I find that as I get older, I am becoming more self-aware. What does this mean to me? It means that I am becoming more aware of what I am doing and why I am doing it. Sounds oversimplistic, doesn’t it? Once again I am writing about my experience with the 21-day Perfect Health Meditation Challenge. What an impact it has made on my life and my health! I think the reason for that is that I have really never thought deeply about “what” I do, and “why” I do it, in terms of my health. The mind-body feedback loop, as Deepak calls it, affects everything that’s happening in your body. This is a survival mechanism and very good for us, generally. We feel a pain in our back and that causes us to take it easy for a few days until our back feels better. But for many of us, however, this can turn into a negative where we vilify ourselves for our bad habits, causing anxiety and even depression because we can’t seem to stop doing what we know is bad for us.
With mindful self-awareness, however, you say to yourself (for instance) ” I am currently enjoying my 5th delicious chocolate-chip cookie. I know that each one is 110 calories and that 550 calories is about 1/3 of my daily calorie consumption limit. I am consuming so many of them because they are delicious. If I keep eating them I will feel sick. I should stop eating the cookies but I don’t want to – Why? Because I am feeling anxious and eating the cookies makes me feel better”.
This is a feedback loop and we have them for just about everything we do or think. Not beating yourself up over not being able to control those cravings is the difference between just being “aware” and being “self-aware”. If you know what and why you’re doing something, then suddenly you find yourself in control and able to stop if you want to. Why has it taken me almost 55 years to realize this?