These Are The Things Self-Aware People Do Daily
"Yes, love yourself. But also analyze and be critical of how you think, act and behave. Self-love without self-awareness is useless. Hold yourself accountable." --Unknown
I'm actually chuckling to myself, even as I'm writing this, because I went to college with someone who used to make some of the dumbest choices (when it came to relationships, money, you name it). Yet whenever that fact was brought to their attention, their preset response was "I'm aware." Since being aware of something is simply being cognizant of it or having knowledge about it, it's not like they were exactly wrong by saying that.
The thing that used to baffle me was when were they going to get to a point and place in their life where merely being aware of their mess ups wasn't enough? When were they going to start putting some of that so-called awareness on the front end of their poor decisions? Ladies—and gents who are also peeking in—this is where bona fide self-awareness comes in. Because, indeed, it's one thing to have knowledge of something or someone, but it's another matter entirely when you have a ton of knowledge about yourself before even getting involved in something—or with someone—else.
I've had my fair share of compliments; however, I think one that goes on my Top 10 list is something that both my bestie and spiritual mentor have both told me before—that I am ever-striving to be a self-aware individual. And since that has been a focus of mine, life has been calmer, easier and much more drama-free. I think it's due to the fact that I put the following 10 things into practice as much as I possibly can.
1.Self-Aware People Pray and/or MeditateGiphy
I'm gonna refrain from taking y'all to church on this point, but there is scientific evidence that there are all sorts of benefits that come from praying on a consistent basis. One study reveals that it can help your body to fight off disease. Another study shows that it's an effective way to find relief from depression-related symptoms. There's even research to prove that it can increase longevity. And don't even get me started on the power of meditation; of learning how to get quiet, still and deep breathe (check out "Scientific Benefits of Meditation – 76 things you might be missing out on" when you get a chance).
Some of the most self-aware people I know are also the most humble. A part of what makes them that way is they know there is a Higher Power that they must respect, give honor to and rely on for strength and support. If you're someone who knows that a Source is playing a direct role in your life, pat yourself (humbly) on the back. You're more self-aware than a lot of people out in these streets, just based on this point alone.
2.Self-Aware People Really Listen to Themselves and Others
Anyone who tells you that they are self-aware but they don't listen is in complete and total denial. One of the signature traits of a self-aware individual is their ability to pay attention to what is happening inside of them and what is transpiring around them.
How can you know if you're a good listener or not? When it comes to listening to yourself, meditation helps with that. So does paying attention to when something physically feels a little "off" or your gut is sending you certain messages. Another sign that you're good at listening to yourself is you practice self-care. At the end of the day, self-care is about knowing that you can't even begin to take good care of others if you don't start by tending to your own needs first.
As far as if you're a good listener with other people, ask yourself the following questions. Do you make sure to give them your undivided attention? Do you give them time to express themselves? Do you ask questions in order to gain the clarity that you seek? Are you intentional about making them feel comfortable and safe in your space? Do you not turn things around and make them be about you while they are talking (I hate it when people do that!)? If the answer is "yes", not only are you great at listening to others, you've mastered a form of self-awareness that few make a top priority.
3.Self-Aware People Have and Respect Boundaries
Be leery of people who don't have boundaries and/or don't respect yours. As a late poet by the name of Gerard Manley Hopkins once said, "Your personal boundaries protect the inner core of your identity and right to choose." Indeed. And since the purpose of boundaries is the deepest parts of your being, it makes perfect sense that self-aware individuals would have them; not only have them but honor the ones that others have because they support their need to honor themselves too.
Anyone who tries to push past your boundaries? First, share with them a quote by two of my favorite authors on the topic, Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend—"The first thing you need to learn is that the person who is angry at you for setting boundaries is the one with the problem." (#dropthemic) Then, if you want to keep them in your life, but you feel like they need some assistance in the learning-the-point-of-having-boundaries department, bless them with a copy ofBoundaries: When to Say Yes, When to Say No to Take Control of Your Life. If they don't thank you now, they'll thank you later.
(Speaking of boundaries, if you're not sure if you have some, a read that is totally worth your time is "18 Signs You Lack Personal Boundaries (and Feel Constantly Used)".)
4.Self-Aware People Understand Different Emotions
According to many mental health experts, we basically experience four different types of emotions— anger, fear, happiness and sadness. Everything else is an extension of these. That might be true, but if you check out this emotion wheel, you'll see that what's going on in our head and heart is a lot more complex than just four feelings.
