Self Observation

Through simple self-observation one gradually arrives at a form of insight which leads to a transcending of oneself as you stood prior to the insights. One may even arrive at a massive altered state of awareness – an insight into the impermanence of your present personality, and the experience of liberation arising from it.

Observing your own ebb and flow of thoughts and feelings, your own habits and responses to things, is one of the most powerful of tools to use in transforming your life. This also leads to a fuller connection with your intuitive connection with your core.

If one uses observation you may at time realise that you are cycling through feelings or moods. So it can imply that one is experiencing a cycle which you may be trapped in. The way to get out of this cycle is to step back from it using observation, this is like stepping back and not be lost in the emotions or moods.

Much of our behaviour is largely or wholly unconscious. Becoming aware of something can by itself produce a change. If you are not aware of how you act or respond, there is less likelihood of satisfying change.

Such observation can begin anywhere and should be continued until it becomes a habit. Once you learn it in connection with one thing the skill can be used in any other direction in your life or in your own behaviour.

But before you start, remember that some things you do are not comfortable to become aware of. Personal growth is not a constant delight. There are growing pains occasionally.

Remember also that self observation is not aimed at correcting wrong behaviour. There are not a set of right things to do. But there are ways you can discover of satisfying yourself more fully, and there are ways of responding and living that have the opposite effect to producing satisfaction and peace.

Another important thing to remember is that most of what we do is habitual. It takes no thought or effort to do it. Habits feel right because they have been done for so long. Even emotional responses are often habitual. So when you change you are going to confront a habit. Practising the new thing is necessary. Practice until the new thing is itself a habit and easy. See Habits

 How Do You Do That?

When I was a child a nurse came to the school I attended and examined every child’s feet. I was one of the children who were told that I had flat feet, and I along with others was shown how to use our feet in a different way. In fact we were shown how to be aware of the way in which we walked. I made a habit of this until it became second nature. What I learned over 50 years ago is still a part of the pleasure I experience today in walking.

Becoming aware of how you walk can be an easy and pleasurable way to start self observation. It seldom confronts you with any great emotional hurdles to cross, but it can produce a real change in the way you feel about an everyday part of your life.

Approach it slowly. To start with, choose a time when you can spend perhaps 20 or 30 minutes playing with the process of observing yourself walking. It might be best to start off indoors, or where you cannot be seen. Then be aware of every movement, every motivation, that goes into the process of walking. Take a step, but do it slowly watching each movement.

At first this will feel very awkward. It is natural to feel that, so do not be concerned. As you make your slow moves, observing how you place your foot on the ground, how your body feels as your balance shifts, and notice how the rest of the body moves in the process of taking a step. This is rather like doing something in slow motion, and of course it feels strange. In fact it is strange. But the point of it is to notice exactly what you are doing with your body, especially your legs and feet.

If you take time with this there is an extraordinary amount to learn about yourself. You can learn not simply how you are walking, but what from your past has gone into walking the way you do. What attitude or fear is involved. So questions to consider as you observe yourself at this point are things like how am I using my feet? Am I placing them flat on the ground, or am I using the heel toe movement? If I were watching these movements on video would it look as if I am using my body well, or are my feet flying out at angles wasting energy? If so, see what it feels like to walk with your toes pointing forward instead of out to the side. Place your heel on the ground first then roll forward and push off with your toes.

Whatever you notice in the way you walk, see if you can bring about a sense of greater ease, motivation and pleasure or well-being in what you are doing. Experiment in this by using your legs and feet slightly differently. Watch the way the rest of your body feels and improve that too, perhaps by a slightly different posture or way of moving. But remember that what is habitual, even if it is posturally damaging, feels right. So any improvement in walking may feel strange at first.

If you have worn high heels for any period of time, you may have lost the natural heel toe movement, and need to relearn it. Whatever it is you carry into the improved and more pleasurable sense of walking, practice this until you can walk at a normal rate or speed still maintaining that sense of pleasure and well-being.

Once you have reached that point use your self observation at times in your everyday walking, to see what feelings, what posture or stance, even what motivation you are expressing in the way you walk. For instance sometimes we walk as if life is a great burden. Other times we might walk with real energy or pleasure. There are frequently attitudes we unconsciously express in the way we walk, and thereby in what we are expressing of ourselves to other people. Take time to see if you can create a different attitude that allows you to walk with a greater sense of life and fullness.

 You Are the Creator

It is true to say that we live in a world, in conceptions of ourselves and your surroundings that are a self-created virtual reality. Even if you cannot accept this completely, it still means that much of what you experience is self-created and therefore in some measure capable of being transformed by self observation and developing a new relationship with yourself. This can be done, not in one great leap, but step-by-step. Just as you learned to speak word by word, so you can transform your being one bit at a time.

So here are some possible feelings for self observation that can bring very big changes.

1) Notice what you are editing or blocking in your thoughts and feelings. Much of the time we have blocks set up to stop ourselves thinking or feelings things. Sometimes this is because our cultural training has told us that certain things are not good or right to think about. We may also have had personal experiences that we do not wish to consider again. Unfortunately this means that we often close down the flow of energy and creativity that we allow ourselves to express. So observing what you allow yourself to think and feel, what you edit, can produce a revolutionary change. See the people we carry inside us

Because we block much of who we are because of social training about right and wrong, good and bad, acceptable and unacceptable, we have hugely diminished ourselves. Becoming aware of how we are holding ourselves back is a massive step forward. What have we been criticised for and are we still holding on to that image of ourselves.

2) Notice how often you blame events or other people for problems or difficulties. Blaming someone else or outside influences leads to a loss of power and initiative. It means you take no action yourself to change things. You might argue that it is really true someone else was at fault. Nevertheless, as a general rule, transformation comes from taking responsibility and not blaming.

3) Observe how you deal with other people. For instance do you truly recognise that the person you are dealing with is a completely different person to yourself, with their own unique desires, dreams and needs? These may in no way match your own. But through negotiation and communication you may find ways of achieving a mutually satisfying relationship. See if, through observation, you can begin to recognise the other person’s uniqueness, what they want and seek, and who they are.

4) A practice that can be very useful is be aware of and name what you are feeling or reacting to. For example you see something and react to it. But what have you reacted to? Is it a theory, a supposition, a story about something that you believe? If so name the reaction ‘a theory’. If it is something you read that you now put forward as a fact, name it as ‘something I read’. If it is an emotional reaction name it ‘an emotional reaction or projection’. If it is a conjecture, name it as that. If it is a fantasy then call it ‘my fantasies’.

This is an advanced form of self awareness and brings great insight. Naming often takes away the self judgements and blaming we put upon ourselves.

Example: I am talking to a male friend. In general I have a positive perception about him and we get along fine. Then something triggers something inside me and what helps me become aware of this is that I can sense a curtain coming down and then I become aware that I cannot SEE him anymore the way I used to.

My perception about him changes with the speed of light and I am aware that what I see must be a projection of “an unprocessed difficult feeling state inside me”.

See Meeting yourself – Individuation – Projection


-BASA 2016-07-20 22:12:36

I had dream I found a frozen body in are work freezer and I didn’t report it is just acted like it was nothing this is really bothering me what is going on here

Copyright © 1999-2010 Tony Crisp | All rights reserved