Healthy & Beautiful, Meditation

21-Day Meditation Experience: (Day 5) Gratitude Awakens the True Self


We have many selves that come out everyday – we have our “work self”, our “family self”, our “romantic self”, our “immature self”, and our “wise self”.  All these selves are considered “temporary selves” that are called upon, when needed, for that aspect of our lives.  But underneath all of these “selves”, lies our “true self”.  It’s our “permanent eye” behind all of our passing experiences.  It’s silent, but not passive.  It knows the true you and what your life is all about – it knows what you want, what you should do, and ultimately, how you should live you life.  It is the “self” that gives you grace and gratefulness, as it forces you to appreciate what you have and what surrounds you.  If we were to contact our true self all of the time, our perception shifts to an intense state of gratefulness, unlocking our full potential.

Living in D.C. can be an interesting experience – it’s fast-paced, full of power-hungry individuals that oftentimes mistake their “temporary selves” for their “true selves”.  I oftentimes wonder what their first thought is when they wake up in the morning and what is their last thought as they go to bed at night – is that their true selves thinking, or is it more of the same?

For quite a long time, I was one of those people who had mistaken my “temporary selves” for my “true self”.  When you’re constantly “on”, you don’t know how to shut off.  You go through each and everyday, checking things off of your to-do list and before you know it, you’re in bed, waiting to do it all again.  This routine made me unappreciative of so much around me, taking for granted what was in front of me: true beauty in every direction.  It took a move to San Diego and back to shift my focus to my “true self” – someone I’d much rather be around!

To me, being my “true self”, has allowed me to be grateful for each moment of everyday – good or bad.  When you draw into your “true self”, you end up having far less bad moments, your senses are heightened, and you become so grateful for the world and experiences that surround you.  You also tend to draw in more people who carry the same “light” you do.

But, the biggest thing I’ve learned from tapping into my “true self” far more often, is that I stopped “adopting” other people’s problems and negative points of view.  Although I’ve been called selfish and mean, there’s a sense of peace in my life because I’ve called on my “true self” to tell me what I need, which is to focus on myself.

There was a moment about a month ago, where I was out with some friends and a bit of drama occurred with some of them.  I’m seeing bickering, I’m watching heads shake at texts they are receiving, and of course I’m seeing tense avoidance when they’d see someone they didn’t like.  For a split second, I felt that nostalgic feeling of stress because I began to “adopt” everyone else’s problems.  And in that split second, I had an internal chat with myself in appreciating being present in the moment because regardless of the drama sprouting, I was with people I cared to have a good time with.  Suddenly, all of the negative behaviors around me became sources of entertainment, and I appreciated the fact that the source of this was not me. It calmed me down, re-centered me, and made me feel a bit more peaceful.  I became relaxed, happy, and grateful to be able to be present – I also realized that some of the people that caused these particular issues, were people I needed to distance myself from for a bit, as it wasn’t healthy.

I’ve told this story to other people and the response is usually that this is “so hard to do”, or that I “should have been more of a friend to those that were struggling”.  The first isn’t true and the second is debatable.  Practicing focus on oneself takes work but it becomes a beautiful tool, particularly in upsetting situations.  No longer do you worry about others and their behavior.  You make better daily choices – particularly who you surround yourself with because you tend to want to gravitate towards those with a “light” in their soul – those that have also tapped into their “true selves”.  It doesn’t mean I don’t care, or don’t listen to those that have problems – I just don’t get involved emotionally to a point that I’m sucked into the middle of whatever is ailing them.

So that begs the question of “how do you do this?”  Start small – take a walk by yourself, notice the trees, the sunshine (or clouds), the colors in the sky, the colors on the ground, the scent in the air, those that pass you by on your walk.  Think about what you are grateful, for experiencing in that moment.  Or, if you’re in an office, sit back for a minute and look around you.  Be grateful that you have a job when so many in this world are unemployed; pay attention to the sounds in the office – is anyone laughing?  If so, focus on that.  Take note of what is on your desk – the things you may have brought with you, to surround yourself with positivity.  Focus on one of the objects and take in its memories.  Be grateful for that moment because it’s purely you with your “true self”.

As time goes on, being grateful becomes easy because you’ve tapped into your “true self” so often that you become best buds – a wingman or wing woman of sorts.  You want your best bud out all of the time, as it attracts what you have wanted all along – peace, happiness, and success.