I know what some of you are thinking already. Self awareness? But I thought this was a travel blog…well, this is the blog of WanderlustingHippie. But recently, I’ve only been focusing on the “Wanderlust” aspect. That’s why this week, I felt it was important to introduce you to the “Hippie” side. So it’s time we talk about self awareness!
This past Thursday I handed in my 2 week notice…for a job that I’ve been working at for 2 weeks. Needless to say, it was not the right fit for me. I knew it almost instantly. However, in an effort to appease my parents (yes, adults STILL try to make their parents happy…) I put off quitting right away. I thought, “maybe it’s my attitude” and “okay, is it really THAT bad?” Until one day it hit me like a load of bricks. I’ve developed my sense of self awareness so keenly, that I know when something is right for me or not.
So many of us go through our day to day lives, numbed by television, radio, drugs, alcohol, and any other form of distraction we can get away with. But what happens when you silence all of that? When you take quiet time to sit alone and think “what are my goals and how do I accomplish them?” Well, you spend a lot less time on the wrong things, I can tell you that much. Once you have made yourself aware of your end goals, then the process of getting there is SO EASY. The problem is that so many of us have no idea what our end goal is. As the excerpt from “Alice in Wonderland” states perfectly,
“One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree.
‘Which road do I take?’ she asked.
‘Where do you want to go?’ was his response.
‘I don’t know,’ Alice answered.
‘Then,’ said the cat, ‘it doesn’t matter.”
Without having a clearcut destination of what you want out of life, or even out of this month, then how do you expect to get there? I believe that, yes, whatever is meant for us in life (big picture) will come into our path regardless, but I also believe that we can curate our way of getting there. I know that I personally want to be happy. I want to travel. I want to wake up excited to do whatever it is I’m going to do that day. If my end goal were just to have a house and a nice car, then yes, I probably would put up with a less than great job for a lot longer (isn’t that what 95% of Americans do anyway?) But I have sat alone with myself and truly looked inside. I’ve developed a sense of a awareness that I’m very proud of. I don’t want life to be “easy”…I know there’s no such thing. But I want to be HAPPY. By whatever standard that is to me.
In time, I learned that meant becoming aware of who increases my energy and who drains it; in order for me to cut toxic people out of my life. That meant laying in bed with my eyes closed, reflecting, instead of having the television on to distract my thoughts. It meant losing myself in books, and art, and self expression, getting to the core of ME.
I’m very lucky that this has come naturally to me, however for others I know it to be a struggle. It is something that needs to be worked at. You have to make the conscious effort to become aware of your thoughts, wants, and desires. You must take alone time to develop your sense of self awareness. It’s simple. PUT THE PHONE DOWN. Don’t turn the television on first thing when you come home. Go for a walk, spend some time with nature, or even visit one of those new float spas that are popping up everywhere! Do whatever it takes to help you figure out what you want out of life, and then work backwards. That, I truly believe, is the ultimate nirvana.
It can be difficult to integrate this practice into your life if it’s a new concept for you, so just take it a day at a time. Think about the day ahead. When you wake up, before you leave your bed, think about where you want to be by the end of the day. What do you have hope to have accomplished? Pause, reflect on it, then get out there and make it happen!