Our external circumstances and behaviours can be some of the best indicators as to what’s going on with us on the inside. Sometimes we need to do a little “recon” to get the inside scoop. There are a couple of ways to gather intel:
1. Personal Observation – this is when we are able to separate from how we are feeling just enough to notice we are feeling it! For instance, if you find yourself in the middle of an
addictive behaviour, or that you are overly preoccupied by one thing, this is the act of stepping outside of the pattern and acknowledging that “okay, I’m doing this again. What else is going on.” In this way, we avoid over identifying with the behaviour or thought and can see that it is simply the manifestation of an underlying issue that needs your attention. You can then get to work on exploring what that issue is, via journaling, meditation, creative expression, connecting with nature, or whatever it is that helps bring you insight.
2. Recognize that the Other Person is You – this can be a very insightful way of gathering information about where you are at in your life. Essentially, this is a process whereby you take
inventory of the people you are close to and those that you have emotionally invested in at this point in your life, be it friends, romantic partners, or co-workers. Anyone that triggers you on an emotional level, be it positive or negative. If you are getting triggered, there’s a reason why. Once you take inventory of these people and what’s being triggered in you, you will likely notice some similarities between the people doing the triggering, at both the present
moment and in your recent past. Do you keep meeting the same type of person, only with a different name? The next question to ask yourself is, “what is it about this person that I need to recognize in myself.” This is where it can get kinda dicey. You will need to be frank and candid with yourself, but you also want to stop short of over-identifying with someone else’s issues. You can usually know what information said person has to offer you about yourself by seeing what it is in them that triggers a charged emotional response in you.. You will likely see that this quality is something you need to embrace or heal within yourself.
3. Trusted Feedback – changes in your behaviour in connection to your various life circumstances are completely natural. Where this can get tricky is if your behaviour becomes governed by specific situations, thus creating a pattern that even you may not be aware of.
Sometimes it takes a trusted third party to be able to make the connection between a change in ourselves and what’s going on on the outside. For this one, you need someone who knows you well enough to know when you are not quite acting like yourself. Someone honest and gentle, who can say “hey, I noticed you get like this when X is happening.” These people are treasures in our lives.
Getting your inside story is key to growth and healing. The key to self awareness is to remember that everything is information! Good luck!
Okay, so the word is out. Chocolate flax granola! It all began in Bellingham a couple of weeks ago, when I came across this local granola called Flax4Life. The ingredients were amazingly simple, and it was absolutely delicious. So of course I returned home and made my own version. And if you’re thinking “chocolate for breakfast!??” and recounting your childhood affair with Count Chocula and not feelin’ it, not to worry! This happens to make a great snack too! It’s not too sweet, with just the right hit of chocolate to make it “treat-worthy.”
Chocolate Flax Granola
1 1/2 cups ground flax
1 cup oats
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup maple syrup
one vanilla bean (or 1 tsp extract if you must) – slice down the side and scoop out the innards with a dull knife
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt or a little less
3 tbsp canola oil
2 handfuls of vegan chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the first three ingredients in a food processor until pulverized. Dump into a large bowl and mix in the remaining ingredients. The mix will be quite moist, but spread it out onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake for 30 min, stirring every 10 – 15 minutes and breaking up the mass. It crisps up like a cookie, and you want it to be clustery. Take out and eat as you fancy, for breakfast or any other wonderful time of the day!