Be Self Conscious
self-con·scious [self–kon-shuhs, self-]
1. excessively aware of being observed by others.
I find the dictionary definition of ‘self-conscious’ to be relatively misleading, but simultaneously profound, deep, and revealing. The first definition translates in a negative light, where the second definition is empowering and uplifting. In our society, often the first definition of self-consciousness is understood. You need to be conscious of yourself if you want to discover your inner beauty. You have to be utterly aware of yourself… your truth… your body, your mind, your heart, your thoughts, and your feelings, if you want to unlock the depths of potential you hold. It’s when you start to judge what you find that gets a bad rap. Judgment of self is what causes suffering. Without being conscious of yourself, there is absolutely no room for growth and true happiness.
People who are following the number one definition may be the type of people who follow some sort of a plan or routine because they think they should. For example, if you want to lose weight, you follow a diet because someone else said it’s good. You don’t really enjoy the food, and you feel relatively deprived. But it’s healthy, so it must be right. Right? Wrong, actually. You are steering further and further away form yourself when you adhere to a way of being that does not nurture you on the deepest layer. Many people prescribe themselves to careers, diets, and lifestyles that don’t feel truly fulfilling, but it’s popular. It works. Your parents want did it. It fits in. It’s easy.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with living a traditional life, as long as your choices are stemming from self-awareness. Notice your thoughts, notice your intuition, notice your likes and your dislikes, and do everything in your power to take actions based on that. For example, for many years I subscribed to a no carbohydrate diet. I literally ate no grains whatsoever, thanks to uncommonly tremendous will-power, or perhaps subconscious self-punishment and fear. During the time, although my mind thought I was doing something ‘right’, I had crazy cravings for all things carb. Now, many people indicate similar experiences when they take out a certain food form their diet. But, once I started incorporating small amounts of carbohydrate foods into my diet again, I actually felt healthier. This was totally contrary to everything I’ve ever believed up until this point. Wait. Could I really have bread and still be healthy? I started deconstructing my cravings, and I found out that as long as I allow myself a little bit of brown rice, some quinoa, some rice cakes, or even a fresh baked piece of whole grain bread, I feel much more balanced. Therefore, I do not make self-sabotaging decisions out of desperation and desire. I am aware and conscious of my needs, and they are my own needs.
It is time for you to become aware of what you really want. I can tell you one thing; it’s going to look different than everyone else. Your body, mind, and life require certain ‘ingredients’ proportioned in such an intricate way that they cannot be duplicated. And that is the beauty of your existence. That is the blossoming of who you are.
When it comes down to it, to be self-conscious is to be conscious. What else can you be conscious about if you are not conscious of yourself? But that is what happening all around us. People are unconscious. People are living like robots, living mundane lives. And then, once life has passed us by, questions and regrets and sadness arise. ‘If only this had happened, if only that had happened.’ The time to make things happen is now, and life can only happen one step at a time, so there’s nothing to worry about. Only the mind projects change as something scary and uncomfortable, but the truth is, right now is all you really know. If you are totally conscious of yourself and your life and the present moment, your life takes on a new flavor. You are no longer at the mercy of external forces. You are proactive instead of reactive. Self-consciousness is directly linked to self-confidence, and that beauty shines brighter than anything on the outside. It is palpable and real.