“Life isn’t something you can give an answer to today. You should enjoy the process of waiting, the process of becoming what you are. There is nothing more delightful than planting flower seeds and not knowing what kind of flowers are going to come up.” – Milton Erickson, MD
We are either growing or withering. Not knowing yourself is like being blindfolded and asked to follow a trail to the path of somewhere. And, you will end up somewhere. Not knowing can create anxiety, sadness, low self esteem and difficulty in relationships.
It’s the journey of knowing yourself that connects with others. Remember in the beginning of a relationship where you are sharing and getting to know each other? It’s that part of you that you know and share that strengthens the growth in the connection.
There are times when our insight for direction fails. To ignite who you are and your purpose, use these 5 tools for self-awareness and growth:
- Plant seeds. Our seeds can come from affirmations and positive thoughts. What we say to ourselves can make a difference. It’s been said that we have 70,000 thoughts a day. The messages we are give ourselves help us with our growth or help us wither. Émile Coué, a French psychiatrist believed in practicing positive affirmations. As a psychiatrist and pharmacist, he notice that his patients needed less medication when he had them recite the following affirmation many times a day: “Everyday in every way, I’m getting better and better.” It worked! They did get better. Write out your affirmation and place it in several places to remind you of its value. What thoughts will you replace today?
- Space to grow. What space do you need? Do you need more closeness with family and friends or more distance from some? Seeds begin to form their roots with space to grow in. Do you feel trapped? What do you need to do? Maybe the space can be in silence. Gangaji, a spiritual teacher says, “When you are willing to stop looking for something in thought, you find everything in silence.” Silence is a way to be present…to live in the moment, and miraculously connect with others. It is only in the moment that renewal takes place. Take time to breathe in a quiet place and listen to what happens in your moment. Do this often.
Watch this powerful video on how embracing silence yields closeness in relationships:
- Nurturing. Seeds need water, sun, fertilizer and love. We need daily rituals of self-care and safety. We receive this nurturing through friends, companions, family, and through the things we are interested in. Spirituality can also be nurturing. Ways that enrich and inspire are to be sought. What do you need? Make a list with two columns. On one side, list your interests. On the other side, list what is in your way. Check the items you can strengthen. On the other side of the list, eliminate what’s in the way. Ask yourself, “Are you lost in the world or lost in your thoughts? Get out of yourself. Give to others and then you will find joy.
- Becoming. Enjoy becoming. That is the art of knowing. As you practice becoming it’s one of the greatest gifts to experience. This is the time to make a list of your assets. If this is difficult, ask someone close to you to describe how they see you. Then ask someone else to do the same. Reflect upon your descriptions. Like a seed that takes root, receives nourishment from the earth, struggles to move above the soil, then gracefully branches out to form leaves, buds, and ever so slowly begins to bloom. Essential tools are needed. Sunlight, water, fertilizer when necessary, and of course, love. Getting out of yourself to give and share and be with others, with other activities, and self-reflection increase the strength of the bud that begins the journey of a flower.
- Being. Self-judgment is like a shadow blocking the sun that you need. Being…just being allows the sun to come in, just enough to help the growth. Being is where our messages of hope, faith and belief come from. Being recharges us. It keeps us in reality, instead of yesterday where we cannot change and tomorrow is an illusion, as we do not know what it brings. Being is a way of sitting with our thoughts and becoming aware of them. It’s the thoughts we are unaware of that control us. When we practice being, through breathing, meditation, prayer, or silence. Any activity that you can get lost in can increase awareness and growth.
On this journey of self-growth, gather your seeds and dig room for them to grow. You can have other seeds join you to spring up together. Delight in who you are becoming. Have you noticed that when you are smiling, pleasant, and open, that people respond the same? When you smile, the world smiles back.
Allow yourself to see what you don’t allow yourself to see.” – Milton Erikson, MD
Listen to “What You Need For A Satisfying Relationship”