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7 ways to become more self-aware in the New Year

Adopting self-realization approaches to your life can create more abundance and peace of mind.
Adopting self-realization approaches to your life can create more abundance and peace of mind.
Photo: Frederico Stevanin

Well, have you decided what your New Year’s resolution will be for 2010? As the end of the year winds down, many of us take the time to reflect upon the past few months and see if any changes could have been made. Changes that not only affect our lifestyle, but those around us too. And make our lives work better.

For some, it’s not the easiest thing to take into consideration. “Things I want to change? I’m perfect just the way I am.” That is a great attitude to have, and you may like what you are doing because it works for you. But are there any small changes you can apply to that recipe for success to make things even better? To welcome even more abundance into your life?

With the New Year only a few hours away now, it felt appropriate to share a few ideas that once adopted, can make a great impact in your life and in the lives of many. What's even better is that they are things that can be easily incorporated into your already great plan:

Be Willing to Learn – Many think of grade school or their high school experience when they see the word education. And many didn't have the greatest experience back then. Each day, there are chances to learn new things like how to cook in a crock-pot if you haven’t done so before or how to make a repair on your home if up to the challenge. Some people have no problem staying in college and gaining more and more higher-level degrees, but the fact is that possibilities to learn are all around us. We just need to remain open to them and allow others to teach us about new concepts and technologies we may not have known before. When the opportunity to learn is evident, don’t fight it, just go with the flow. There’s usually a good reason for it when a new learning experience comes up. You may need it at that point or at some other time down the road. And if you have been feeling like adapting a new hobby, but don’t know where to start, then try and recall what you liked to do when you were young. When the bills didn’t need to be paid and you weren’t married with three kids. Allow yourself the creative space to learn and who knows where it may lead?

Practice Yoga – You may have seen people participating in a yoga class at your local gym and wondered if it would be right for you. But you know nothing about it and really don’t need to add anything else into your already hectic schedule. Well, consider this: yoga is comprised of various poses that help to bring the body into alignment through stretching, balancing and movement, and studies have shown that it is healing for the mind too. Yoga helps to center your mind by allowing you to focus on your breathing. Many people leave classes feeling more relaxed and at peace compared to stressing out on some elliptical machine for thirty minutes or more. Now, if that is what you like, then there are power yoga classes available to add some more challenge to the routine. What’s great too is that this practice has become more mainstream, so you can easily locate a yoga studio or find a class at your local gym. So try out a class or two and see if it is right for you.

Energize Your Nutrition – Many people choose to adopt some sort of fad diet when battling the bulge and there are many out there. Some work for certain people while a few swear they lost weight on others. And in the end, it can be so confusing that many just give up and go back to eating the same way they had before. For starters, it might be a good to look in your kitchen and weigh out the fresh, nutrient-rich foods that you buy versus the empty calorie foods that you and the family are eating. When you consider that we are all made up of energy, then look at an orange versus a piece of chocolate cake. It might appear obvious to you. The orange is alive, fresh and grown from energy the sun supplies to the tree that it was picked from. And that divine piece of chocolate cake was whipped up with calorie-laden ingredients that are heavy and processed. The chocolate cake is fun and may taste better to you, but that is where working on reprogramming yourself to enjoy the taste of something more natural is a good idea. Whole Foods Market offers great classes and nutritional information on products they sell to consumers. So take a walk through one of their stores and see if you can begin to tell the difference between how certain foods look and feel. Then notice how your body feels. And ask yourself if you need the calorie-laden foods? Because like any addiction, food can be one too.

Meditate – Practicing meditation is a great way to not only get in touch with your spirit but it helps to relax the body too. Finding the time to meditate can be challenging at first, but by taking a gander at your daily routine, you will find it easy to incorporate. By waking up a little earlier in the mornings or taking a quick break at work, you can find the time. And unless you are trying to live a life close to Buddha, you don’t need to spend hours upon hours meditating either. To begin, just find five minutes where you can sit somewhere with little to no distractions and quiet the mind. Focus on your breathing and take a deep breath in and then slowly release the air. Keep doing this and focus on each breath while trying to keep the mind from wandering. It may sound silly to you, but people who practice meditation have reported being able to slow their heart rates, lower their blood pressure and feel more at peace. And once you become good at it, you can even practice meditation on a busy train or bus ride to visit one of your friends. Not only is it good for your health, it is also a great way to get in touch with your being. We all have the answers to our lives right inside of us, but there is no easy button when trying to find them. By practicing meditation, you can begin quieting the mind in order to know your spirit and your purpose on a much deeper level.