Something that I adore about my godchildren's mother is she makes sure that they are in tune with their emotions. When the older one (the second is a newborn) says that she is mad, her mom takes a moment to ask her if it's actual anger that she feels or maybe it's more like irritation, being overwhelmed or even tired.
Can you imagine how less emotionally confused a lot of us would be as adults if our parents took out the time to be this thorough with us when we were little? There's no time like the present. Check out the emotional wheel link. Print it out and hang it up if necessary. We're emotional beings. It's a good idea to know what all of our emotions are.
5.Self-Aware People Think Before Speaking
I used to date a guy who stuttered. He was also soft-spoken. Boy, did I learn a lot about communication, thanks to interacting with him. For one thing, I had to accept how straight-up rude it is to cut someone off while they're speaking. Whether we realize it or not, it's also an ego trip because we're basically saying that what we've got to share is far more important. Another thing that it taught me was how impatient I can sometimes be while engaging others. But since my ex took longer to get his words out and I have a naturally louder tone than him, it taught me how to slow down and really listen. Know what doing that did? It taught me how to do more thinking before I speak.
Thinking before speaking is basically taking out a moment or two to process what you're about to say and how you're about to say it in order to see if you're willing to handle the reaction that you just might get. It's also about applying tact and timing to truth.
Self-aware people typically don't like drama, so they would rather take long pauses in conversation than to rush to get things out, only to unnecessarily start problems.
6.Self-Aware People Observe Others’ Mistakes (to Avoid Making Them)
One of the best things I've ever heard my mother say is, "Discernment prevents experience from being your teacher." What that means, in a nutshell, is you don't have to go through everything in order to learn. Sometimes, observing someone else's life, can be impactful all on its own.
This is one of the best traits about a self-aware person. They don't think that you need a certain type of status or education or even a certain tax bracket to be a powerful teacher in their life. A houseless (which is what I prefer instead of the word "homeless") individual, someone in prison or a substance abuser can have brilliant points and insights just as much as anyone else. If you listen closely enough, they might even have more.
7.Self-Aware People Are Patient
Someone once said, "When you delay instant gratification, you will experience long-term satisfaction." Self-aware people know this. They're the kind of individuals who would rather save up for something rather than charge it on their credit card. They're also the ones who aren't interested in settling because they live by the quote by writer Maureen Dowd—"The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for." When it comes to having something vs. having what's best for them, they'll take what's behind Door #2.
However, there is something else about patience that goes beyond waiting for things. One of the most slept-on definitions of patient (probably because it's uncomfortable and difficult) is "bearing provocation, annoyance, misfortune, delay, hardship, pain, etc., with fortitude and calm and without complaint, anger, or the like". When you look at patience from this perspective, it is one of the hardest things to put into practice. Self-aware people do it anyway because they know that life isn't always easy nor is it always gonna go their way, but, at the same time, the best way to get through the trying times is to apply a nice dose of patience.
8.Self-Aware People Are Compassionate
I really like the word "compassion". There is something really soothing and safe about it. When there are people on the planet who don't just acknowledge someone's pain or discomfort but want to do whatever they can to help relieve it? That is humanity functioning at its finest. Compassionate people are empathetic. Compassionate people are giving. Compassionate people know how to forgive others and themselves. Compassionate people are mindful and grateful.
There is absolutely no way that you can be a compassionate person and not have a pretty high level of self-awareness; especially if you know that being compassionate starts with extending compassion to the one who's looking at you in the mirror.
9.Self-Aware People Are Focused
I have a friend who says the funniest thing about his mom—"I don't know what makes her think that if she calls me three times in one day that it's gonna make me call her back any faster. I check her messages and if it's not dire, I get back to her once I've done the other things that are already on my list." You know what kind of person functions this way? A focused one.
Focused people don't spend hours on social media while they are at work. Focused people don't buy an extra pair of shoes when they are trying to save up for a new car. Focused people don't settle for Mr./Ms. Right Now when who they really want is Mr./Ms. Right, period. Focused people refuse to let someone discourage them off of their plans and goals. Focused people have routines, work methodically and know how to embrace each and every moment they are in.
Something else that's dope about focused folks is they truly honor their time. I think it was an author by the name of Shannon L. Adler who once said, "Don't say you don't have enough time or enough money to change the world. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Gandhi, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci and Jesus Christ." A lot of focused/self-aware people? They probably have this quote hanging up in their office or house somewhere.
