Creating Connected Relationships

Self-Awareness

“To realize that you do not understand is a virtue; not to realize that you do not understand is a defect.”  Lao Tzu

Self-awareness may be defined as being aware of one’s own feelings and qualities. It may be knowing who we are so that we can understand how others see us. Being self-aware could be a useful skill for us when working or interacting with others. I would say that I am passionate about many things and often during discussions, I have been carried away. I have found that often, I’ve become excited and have forgotten to listen to others. By becoming aware of this, I often now catch myself out and find that I interrupt others less. Being self-aware can help us to know what to do and to know what not to do.

Following is a list of some ideas that may be useful to your family to help teach self-awareness. Have the youngest member of the family choose one to try this week.

  • Give a one-minute talk without any planning about all the good things about you.
  • Have a ‘friendship’ discussion. What makes a good friend? Why are you a good friend? Who are your good friends? What makes them a good friend to you?
  • What do you really like to do in your spare time? Talk about why you think you like to do those things.
  • Is there anything that you avoid doing? Why do you think this is so? Discuss.
  • Write a list of all your strengths and your weaknesses. Talk about them with others in the family.
  • Talk about what makes you happy/sad/angry/frustrated/ecstatic, etc. If you are feeling an emotion that you don’t like, can you change it?
  • Notice how you are feeling right now. Notice how your body feels. How are your shoulders? Your jaw? Your back? Your stomach? Your posture? Notice what happens if you change your posture? What happens if you stand up? Lie down? Roll into a ball?
  • Download a meditation app and use it to help you meditate. What did you notice about yourself? Try meditating a few times during the week. Discuss if you noticed any changes each time you meditated.
  • How do you think other people perceive you? What do you think they would say are your good and not so good characteristics?
  • Write down five strengths that you think you have. Then interview someone else and ask them to list five strengths that they think you have. Compare the lists.

When mobile phones first came out, I could never understand why people became so attached to them. When I eventually purchased my first mobile, I shared it with my wife, Sandi. More often than not, she would take it. I wasn’t really interested. As time passed, I eventually bought my own mobile and later on, a smart phone. I started to become more and more reliant on my device, taking it everywhere and always using it. I think that smart phones are amazing. There is so much that I can do on it and so many of the apps are brilliant. Lately, I’ve noticed that I have been using it way too much and becoming distracted when around others. I’ll be checking emails and answering texts. I’ll check the footy score or the weather. So, recently, I’ve started to change things. I’ve taken many of the apps off my phone that I have been distracted by and will instead, look on my computer when I’m home. For me, the thing that is different with the laptop is that I have to go and open it, whereas my mobile is usually in my pocket. I have also started unsubscribing to many emails. And I am starting to leave the phone at home when going out with the family. I’m also taking it out of my pocket and leaving it at the other end of the house when I’m home with the family.

“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” C.G. Jung.

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