Clear Energy – Ever hear someone say, “you need to clear the air?” Well, usually they are talking about getting to the bottom of something. But there is another thing to think about here and it involves energy clearing. Many people are sensitive enough to feel the atmosphere in a room or the mood someone is in without knowing much about the situation. And if you ever have had one of these experiences then you know that you were feeling the energy from a person or thing. People who are clairvoyant look at our energies during readings to tell us things we are looking to know. And it makes sense since we are all made up of energy through biological processes. We give off and accumulate energies from our surrounding environments or from feelings. So getting an energy clearing to remove any stagnant or low energies that have accumulated is a great idea, especially when stepping into the New Year. And there are plenty of places you can venture to and have this done. InVision in Chicago, IL and Enlightened Healing Center in Orland Park, IL are two centers you can make appointments at to learn more about this process and participate in a session as well.

Humanitarian Work – It is amazing how many charities are popping up, big and small, with missions to help serve those in need or help the environment in some way. And it’s more common now for an organization to be giving to a charity or to incorporate some sort of charitable branch into their business plan. But aside from that, you can find local charities that could use volunteers to get the job done. And if you are interested in traveling to another continent and learning about another culture where you can serve, then look into Building A Global Community. They have programs that help educate people on how they can fundraise for their trips and then work for a few weeks helping others at the same time. A Google search will also help you discover local and global charities set-up to help others align with their causes. And there are so many causes that you can find a mission that aligns with your own passion. If work is not for you, then look into ways you can make a monetary or in-kind donation to help. And participate in the process of giving and receiving.

Gauge Your Love-Consciousness – Do you consider yourself a kind and loving person? Maybe you do, but look around you; do others also see you like that too? Sometimes how we perceive ourselves is very different from the ways everyone else sees us. And the hardest thing to do is consider the fact that you may not be living up to a certain image you have for yourself. So for the New Year, take some time and test your ability to love. Do your actions speak louder than your words? Take the time to tell people how much they mean to you. And if you don’t have many people around you, then seek out a charity or some other organization where you can work on volunteering and showing people the love you have to share. The Center in Palos Park is a place that could use volunteers for their programming while you get to spend some time in nature, around animals and helping people to learn. If that is not for you then pick up a phone book or do a search online and see what speaks to you. Of course, if you would like to become more loving, a great way to start is being more kind to yourself. How much do you love being you? Can you look into your own eyes and tell yourself that you love yourself? When you do this, put the ego aside. If this is difficult then this can tell you where your love-consciousness is. So make the choice to be more loving in the New Year because amazing things can happen when you do.

Of course, with any change to your health, it is always a good idea to do some research on the topic and check in with your doctor to make sure you are healthy enough to take on the new lifestyle change. And if you need to take small steps to begin one of the resolutions above, then celebrate that you are even making an adjustment in the first place. That is the biggest step of all. And notate how much you grow along the way. That will keep you interested in the new change, so much so, that the adjustment will soon feel like a missing part of you instead of some type of burden.

Have a safe and joyful entry into the New Year. Please share your resolutions in the comments section below. Whether they involve some of the suggestions above, they are all opportunities to grow and expand the mind, body and soul. See you in 2010!

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  • bill 5 years ago

    Great inspirational article for the new year! How's being a writer for the examiner working out for you? Has it met your expectations? Just wonder, and thinking about it myself.
    a response can be sent to, I'd like to hear what you had to say about it. I'll be subscribing to your page and hoping I have clear energy.

  • Sarah Correa 5 years ago

    Hi Bill, and thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment on my article for the New Year. It contains some great tips that I utilized when helping to get my life back on path by become more self-aware of my own actions.

    I will send you an email to the address listed above. Hope to see you on Examiner sometime soon!

    Happy New Year!