Legend tells that the seven sages of ancient Greece, (philosophers, statesmen and
law-givers, who laid the foundation for western culture,) gathered in Delphi to
inscribe “Know Thyself” at the entry to the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo,
the sacred oracle.
Since then, through eons of time, sages and wise ones, have often declared
'know thyself' as the key to health, wealth and happiness, positing that the
more you know your true self, the more you experience the riches in all aspects of
But what if you are not rich in all aspects of life? What if an aspect of life is not
as you would wish? It seems common sense that the first approach is to become
aware of that and as far as possible the cause of the situation and then take remedial
action. For some it may seem like common sense, or not, but difficult to achieve.
But only when you can face your situation honestly, embrace it (exploring it,
understanding it) in order to replace it with something new, can you attain success.
How aware are you of:
Your needs, moment by moment, and how well you do in getting them met?
The way your body communicates with you and are you listening, truly understanding?
The meaning of pain. What’s its message?
Your senses. What do you pick up intuitively?
What makes you uncomfortable around certain people?
Your fears and how they hold you back?
Your blockers – the ways you hold yourself back from achieving your potential
Your defence mechanisms – ways you have of hiding your feelings, not speaking your truth, keeping people at arm’s length, protecting yourself
Your constant self-talk, the stories you tell yourself
Your life purpose
Your call to spirituality
The call to a deeper way of living in integrity
Often, on matters of health, instead of becoming fully aware of a situation,
we will pretend nothing is amiss, we will deny there is a need to seek a medical opinion, we would prefer not to hear bad news, we have wishbone with regard
to wishing and hoping things will get better on their own instead of backbone,
to face the possibility that it may be bad news but the sooner you know, the
earlier you can begin treatment and avoid later complications or even worse news.
But if we are to aspire to good health and well-being, even with a disability, our starting point has to be through developing our awareness or ourselves, and our situation.
Now you probably think you know who you are. But do you really?
Do you know when you are kidding yourself that you truly want to heal?
Do you know what stops you from facing your demons?
Do you know what stops you being fully committed to all you need to be and do to achieve health, well-being and happiness?
Could you list and face your fears?
Could you list out all the strengths you have had in the past that you can now bring to the present to help you heal and grow into better wellness?
Could you find it within yourself to Love and care for yourself like you have never done before?
Do you know what special gifts you bring to the world?
Do you know what prevents you being open to new opportunities in life?
Do you understand the differences between your ego (smaller) mind and your divine (higher) mind, between your personality and your soul?
There are so many other ways we could know ourselves, before we get into knowing our situation and the truth of it.
It's so easy to get lost: -
in both conscious and unconscious patterns and habits…
our regular ways of thinking, believing, and doing
our default patterns – I knew a relative who when faced with a serious illness would simply say “Och, it’ll be okay. What’s the fuss?”
The truth was she was scared of the truth but things never became okay, and she is no longer with us.
It’s easy to get lost too
in rumination, churning our thoughts over and over without questioning whether the process is really helping
in convincing ourselves that what we believe and think is real and true. It may be true that Mrs X in the next street recovered from cancer, but it doesn’t follow that that the treatment she received will be your experience
in making out we know best – when we may have a very narrow and ill-informed perspective gleaned perhaps from poor quality information in the press
in staying stuck in our feelings… of anger, anxiety, analysis, fear and frustration, of wishful thinking. Such feeling can make analysis become paralysis, unable to move forward.
in believing that our past determines our future
in maintaining it’s all in our genes and there is nothing to be done
in believing/hoping the future will be better, even though we make no changes in our thinking and action and do nothing to bring that future about.
So how do we find our way to what really matters in life - to health, abundance and joy?
How do you shift from thinking you know what your situation is about to really knowing?
How do you shift from a perception of who you THINK you are to knowing who you REALLY are?
With awareness! B y constantly asking questions of yourself.
How can you achieve health and well-being without knowing your part in their current state and without being aware of what you may need to know, think, do, and be differently?
How can you know what to make of your life if you do not know who you really are?
