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Radical Self-Awareness

By Rev. Lauri Boyd, Minister, Unity of Columbia, MO

 “The seeds of transformation lie within each of us awaiting activation. We cannot control when or how these seeds will come into fruition, but we can develop the conditions that nurture and support the seeds of transformation. We do this through spiritual practice.”     Living Originally: Ten Spiritual Practices to Transform Your Life by Rev. Robert Brumet

When I am engaged in the practice of Radical Self-Awareness, I am aware of myself as an individual, and I am aware that I am aware. Why is this practice transformative?  As we practice awareness of our body, thoughts and emotions, we begin to notice two ‘voices’ within us. One voice experiences what is – just the facts, ma’am. The other voice interprets what is and tells us what it means. It creates our story.

Let’s look at an example.

  • Facts – I am walking down the street and I say “hello” to a friend and she ignores me. I feel an instant flash of anger.
  • Story – I now start making up a story. My friend is rude and inconsiderate. Or maybe she is mad at me. Did I do something wrong?

There is nothing inherently wrong with making up stories. The problem occurs when we don’t realize we are making up a story, and we end up believing the story is the truth.

The Practice of Radical Self-Awareness allows us to separate the facts of our experience from the meaning we have assigned to it. This gives us options.

Option 1:  I can make up a better story.

My friend didn’t see me. She was upset and distracted. It wasn’t actually my friend, but just someone who looked like her.

Option 2:  I can dig deeper.

I notice that I felt angry when my friend ignored me. I ask myself, “Why would I have that reaction? Why anger in particular?” I sit with that for a while. Then, I remember a time when I was a kid and a friend started ignoring me. She had joined a new group and didn’t want me as a friend anymore. I realize the anger I felt today was a memory of the anger I felt then. As I sit with that, I realize that under the anger, there was hurt, and under the hurt, there was a secret fear that something was wrong with me that ‘made’ those other kids not like me. I carried this fear with me as a story. Now that I have uncovered this story, I can question it. Is this story True?  No!  The Truth is, I am an expression of God – whole, perfect and complete. So now, instead of feeling angry at my friend who ignored me today, I feel grateful that she provided a trigger that helped me to uncover and heal something from my past. Thank you! And this healing opportunity came because I noticed – because I was practicing Radical Self-Awareness.

Have you had an experience of self-awareness that led to healing?

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