The gift of self-awareness is one that few bother to develop. In the midst of our busyness, we become numb. The curiosity of our youth fades, until we go through the motions of life without admiring the beauty and truth around us. Our bodies send us hints and signals throughout the day, telling us exactly what we need. Our lack of curiosity leads us to respond to those subtle cues inappropriately or ignore them altogether. Developing a sense of self-awareness can help us give our bodies just what they need.
In some ways, I didn’t work on my sense of self-awareness because I was afraid. I didn’t want to know what was really going on at my core. I preferred to create my own narrative, setting aside the helpful suggestions that my body was giving me.
I'm shocked at this lack of curiosity. I received all of this information, and ignored it. I was longing for meaningful activity; instead I ate a bowl of ice cream and rewatched The Office. I was feeling unsettled; I didn't stop to realize my day was jammed with no down time.
Just as I learned about the unique connection between physical and spiritual health
, I think that there’s a similar connection between health and self-awareness.
To redevelop my self-awareness and nurture my curiosity, I first turned to mindfulness. I spent about 10 minutes in the morning, and again in the evening, in quiet meditation and prayer using the Hallow app
. Later, I added in the practice of intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is intentionally dividing your day between two periods: eating and fasting. For example, you might choose to eat during eight hours of the day and refrain from eating during the other sixteen.
Over time, as mindfulness and intermittent fasting took root in my routine, I noticed a difference. Through these habits, I have time in my day to pause. I consider and acknowledge any signals from my body that I receive and then choose the best response.
When it’s meal time, I ask myself, “Am I hungry?” What does my body say? If I’m satiated, there’s no need to eat. If I’m hungry, then I eat.
When I feel anxious, I ask myself is the cause something from my physical or mental state? Or perhaps is there something in my environment causing this anxiety?
Curiosity is a wonderful gift, and a strong sense of self-awareness is a trustworthy guide. If you want to work on developing either, consider gradually integrating mindfulness and intermittent fasting into your life.