Self-improvement vs. Self-awareness

The freedom from something is not true freedom. The freedom to do anything you want to do is also not the freedom I am talking about. My vision of freedom is to be yourself. ~ Osho

The 1980’s and 90’s put a lot of focus on self-improvement. Go to the book department of any thrift store and you will find one self-help book after another encompassing everything on what it means to be a fully-functioning human being in the world. These books are still being published though they are losing ground. They were offered as tools to help seekers become better, healthier, richer, creative, kinder, compassionate, spiritual, successful, forgiving, etc.

The keywords of that era included healing, wholeness, salvation, spirituality, enlightenment, self-improvement, etc. And then for those who couldn’t grasp the concepts there were books published like Spirituality for Dummies, Exercise for Dummies, or, Idiot’s Guide to Buddhism, Idiot’s Guide to Creativity, heck, there is even one out there called The Idiot’s Guide to Toltec Wisdom.

I called this shit happens awareness for $12.95.

First, there were people out there publishing books and conducting seminars to teach you how to become all of this. The general message was that you are not good enough, whole enough, spiritual enough or worthy enough. But, when you buy the books and read the words you can adapt your behaviors by following the practices and become all these things in conformity with all the others seeking to become all these things. And then, as if to make matters worse, if you couldn’t grasp the concepts presented with ease in your quest for shit happens awareness you were categorized as dummies or idiots and books were written in your honor!

Fortunately, people have come to realize that they don’t want to become something that they are not, by delving into how-to manuals. They are not content to emulate the qualities defined and described through bullet points in PowerPoint presentations. They are no longer willing to be told that they don’t have it right, or that their salvation depends on their ability to heal as prescribed by the world’s self-proclaimed guru’s, masters and teachers; as a matter-of-fact, most people no longer believe in salvationism!

Self-awareness, on the other hand, is a creative process through which you have the opportunity to understand who you are. It is a journey, a walk, a beautiful opportunity to experience life, to experience the world, to experience each other. It allows you to open up to the beauty of the natural order of things the way they are, yourself included. Connecting with the earth or with the cosmic energies of infinity brings understanding. Understanding then gives you the opportunity and freedom to change those things you’d like to change about yourself and create the life you want…for yourself, not for others. Self-awareness is a creative act that empowers you to consciously and actively make those changes a reality.

Self-awareness is reached when we connect with silence. To connect with silence we need energy. To gain energy we free ourselves from the dominant paradigm, the expectations imposed upon us by others and the feeling that we are not enough the way we are. The changes that we choose to make should be the ones that allow us to live authentically and in alignment with our true purpose, our personal and sacred medicine that we are each born with. Be yourself!

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