Note: More to Life with Faith and Lois is designed to be heard, not read. We hope you’ll listen to the audio, which includes emotion and emphasis that won’t be on this page. Our transcripts are generated with speech recognition software and may contain errors. 

 

Lois                        

Welcome to the podcast, More to Life with Faith and Lois.

Faith                   

I’m Faith

Lois                          

And I’m Lois.

Faith                      

Our podcast explores life’s many transitions that inspire and daunt us.

Lois                       

Hi Faith.

Faith

Good Morning Lois.

Lois                         

Oh, the beauty of dreams.

Faith                    

Oh really. I mean, to have a hope and to have a dream and to have a vision and whether you’re awake or whether you’re sleeping is very empowering.

Lois                        

It has been empowering. And I know we talked about it last week, but I had a chance to reflect and kind of bring up to the surface some of these dreams. And you know, we asked all of you to write down your dreams, maybe even for a whole week, don’t know if you did that, but we committed to sharing at least one dream with you. So we’re gonna kind of jump into that right now. And I wanted to share with you that one of my dreams has been to participate in elementary schools on some level when I can designate kind of a volunteer time and, and as a result of having one dream dashed, I was sitting in a church service and up comes to the podium, a principal from a local school who was very grateful for the participation that this church had had with that school. And they were recruiting moms, grandparents, aunts, uncles, people who would come in and read to kids. And I was like, oh there, that’s for me. And I mean it had been a dream of mine to get back in, to be able to do this on a volunteer basis, having something fall by the wayside and then having this come in faith. It was incredible. It was like a dream came true. I signed up and I begin in two weeks.

Faith                     

So exciting. That’s wonderful. That’s a dream that fell in your lap.

Lois                       

It really did. And I think it had to do with, you know, we had talked about what do you dream about, what do you look to? And it has to do with setting a vision. And that was one of those visions I put out there.

Faith                     

Oh, that’s exciting.

Lois                       

What about you? Have you been dreaming at night or at during the daytime?

Faith                   

I have been dreaming that night a lot, which means a lot is going on inside of me of transition, which is good. And a more revelation and understanding. I had a fascinating dream a week or so ago and it was about a wolf came into my living room and it took up residency with me and I was a little bit uncomfortable about this wolf being in my living room, but began to realize that the wolf was very, very comforting and wasn’t going to harm me in any way. And then my daughter has a wonderful, this is real life. She has a wonderful doodle, doodle, something golden doodle or something. And this dog loves me and I love this dog, Nessie. And Nessie shows up in the dream along with the wolf. And the wolf and Nessie do not necessarily get along because they both want my attention. And so the wolf is jealous of Nessie and Nessie is jealous of the wolf and they both are pursuing me and trying to get my attention. And then they began to fight and I had to break up the fight and that was the end of the dream. Woke up a little anxious with that, but it was so clear that those were the two parts of myself and that there’s a part of myself that is just this playful big golden doodle, lover dog. And then the some more wild part of myself. But neither one in and of themselves is a negative. But there’s some conflict with the two parts coming together. So I’m working more specifically of going, hmm, I wonder what that is that has caused those two to not totally blend well. And I’m working on that and they are starting to blend very nicely.

Lois                       

Oh, how exciting. We might need to do a dream recap every week. Awesome.

Faith                    

It was an awesome dream. Yeah.

Lois                      

Yeah. You’re relaxed right now. So I think you made it through. Oh well hey, we would love it if you would share this podcast with anyone you think these on this journey of life, which would be all of us, right? So I have them type in More to Life with Faith and Lois and you can find us on your favorite podcast app. It’s super simple and then you can subscribe. You’re also welcome to check out our website if you’d like to get the very latest on our podcasts and videos and blogs. We have a newsletter that we send out every week and you can go to www.moretolifewithfaithandlois.com and sign up for our free weekly newsletter and a huge shout out to our sponsor, A Stepping Stone. If you’re looking for a path to a healthy mind, we’re going to have more on them later in the podcast. So today we are pleased to offer you Episode 87. Transition: The Impact of Self Awareness.

Faith                   

Hmm. Wow. I love self-awareness. My dream was self-awareness, certainly was. And that’s a, that’s a key as to when something is given to you. It’s a message. And I see self awareness as being messages that we either listen to or we ignore it and oftentimes we ignore them. And so this podcast is really kind of to atune everyone, all our listeners to listen to them, hear what is coming up for you. Because in that self awareness, that’s where the possibility of change, understanding and a deeper compassion towards yourself and others arise us from.

