Knowing Thyself

 

In my earlier post, I discussed about seeking contentment as one of the Niyamas according to the Yoga Sutras by Patanjali. In this post, I seek to explore another Niyama – the knowing of oneself (Swadhyaya).

Often we become easily swayed by others, scattered in our thoughts, contradict ourselves or become indecisive because we have not understand ourselves and do not know what we really want. Through knowing our inner self, we will be able to discover our passions, pet-peeves, values and beliefs.

Following are some tips which I have started to practice and experience.

Sitting Still

Spend a couple of minutes every night before you sleep sitting still and focus on your breath. Thoughts will naturally come during the moment of stillness, acknowledge the thought and follow through, then let the thought go.

The thought that comes to our mind are usually those that are more important. Recognize your actions and reactions in a particular situation. Ask yourself why you behave in a certain manner. Are your actions true to your inner self? Are you being honest to your own self?

Witnessing

We can start the self-study by witnessing our emotions and actions in our everyday life and during our interaction with people and situations. Don’t allow any feeling and thought to go by without witnessing. When you begin witnessing what you are experiencing and going through, you will start becoming aware of your own self and discover new things you never knew about yourself.

Let your heart rule you

The heart has reasons that reason does not understand. – Jacques Benigne Bossuel

The next time your heart and mind disagree, I say give your heart a chance and make choices that come from your heart. They might or might not be the best decision, but who is to define what is the best for you? They are not you. Your heart is you.