10.Self-Aware People Know How and When to Let Things Go
Cue in Toni Braxton's song, "Let It Flow" right here. Every March, there's a national observance day called National Get Over It Day. It's a reminder that everything has its own time and season. Self-aware people are not only accepting of this reality, they are often so in tune with themselves and what's going on around them that they can sense when much-needed shifts are coming. And since they know that, more times than not, in order to get to what's better, they are prepared to release what's before them—and they are able to let go with love.
Personally, I find letting ish go to be one of the best qualities of self-awareness. It's also one of the greatest motivations to make self-awareness a consistent life practice. How about you?
Featured image by Getty Images
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
An author by the name of Alexandra Katehakis once said this about orgasms: “Great spiritual teachers throughout the ages have stated that orgasm is the closest some people come to a spiritual experience because of the momentary loss of self. Why is this true? Because with spiritual sex, you move beyond orgasm into a connection with yourself, your partner, and the divine — recognizing them all as one.”
If it’s counterintuitive to what you’ve ever thought about orgasms, believe it or not, there are even pastors who have said that climaxing is the closest comprehension of heaven on this side of it: it is an extreme kind of bliss that is indescribable and is best experienced between two people who share a sacrificial kind of love for one another.
Although this might seem like a heavy way to intro this particular topic, because the O Method is an orgasm-achieving technique that centers around housing energy, embracing the mental practice of manifestation, and the attempt to achieve the best climaxes ever — it all works together pretty well if you ask me. If you want to take your orgasms to the next level, it’s important that you get out of yourself (to a certain extent), that you see the spiritual role that manifestation plays, and that you are open to trying new things. No doubt about it.
So, let’s learn more about what the O Method is all about and how it very well could be just what you’ve been looking for…even if you didn’t know it.
What Is the “O Method” All About?Giphy
Question: When’s the last time you’ve had an orgasm? Not just any orgasm — I mean a really mind-blowing one (I’ll give you a second to think about it). Now, what if you could manifest that experience to the point where it wasn’t a rare occurrence but something that happened almost every time that you and your partner had sex with each other? How absolutely awesome would that be?
That is pretty much what the O Method is all about — helping you achieve the kind of orgasms (and sexual pleasure, in general) that you desire through the practice of manifestation. And since your biggest sex organ is your brain, it would make perfect sense that even with all of the tips and techniques that you might learn to do as far as your body is concerned, honing in on what you think about is super imperative to sexual fulfillment, too. And that’s just where manifestation comes in.
What If You’ve Never “Manifested” Anything Before?Giphy
Before we get into a quick lesson on manifestation, I think it’s important to mention two things. One, for the cynics, there is a lot of truth in the fact that it’s got some solid spiritual basis to it because even the Good Book says that as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7). At the same time, that same Good Book tells us that faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26). So, while it is always a good idea to focus on good, positive, and productive thoughts, just thinking about them isn’t enough — at some point, you’ve also gotta get out here and DO something (bookmark that).
Okay, with that mini-sermon out of the way, whether it’s in the bedroom or not, manifestation is basically about focusing on something tangible that you desire, harnessing your energy in such a way that your words and actions are directed towards that longing until what you want, well, manifests. For the record, aside from this having a spiritual backing to it, in many ways, science cosigns on manifesting, too. There is actually a scientific process known as neuroplasticity that consists of reframing your mind so that your actions ultimately end up aligning with your goals — and that is another way to look at manifestation.
So, what if you’re someone who has never set out to do a manifestation practice before? No worries. Something that’s awesome about it is there are several different approaches that you can take.
Some people manifest what they want in their lives via:
- Visualization/Creating vision boards
- Writing down their desires before going to bed (so that they can “download” them into their dream state)
- Creating mantras and affirmations
- Applying the 369 Manifestation Method (you can learn more about that here)
- Learning more about what you want to manifest (which brings forth clarity)
This is important to keep in mind because, when it comes to manifesting the types of orgasms that you want to have, as you can see, you can try different manifestation methods until you find one (or ones) that you are truly comfortable with. One that can ease you into the entire process rather smoothly is something known as sex journaling.
How Sex Journaling Can Actually Help You to Have an OrgasmGiphy
As a writer, I’m a big fan of journaling. Mostly because it’s a way to get out some of your deepest thoughts and feelings so that you’re able to really process what is happening inside of you in a private setting. And when it comes to sex journaling, specifically, it’s all about centering yourself on the things sexually that you want to “unpack,” get clarity on or come to some revelations about. For instance, if there’s only been one partner from your past who’s been able to help you achieve the type of orgasms that you wish to manifest, journaling about what makes him different from the other guys can provide you with some solid ah-ha moments.