How can you love and relate well to others if you do not love or have an intimate relationship with yourself?
How can you understand life, and your part in it, if you do not first understand yourself?
One of the main purposes of this website is to assist you in raising your awareness in many areas.
Becoming aware is like becoming awake for the first time, seeing with fresh eyes,
tasting the world differently. To become aware , more consciously aware brings
many benefits to help you live a happier, more healthy life filled with joy and well-being.
Some benefits include:-
The ability to genuinely love yourself, and so be honest and authentic in and enjoy all relationships.
The ability to make more informed decisions.
The ability to make your dreams come true.
The ability to act in consciousness (ie true awareness)instead of reacting to life, to people and events.
The experiencing of genuine happiness
Being the real you rather than pretending who you are which is a stressful way to live and stress creates many dis-eases
Greater meaning in and enjoyment of life.
The ability to manage your negative thinking.
Behaving positively instead of creating life dramas and obstacles.
Living radically, boldly, courageously and freely
Being open to the adventure
How differently would your life look like if you could live with
awareness and experience the above benefits on a regular basis?
Are you ready and committed to living a more conscious and aware life?
The foundations begin with constant awareness.
The Johari Window
The Johari Window is a way of looking at life from various angles and
provides four basic forms of the Self (the Known, Hidden, Blind, and
Unknown Self). It was created by two American psychologists, Joseph
Luft (1916–2014) and Harrington Ingham (1914–1995) in 1955 and is an a
pproach used to help people better understand their relationship with
themselves as well as others.
The Known Self is known to you and others; it is what you and others
see in you. It’s the part that you feel able to discuss freely and openly
The Hidden Self is known to you but not others; it is what you see
in yourself but others don’t. In this part you keep secret or hide
things that are very private about yourself. Information in this part
you do not wish disclosed. You may feel shame about this or be
wishing to protect yourself. It may be you are protecting your v
ulnerabilities or simply feel modest about your gifts and talents and
do not wish them to be broadcast to the world.
The Blind Self is known to others but not you; it’s what you don’t see in yourself but others can. You might see yourself as one way when, in reality, people around you don’t agree. You might see yourself as honest and aware about your health but others see you more as denying what is going on. Sometimes others might not tell you what they see because of fear of offending you and so collude with your disillusion. It is in this area that people sometimes detect that what you say and what you do don’t match and sometimes body-language and tone of voice show this mismatch. “I don’t care,” said in an off-hand manner is more than likely to mean, you really do care.
The Unknown Self is what others don’t see, and neither do you. There might be good and bad things that are out of the awareness of others and you. This might refer to untapped potential talents and skills that have yet to be explored by you or others in your life.
You may find the Johari Window a useful tool as you discover more and more of who you are.
Awareness is not enough
It's what you do with it that matters
Temple of Apollo, Delphi
Living in awareness
Levels of awareness
For me there are two main levels of awareness – that of the ego personality mind, and that of the Higher Mind. The former takes a very narrow, “me” centric perspective, “it’s all about me”, the latter will take a wider more humanitarian, global, at times spiritual perspective.
Higher Mind Awareness
As an example. In the pages on this website I talk a lot about my experiences of our NHS – where possible I reflect the good, but mostly my experiences have been not so good. That’s just been my experience.
Like people more eminent than I, I have reached the conclusion that our NHS is currently not effective, let alone efficient, heading for meltdown and breakdown and that more money and more resources are not, alone, the answer.
So, I am going to be authentic, be true to me and truthful of my experiences whilst acknowledging that my truth is not a universal truth. I say it as I find it, without the need for judgemental or loaded terms. One bad experience does not mean all the NHS is bad.
So I attempt to stand back and see things from a wider perspective, from an “other-than-me” perspective. I listen to others and their experiences, I notice what society is experiencing and saying, allowing for flavourings in perspective and biases by the various media. I listen to NHS staff and observe them at work. I experience them in their work – their abruptness, their kindness, their hurriedness, and their tardiness. Most are dedicated and caring, a few are not, and their behaviour in no remote way exemplifies a caring attitude. I would go so far as to say that in some cases I have experienced bullying.
