My Personal Journey
Human self-reflection is the capacity of humans to exercise introspection and the willingness to learn more about their fundamental nature, purpose and essence” – Wikipedia.
Five years ago I was settled in a conventional career, living a regular life that had unfolded the way possibly how it was supposed to be. However, there was something amiss… not in the life I was leading but possibly in the way I was feeling about it and about myself. It was during this time, stumbled upon some interesting people and started on a astonishing journey of discovering the person called me. This article is an attempt to capture my understanding and personal experience so far.
The exploration process of self works at two levels:
- Thinking level – this is where one uses intellect and cognition to assess and understand what has been happening
- Feeling Level – here the work through body to facilitate our cognitive awareness. Yoga, meditation, massages, energy healing are some of the methods I have worked with.
Intellect has always been my strength and I very naturally gravitated towards the first of the two when I started. However, I have realised that both have to compliment each other for effectiveness. Beyond a certain level, cognitive awareness cannot sustained a wholistic experience and body work becomes critical for us to be able to break through the limits of our own intelligence.
STAGES OF EXPLORATION
When it comes to Human journey, there is no formula because each individual experiences it differently. It is a continual journey – towards freedom from my own limitation. While reflecting on how it has been for me, I uncovered a pattern that I have largely followed, possibly a lot of times in my unawareness. I experienced these stages differently for different issues/beliefs/values. For some things, I breezed through the stages right to the last one and for some I am still oscillating back and forth on these.
Stage of Identification
This is what I call as Induction stage. This is where I decide on which experiences to explore on. During the earlier days, I used to spend a lot of time at this stage because I was dealing with almost all my experiences till then. And it was quite overwhelming.
Stage of Confusion
Once the experience has been identified and the work on it starts, the intellect kicks in to block the thinking process by creating numbness. The typical responses for this stage is – I don't know, I am not sure, Not really. This is a stage when there is a lot of discounting that happens of the criticality of issue.
For a long time this was my favourite stage where I used to linger around.
Stage of Understanding
Once I move past the confusion, I am able to draw a fresh understanding of my experience and how I am contributing to it.
Stage of Running Away
This is the most interesting phase in which the struggle is between Familiarity Vs Discomfort. This is where there is a lot of internal debate about effort and output and if the issue is worth enough to shake and challenge a lot of deep rooted and familiar systems. There is also discounting of ability to work on these. I have realised the need of a support system and structure in this phase to keep me anchored. However, being aware of this has been my greatest strength.
Stage of Acceptance and Action
As is obvious from the name, this is when finally the work to change responses and behaviour happens. However, it doesn't always follow the order.. and even after starting of the action, the quantum and scope of action have changed during the course. In my earlier days, this stage was marked by a definitive outcome . However, now it is about a direction.
My journey has possibly not even reached half way, but as I write this, I realise the distance I have travelled. And I feel good about it. I still don't control what happens to me, but I sure do control the choice of response.