Lois                      

Absolutely. Self-awareness is defined as the conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives and desires. And you know, there’s little doubt that our lives can get out of control pretty, pretty fast if we are unaware of how and under what circumstances our emotional nature is triggered. So self-awareness, if for nothing else helps us to kind of regulate ourselves. So when you become aware of your strength and weaknesses, what is your experience?

Faith                   

Turmoil. Sometimes you know, that that initial kind of thing have a little bit of stress, but then taking that time to sit and say, this is an opportunity. So self awareness is kind of like knocks on your door and says, I’m here. Uh, this was an opportunity for you to have greater understanding about yourself and about the things that you’re dealing with in life. And so taking that time to just take that deep breath and to spend some reflective time, which is exactly what we’re going to be sharing here in this podcast today as to how to do that. But I move it from a critical place, from that place of judgment because oftentimes when we see something positive or negative, if it’s a positive, we move into more performance and if it’s a negative, we move into judgment. And self-awareness has nothing to do about that. Self-Awareness means it’s an opportunity and here it is presented to us and we can do something with it.

Lois                        

Oh, that is so cool. I think of self awareness for myself is waking up and that’s kind of how I did for myself. It’s like boom, something finally happens that, you know, it was a number of years ago that I kind of made this decision to really look inside and examine what’s inside, Now, sometimes what I see isn’t anything I want to see and I’m not really happy with, but I still chose to kind of stay there and really look. And there were a number of things that I felt needed to be cleaned up and that was being numb and asleep because I was really used to just kind of gliding through life I needed to clear out. And those were like destructive relationships or habits that I wanted to change and things to forgive myself for choices that I’d made that hurt myself and hurt others. And there were some areas that I was able to acknowledge, no, no, you’re on a good path. This is a good thing you’re, you’re going where you want to go. Like launching this podcast and getting into life coaching. And I have goals that I know that if I nurture, they will come to fruition. And that comes from being self aware because that’s when you start exploring and healing and writing and connecting with myself and connecting with others. So all of that has played a role in how self-awareness is becoming more and more alive in me.

Faith                    

That’s so good. And you’ve just listed the many dimensions of life, that self-awareness will impact your life into changing and transforming. That’s so good.

Lois                      

You know, cause we get on this treadmill of life, right? We get really busy and I know some people when I’ve talked about self-awareness, they almost see this as an extravagance. I’m too busy to be self-aware. I need to just check things off the list and keep going. And you know it’s really interesting because the more self aware you are you’ll be surprised at the more equipped you’ll be to face just about anything. And Faith, that’s one of the questions that does pop up. Like how does being more self-aware help you observe yourself in difficult situations?

Faith                    

Well it does really center us to a place where we can decide what is true and what is not true and we get caught up into the emotion. So if we panic about something, we’re caught into the panic and the brain is caught into the panic and it’s producing all kinds of chemicals to help keep that going instead of stopping and saying what is true, what is not true and self is kind of getting to that place of defining that area. Okay, this is what I’m feeling, but is it really true or this is what I’m really feeling and yes, there is some truth to this, but I am not powerless. I have choices. So we tend to think when we get into a scary situation or something that feels overwhelming that we are power – less and self-awareness begins to reveal that we are not powerless at all, that we have many, many options. We just need to take a deep breath, get re-centered look at what’s true and find those options to get us out of that situation.

Lois                      

That is so powerful. It’s really powerful because it gives you that power back. And if you’re someone, like many of us who kind of goes on autopilot, you know, you finished what you wanted to study, you’re in the field that you really like and you’re just on this like autopilot. That’s the only way I can explain it. And that phrase that I hear so many times, stop and smell the roses. I used to go, well, whatever. I have a garden. You know, I’ll smell the roses when I have time. But I’ve really started to take more moments to pause and to reflect and to say, wow, those roses have all these different pedals and the color is so different in this light and I can really smell it. And by the way, they didn’t take me all day. Because I think that’s what I was always afraid of. Oh, I’ll get sucked into that and then I won’t get the next thing done. But it was this autopilot that I was on that I lost connection with my senses. And Faith, you’ve so beautifully said before about one of the ways we engage in life is to be in touch with every single one of our senses. And when we’re on autopilot, no, we’re only on one sense and that is getting from A to B.

Faith                 

So spot on. Yes. And there’s so much more to life. And when we get in touch with our census then we begin to experience it and it brings that balance in in a way that if we just gets so fixated on the experience or what is happening or the person and that’s what becomes the only focus, then it’s going to be a distraction. So self-awareness brings us into the broader tapestry of everything that there is more here going on and to see it and to experience it and to imagine it.