Or if you need help getting as specific as possible about the sexual experiences that you’re after, journaling can help to make that happen for you — because one thing that manifesting reminds us all to do is be as specific as possible.
Yeah, simply saying, “I want to have better sex” isn’t detailed enough when you want to get your energy to match with your desires — instead, describe how all of your senses should feel in the experience, along with why, that can get you so much closer to achieving your goal. Once those things are documented, you can segue into creating mantras and/or meditation that are based on them. Yeah, sex journaling really is an underrated superpower on a lot of levels (check out “The Art Of Sex Journaling (And Why You Should Do It)”).
5 Tips for Making the O Method Work for YouGiphy
Now that you know more about what the O Method is and how manifestation plays a direct role in its process, let’s talk about five ways to make the O Method truly effective in your own (sex) life.
1. Focus, FULLY, on your feminine energy. What do rose quartz, amethyst, moonstone (which is a Gemini birthstone as well; yes, I’m a Gemini), selenite, and rhodonite all have in common? They’re crystals that help you to go deeper into your divine feminine energy. Traits that are associated with this include compassion, creativity, kindness, gentleness, and sensuality (feminine energy is also accepting and forgiving). If you were to study energy from a biological standpoint, it’s about producing change, responding to stimuli, and having the ability to do what needs to be done (work). So, when it comes to manifesting the kind of orgasms or sexual experiences that you want, using things like your creativity and gentleness in your thoughts and actions can play a role in bringing balance to your partner’s masculinity, which can create a profound sense of pleasure — after all, opposites do attract.
2. Don’t hold back on what it is that you desire. Whenever I interview sex therapists, something that they all say is, a huge mistake that people make as far as sexual satisfaction is concerned is, they have walls up — not just with their partners but even within themselves. Sometimes, there is intimidation, fear, or even shame around what they really want to happen during sex to the point where they aren’t able to channel their energy fully in those directions in order to manifest what they want. For the O Method to work, you can’t let those types of negative emotions hinder you; the more you are able to articulate what you want and how you want it, the better chance you have of making it happen. So yes, get graphic. As graphic as possible.
3. Make manifestation a daily practice. Repetition is important when it comes to manifestation. That’s because the more you declare what you desire (a mantra), get still and think on it (meditation), or look at the “art” that you’ve created surrounding it (visualization), the quicker it becomes a part of you. So yes, make manifestation a daily practice. For instance, if one of your mantras is, “I am going to have intensely passionate orgasms, one right after the other,” don’t just state that 15 minutes before sex is going to happen. Wake up and declare it. Then say it on your lunch break. And again before turning in. The more your thoughts are “streamlined” in this way, the easier it will be for your body to follow suit.
4. Share this practice with your partner. If you were to do even more research on the O Method, one thing that most of the articles will mention is it’s a practice that you can do alone or with your partner. Indeed. However, I just want to make sure that you get into your psyche that great sex is, in part, about good communication. And so, the more comfortable you are sharing with your partner what you are doing as far as the O Method is concerned and what you ultimately want to happen as a result of the practice, the easier it will be for him to “match your energy” — both in and out of the bedroom. And when your partner is on the same page as you? That definitely increases the chances of attaining your sexual desires — exponentially so.
5. Stay in the moment. While I was reading one article on manifestation, I really appreciated something that the author said: manifestation isn’t some supernatural power. In other words, while it can be beneficial, it’s not like you can just think of something, and it instantly appears out of nowhere. Manifesting is a discipline, and it must be accompanied by action, consistency, and patience — this means that you must also practice mindfulness. Meaning, now that you know better what you’re looking to achieve as far as sex is concerned, every time that it transpires, maintain a level of positive energy, remember what your end goal is, and then determine in your mind to enjoy the moments as they come. Remember, manifestation isn’t to add stress…it’s to cultivate clarity.
At the end of the day, the O Method is simply a way of reminding you that your mind plays a huge role in your sexual pleasure, and when you channel it and your energy exactly where you want them both to go, you’ll be amazed what your body is capable of doing…and accomplishing.
So, what kind of orgasm are you wanting to achieve? You’ve got a tool to get you there. USE IT.
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Featured image by Giphy