Svadhyaya means self-study, one’s own reading. How often in life do we reflect on our thoughts, actions, and patterns? How often do we do it accurately? We integrate the feeling of danger with instinctual urgency and fierceness. Yet to integrate the feelings of safety, confidence, victory (especially small victories) and generosity takes additional effort. We may need to relive those more auspicious feelings repeatedly, through journaling, affirmations, meditation, and many other methods. We can train our brains to see ourselves more clearly and adapt ourselves accordingly to uphold our values and fulfill our destinies.
Acceptance precedes change. To see ourselves more clearly, it helps to make friends with the self. Can I be friendlier with my inner voice? Can I perceive what unconditional love is and can I have that relationship with myself? For most of us, the answer is yes. One of the most valuable phrases I learned studying Emotional Freedom Technique was, “Even though I (name whatever pains you), I still love and accept myself.”
Svadhyaya is an excellent means of self-growth and “being the change”. There are many ways to examine the self, including asking questions and listening for the answer that arises from your deepest place of knowing. Here are a few questions I ask myself:
- What am I doing right now?
- What would I like to be doing right now?
- Am I thinking negatively about my situation?
- What would a positive thought about my situation be?
- Do I observe a pattern in the way I respond here?
- Observing my pattern, is there a way I’d like to change it or try a different route?
As we focus on Svadhyaya this month, offer yourself the gift of some extra time to reflect in silence and notice what inquiries you imagine with your own radiant mind.
– Patrick McAndrew