I notice the systems they are required to employ and how those systems, often bureaucratic and bogged down with paperwork and poor communication, frequently do not help them bring their best to work.
I observe the arrogance of consultants who, despite us meant to be in a patient centred culture, still believe they are God but with a very warped definition of what a god is – theirs being one of a god who is punishing, abusive, in control, best knowing, all mighty as distinct from almighty. I observe that their intelligence that got them to their esteemed position, does not necessarily bestow upon them great empathy or interpersonal skills.
I experience management and their intransigence to listen, inability to attempt to understand - which is not the same as actually understanding, to deny the facts, and to do anything to improve the situation. I have seldom experienced effective, compassionate, timely communication from management. Their position is to ignore, deny, defend, twist the patient’s experience, and prove the patient wrong.
I have experienced health services in different countries, from New Zealand to India, Germany to Spain, The Orient to America, and varying locations in the United Kingdom ie both in Scotland and England. So, any views I form are not based on a narrow, one-culture, one-paradigm experience. I have researched various international reports on different health paradigms, approaches to health, on treatments, and on drugs. I observe that much research is suspect, a fact oft reported by health professionals. Models of nutrition are outdated. Health is in the clutches of big pharma. I experience that the present health model is about symptom deletion, disease management, not about the holistic creation of health.
And I heed my intuition, my vision, and the wider call that in Scotland the NHS is facing meltdown, the answer is not just more resources, but the need for a new paradigm and I imagine how that would be.
So as far as is humanly possible, I aim to take a wider Higher Mind perspective, open to conversation, challenge, and even wider thinking, to expansion.
Lower Mind or Ego Mind Personality awareness
Contrast this with the ego mind personality perspective – which
is ALL about “me and my experience” in which individuals talk
only or mostly of their own, localised experience, and in which
doctors do the same – their thinking and help confined only to
that in which they have been trained, their defence of the medical
realm at all times sacrosanct – except for some enlightened beings.
I have a friend who each time I talk of my experience of our
health system and also talk of it from a wider experience, will
always bat back with, “Well I have no cause for complaint, I
think it is good.” End of conversation. Closure. No discussion
of how his localised experience may fit into the wider picture.
His assumption that I am simply complaining about my
Walking the path of the mystic, of the spiritual, requires us to be
mindful of “the other.” It requires us to be as aware as we can
that we may be unaware of another’s perspective or their wider
thinking or vision. But we judge them on just a few words, on a
narrow focus, on a limited hearing.
The ego-personality will always see things from the individual
perspective; the higher mind, will take a wider awareness perspective.
How To Increase Your Self-Awareness
Key questions to help you increase your self-awareness:
(It can be a good idea to commit your answers to a diary – paper or online.
How committed am I to becoming more self-aware?
Who in truth am I? (NB This is not about identity such as husband, wife, doctor, patient etc)
What do I desire in life?
How do I desire to be in my life?
How do I desire my life to be?
How committed am I to creating that life?
How committed am I to being responsible for my life.
Reflecting honestly and deeply on these self-awareness questions will guide you to new insights about yourself.
As you reflect on these, pay attention to
What’s missing in your life and what you have done to remedy that. If nothing, then why?
What negative labels do you put on yourself eg idiot, scaredy cat, loner, loser, diabetic, victim etc
What negative thoughts and beliefs do you hold about who you are eg I’m a failure, I’m an angry person, I’m always ill, I’m a bad person / wife / husband / lover etc
List out your personal values—what's important to you eg justice, fairness, honesty, compassion, generosity, dependability
List your unique character strengths – eg resilience, loyal, understanding, dedicated
Ask yourself, “What do I do well and what do I want more of?”
Ask yourself, “What do I do less well and want to let go of or train to do better?”
What changes do you now want to make? When will you begin? When do you hope to have achieved?
List your immediate goals
List your longer term goals
How will you stay on track and in alignment with your positive goals, values, and beliefs?
Give yourself the attention you deserve and when you do, you'll be able to create the you you want to be and create the life you want to have.