I’m still trying to figure it out, but the combination of a dimly lit room, candlelight, incense, soothing music and a deep soaking tub — well, it’s the stuff personal development dreams are made of. Whenever I’m facing a dilemma or am feeling unsure, I hop in the bath to soak it out. The answers always emerge when I’m submerged. Try it and see for yourself.
Whether through meditation, a day of silence, a silent retreat or just sitting alone in the car sans NPR, taking the time to be in silence is like therapy for the soul. Eliminate the distractions that surround you 24/7 and try being in silence for even just 15 minutes at a time (from my experience the longer you’re in silence the more that is revealed). See what comes up for you.
BE THE OBSERVER
This is a bit more of an advanced and slightly esoteric tactic, but it works. Take a few moments out of the day to observe yourself in your day-to-day life. Think of literally taking your conscious mind out of your body and floating it up near the ceiling. Watch your interactions with others. Notice your behaviour, thoughts, actions, from this detached place. Then, come back into your body (literally saying “I’m back” is helpful) and take note of what you saw and felt. It’s insightful to see things “from a distance” and has allowed me to detach from the drama or emotion and see what my behavior is actually telling me.
USE YOUR SENSES
As I’ve espoused many times here at The Girl Who Knows, the senses really are the key to many of life’s dilemma’s, namely being more present to your life. If you want to get to know yourself better, try paying attention to what you’re seeing, smelling, tasting, touching, hearing or feeling (intuiting). Experiment with your senses: go on a walk and consciously pay attention to your surroundings (notice the details). See what you notice when you listen to the sounds you hear from your backyard or what your tastebuds tell you as you bite into an orange. In my experience what happens is nothing short of magical.
What are some ways that you’ve experimented with, to form a deeper relationship with yourself? Do you have any tips for how we can know ourselves more as the years go by? Let’s start a conversation! I’d love to hear your insights in the box below.
Photo by Jake Melara