A Path to the Self ~ Three Ways to Gain Self-Knowledge
Through self-knowledge, you recognize your divine nature and the deeper purpose to life. You create a larger context in which to view your existence. You learn how to interpret and organize your experiences. You develop an inner connection with all creation. Self-knowledge helps you blend world and spirit.
Along the way you face the demon of attachments. Some attachments are healthy, such as those to family and friends. But you must release your need to control other people and events. You must deal with challenging situations or choose to let them go. Self-knowledge strengthens your ability to grow and expand your sense of self.
Develop the capacity for concentration and stillness with meditation.
Quiet times alone help you awaken to the truth of your divine nature. For a short while you step away from the constant demands of the outside world. You let go of false beliefs and illusions. You let go of feelings of separation. During times of stillness you free yourself from habitual patterns that limit your spiritual growth.
Meditation relaxes the body, calms the mind and renews the spirit. You access a deeper state of awareness. You increase your creativity. You are better able to concentrate. Meditative techniques vary. You may focus on your breath. You may repeat a mantra or affirmation. You may walk with mindful attention. Meditation may be the most powerful tool for developing a clear, focused mind.
Cultivate mindfulness as essential for a conscious life.
By paying attention to each present moment, you appreciate the fullness of being alive. Habitual ways of thinking and acting disconnect you from the now. Fear distracts you. Impatience robs you of life's joy. Many of your bumps and bruises occur because of a lack of mindfulness.
Mindfulness simply means paying attention. You give your entire awareness to the present moment. You use past experience to enhance the meaning of the present. You let go of your need to rush into the future. Being mindful helps you focus on what matters the most to you.
Acquire knowledge of the world around you and within you.
To gain self-knowledge you must let go of limiting beliefs that inhibit your learning and growth. Examples of these beliefs abound. "I can't do it. I don't deserve it. It will never happen." Examine these beliefs and especially your interpretation of them. Talk to friends who encourage you, not those who increase your doubts.
If you feel confused and overwhelmed, you can seek more information. Consider taking a course of study. Read new books on specific subjects. Most important, remain open-minded and able to ask questions. Awareness of both inner and outer worlds increases your self-knowledge and sense of wholeness.
As you recognize your divine nature, you grasp the deeper purpose of life that underlies all existence. You let go of unhealthy attachments that do not serve this purpose. In your life journey, you encounter obstacles and difficulties that obscure the truth of your divine nature. But just as the tiny acorn contains what is necessary for the mighty oak tree. You have all you need within to accomplish your purpose for living. You are guided by a Higher Power and inner wisdom. As you blend world and spirit, you increase your self-knowledge and expand your sense of self.
About the Author
Mary Beth Ford, Ed. D., is the author of Wisdom from the Gardens-Life Lessons and creator of the CD Garden Wisdom-5 Ways to Grow in Life Balance and Joy. She specializes in the area of life balance, which she describes as balance between outer world and inner Self. In her work Mary Beth shares five powerful garden lessons for living with balance and joy. She helps busy people live with Spirit in the world. Using nature images she offers us a new way of seeing ourselves and our world.