Lois                       

So we are in Episode 87 Transition: the impact of self awareness. And we’d like to share some strategies to kind of jumpstart this way of being. And we want to do a shout out to Dr. Tchiki Davis who offers a number of ideas from piece in Psychology Today and it’s called: What is self-awareness and how do you get it? So if you just want all the answers go right to her, but we’re going to compile a few of them and give our thoughts on it. And one of the first things that she suggests – ask the question to yourself, how do you build self awareness? And one of the things that both you and I love to do is spend time in nature.

Faith                

Nature is such a gift of opening up that bigger picture because we get, when you’re in the four walls, that becomes your world. And then the four walls becomes what’s in your inner world. Getting out into nature opens it up and that helps us to see the broader strokes of life. And it’s such an important piece. And another one is to sit quietly, just to stop, to be still. And you know, you’ve even mentioned Lois, how you do five minutes.

Lois                        

I’m working on it and it’s making such a difference just to commit to be aware of myself with no distractions and quietly and you can call it anything you want. You know, some people get afraid of these words if they think I’m praying or meditating or being mindful -what’s going on? I’m just being quiet. I don’t have to have a description around it other than when I’m still stuff comes to me for all of us.

Faith                  

For all of us. But we do not know how to just regulate that in our lives. If there’s so much noise going on. So much clatter that too, just take five minutes is like uh, the best break you could possibly give yourself.

Lois                       

So those are a few tools on how to build self awareness. You can also journal and you can get in touch with your feelings too, cause those are really important things. Another way to build self-awareness is to become a good listener.

Faith                

That’s a gift. When you become a good listener, you are giving a gift to the other person, but you’re giving a tremendous gift to yourself because you’re getting another perspective, you’re getting different insight. And it opens up ideas and possibilities within us personally to begin to step out and to say, Hey, you know what? I saw this way, but now I’m thinking I might see it a different way. So open yourself up to listening to others.

Lois                      

You know, I find that when I’m actively listening, any negative thoughts that I have that are swirling around, I’ve got to kind of lay them down for a few minutes as I’m engaged and listening and taking in what someone else has to say. And then when I’m done listening, I forget about that negative thinking. It really is kind of a magic if you set it down. But if you’re only swirling in your own thoughts and you’re not actively listening to someone else, that’s right. You don’t get out of your head.

Faith                   

And that’s absolutely true. And another thing, the key for listening is that if you have something that you get stuck in that is really difficult, get another person’s perspective that you really trust. And when you hear what they, how they see it from the outside looking in, that oftentimes is the breakthrough.

Lois                      

Well, you’re listening to our podcast, More to Life with Faith and Lois and our podcast today is sponsored by a stepping stone. So if you’re looking for a path to a healthy mind, we want to let you know about this amazing treatment program.

Faith                   

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Lois                        

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Faith                    

They will work with you as you focus on anxiety or depression issues, substance abuse, sleep disorders or trauma.

Lois                      

A Stepping Stone provides experienced holistic, integrated and comprehensive mental health and substance abuse treatment.

Faith                    

They’re open from nine to five and weekends and after hours by appointment. They even have online sessions available.

Lois                      

If you or a loved one is suffering from an addiction or mental health concern, contact A Stepping Stone today.

Faith                 

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Lois                       

So we are on episode 87 and we’re talking about self awareness. And self awareness and new perspectives go hand in hand. And Faith, you already touched on that when you talked about active listening that suddenly some new thoughts can come into your head.

Faith                

And don’t we want new thoughts?

Lois                        

I do.

Faith                  

I mean it really adds more balance to life to have a different perspective, different insight because we get, we can get locked into our own inner world that what we think, what we feel, what we believe is it. And it’s so much more than that.

Lois                       

You know, it is important that we all have world views and perspectives and faith traditions. So we’re not asking you to throw any of those out. But or, and I should say, and when you entangle yourself and join yourself and engage with people, you start to hear perspectives that you may not share. And just listening by the way, doesn’t mean you change. I know. Listening means you broaden. At least for me it does.

Faith                

It opens up our minds and our hearts to see what other people experience that we are all kind of in this inner world of humanity. And just because someone doesn’t believe or see it exactly the same way doesn’t mean that we cannot relate.

Lois                     

And it helps with as we face challenges to hear how other people have faced challenges, even if we might’ve done it a little differently. For sure. Self-Awareness and critical mindset also plays a big role because if you stay alone in your thoughts, as I did for so many years, I have this very hyper critical sense of myself. And so if I’m hyper critical of myself, then I will be hyper critical of you. It’s, it’s a natural outcome. So when people pride themselves on, well I’m very critical of myself then I, I want to run because I know exactly what’s coming next cause I will never live up to your mark because that’s how we just do that. And so when we open ourselves up to self awareness, we realize this critical mindset has held us back so much.

