The search for truth has guided human development from our earliest origins. With the advent of CIT (communication and information technologies), this search became increasingly more accessible, but also more challenging due to the sheer volume of information now readily available online. This challenge is further confused by individual perceptions or interpretations that are often stated as truth. Fortunately, we have sources we can rely on to redirect us from urban legends, folklore, myths, rumours and misinformation — Snopes.com, etc. But what do we rely on when the truth we seek is of a personal nature such as regarding our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellness?
A typical response to my question would be, “experts in each of those fields.” Outside expertise is indeed one way to suss out the truth. However, this expertise is only one piece of the truth puzzle. Of equal, or arguably greater, importance is our personal knowledge of our own body, mind and spirit. In the end, such intimate knowledge of ourselves provides the discernment needed to enhance overall wellbeing and navigate life with confidence and mastery.
The Socratic notion, All Knowledge is Self-knowledge, implies that knowing ourselves intimately allows us to know life in the same way. Such an in-to-me-see knowledge of oneself requires self-study. Interestingly, approaching learning through self-study is opposite to how most North Americans are educated. Child and adult learning is generally about studying everything outside of ourselves not familiarizing ourselves with the sensations, thoughts and emotions of our inner beingness. For many, this lack of personal familiarity left us not knowing who we are or how we fit within the greater mystery of life.
Unfortunately, such inexperience as not knowing one’s purpose and direction is accompanied by insecurity and lack of confidence. Over time, both qualities become embedded in our bodies as anxiety, depression and various other mental and physical illnesses. Although knowing the multiplication table might allow us to eventually develop an accounting career, etc., it does not aid us in healing ourselves or in building healthy relationships or in understanding how to navigate the ups and downs of life. For holistic wellness to become a way of life, it takes self-discovery and self-mastery, not only career mastery.
When we understand and master our deeply-felt inner experiences, we move beyond merely surviving life’s events into a more appreciative sense of thriving. Furthermore, confidence accompanies a thriving countenance. By diving deeply into our habitual sensations, thoughts and emotions, we learn what is getting in the way of our happiness, health and meaningfulness. The added benefit is we also learn what we need to do to change those less than satisfactory experiences into harmonious, productive, fulfilling ones.
A deeper undertone within All Knowledge is Self-Knowledge suggests that the answers to our questions regarding self and life are held within our physical-mental-emotional-intuitive being. In other words, we have direct access to past knowledge and present emerging experience via our mind-body connection. All we have to do is ask the question and await the answer. This simple step begins the learning and awareness process. The answer may arise immediately or take weeks, months even years before we gain full understanding.
Shifting our awareness — away from focusing only on external people, things and events to including our internal experience of sensations, thoughts and emotions — sets the foundation for our inner knowledge and intuitive wisdom to flow freely.
The body never lies. Martha Graham
… and when listened to, always reveals our truth.
If you are not a believer in the above statements, try this experiment to validate its truth. Recall a decision about your personal wellbeing that you are currently unable to confidently make. Ask yourself this question “What do I need to understand about myself in order to make this decision?” You may want to close your eyes and draw your awareness inside while you await a response. If a response does not arrive in the next few minutes, then open your eyes and go about your daily business. Post your query in a spot where you will see it on a daily basis. This reminder will keep it foremost in your awareness so you can recognize the answer when it emerges.