Faith                    

It’s a wicked beast. It can really do some inner destruction if we let it just away on us. And so moving from performance and critical thinking and judgment into being more self aware of what is going on here. So it’s more asking questions, self-awareness is saying, hmm, this is interesting. I wonder what this means or I wonder how this applies to what I’m facing in life right now? Like my dream that I shared, it’s like I took the opportunity to say this is very interesting. I wonder what it means? And it unfolded very quickly. So when you become more self aware, the pieces of the puzzle to your life begin to come together quickly and then you build on it and it just enhances your life. So why would we not want that?

Lois                       

Because you just mentioned this, but as you start asking questions of yourself, you probably say, well I have a lot of this. I would like more of this. I might want to let go of some of this. And so we start seeing where can I change? This is where the change can come in. When we are finally releasing the tethers of that critical mindset because then we have the room to say, oh, I would like to do this differently.

Faith                   

Yes. If we’re judging yourself or believing that we should or we shouldn’t, we’re stuck there. Yeah. Then we have to figure that out. And so our mind goes a different direction. We’re figuring we’re trying to solve the problem rather than becoming aware of what are the possibilities, what are my options, where is this taking me and what is unfolding to me and what is the more from my life that is waiting to be found?

Lois                        

And as we release ourselves from that judgment, we start realizing that the people around us are really pretty cool. And what’s the point of taking sides? I mean, what does it matter? You know, I may disagree and okay, well enjoy this venture that you’re taking even though we might think it’s crazy. But I mean, so why do I have to even think it’s crazy? I mean I think there was, there’s so much judgment that we’ve carried around that we have to decide what’s good for somebody else. And I don’t have to take sides. That’s right. I can just sit there and watch something unfold. And that is freeing myself from a critical mindset.

Faith                 

Good. It is so good. It’s so good. And so self-awareness helps you set goals.

Lois                       

Oh it certainly does.

Faith                   

What are some of the goals let’s helped you with?

Lois                      

Well I think when you just mentioned about, you know, being able to sit quietly, it allows me, because once I decide I want some improvement in my life, then I’m going to set an action step down. So what can I do today or you know, this month or whatever time period I give myself to see a change start to unfold. And when I’m not self aware, then why would I want to change? Because everything’s going just smoothly. I’m on autopilot, I’m not paying attention. But when I become self aware, I realized some of these things really could use a shift. And so one of the things I can do is set a goal out there. And for me it was to learn how to be quiet and to be and remove distractions. And that’s not easy for us in a world where a lot is competing for our attention.

Faith                  

That is so true. And for me, my goals have just been to spend more time reflecting. I do that sometimes through journaling. I do it through music. Music has been an incredible tool for me for about the last three months of just centering me. And I’m going deeper into what music speaks, not just I’m listening, oh that’s a nice tune. But I’m listening to just the small little nuances of change. And that makes me much more self aware of little small little nuances of change that are taking place in myself. So it’s amazing how nature or as we talked about, or music or quiet or all these different things, small little steps of a goal that we can set, can make a huge difference in our life.

Lois                       

And as you’re doing that, find support. Find someone that you can share this with, that you can engage with, who can say, wow, look what’s happening in your life?That’s so different. So you know, last week we asked you to share some dreams. So maybe we’d like to ask you today, what is it you might want to change up? Now we’re not talking about a major whole scale change or it might be a whole scale change if that’s what you need to do, but one thing may lead to the next and what small thing might you consider making a shift? And if you need to check this out, by the way, there are so many self help books on self awareness. You can find plenty in that arena if that’s what you’re looking for. But there’s usually something inside of us that we’re kind of going, hmm, I might be ready to make a little shift in.

Faith                 

The answer is usually in yourself anyway.

Lois                       

So we will share with you next week where we are in that process and we hope that you will share it with us as well.

Faith                   

Having a clear perception of who you are, strengths and weaknesses allows you to understand others and yourself in the moment.

Lois                      

When you change up what’s going through your mind, there is a possibility of changing your emotions so that you can create what you want in life.

Faith                  

Please share this podcast with someone you know who’s wondering what’s next in life?

Lois                       

And join us next week for Transition the Impact of Routine.

Faith                  

Get the latest news on our social media platforms and on our website, and please subscribe.

Lois                       

More to Life with Faith and Lois is a podcast to support, encourage and uplift you.

Faith                  

As you transition through all sorts of change, we want you to know there is more to life.

Lois                       

We’ll be back next week.