We all have the ability to be more present in our lives, as well as to reach our potential and be the best version of ourselves. At the same time, we can also be a force for positive change in the world. The first step is developing self-awareness. As Faisal Hoque said, “When you know yourself, you can act with a confidence that is your own. The better we understand the nature of ourselves, the better we can move within ourselves.”

Questions you can ask yourself include:

  • What do I need to heal from my past?
  • What limiting beliefs do I have?
  • What are my core values?
  • What do I want my life to be?

It takes work to develop self-awareness, and it is an ongoing process. There are many tools to help you build self-awareness and self-knowledge, including courses, workshops, books and articles, and there are many resources in this magazine. Working with a personal coach is also a great place to start.


As we grow up, everyone experiences times of emotional and psychological pain. These experiences stay with us in the form of energy that can get stuck in our bodies if we don’t release it. This stuck energy can recreate the original emotional pain when we are triggered by something in our current lives. For example, when your spouse or partner raises their voice in a moment of anger, you relive your childhood experience of your parent yelling at you. Then, your reaction comes from a deep place of fear and shame, causing you to overreact and either yell back hurtfully or shut down and blame yourself. If you take steps to heal the wounds you received in childhood, you will realize that you have a choice—you needn’t react as your five-year-old self but instead can react as the capable adult you are now.

There are many energy-healing modalities available to assist you in releasing old, stuck energy and patterns, and it is important to do so. Check the listings in this Natural Awakeningsissue to get started finding resources to aid you in this effort.

The Voice in Your Head is Not You

As we live our lives, we develop a “story” about our past experiences. More often than not, the “story” is not entirely true. But by believing it, we create limiting beliefs about ourselves. For example, when you were growing up, your sibling was praised for her artistic ability, while you were more interested in academic pursuits and praised for your good grades. The family story became that you were smart but not creative, and you bought into it. In reality, you were also creative but you believed the “story” you told yourself and never wanted to try anything creative because you thought you would fail. This is a limiting belief that can go unexamined until you recognize and challenge it.

Beware of the voice in your head that says you are not worthy or you can’t do something. You can challenge that voice and change the message to a true one that will empower, not limit, you.

Change Your Perspective

To paraphrase Wayne Dyer, when you change the way you are looking at something, that something changes. This can be a profound shift into positivity and will make a huge difference in your life. It’s a matter of reframing things that may appear negative to you. For example, if your spouse or partner loads the dishwasher and doesn’t do it exactly like you would prefer to have it done, you get annoyed and complain that he can’t do anything right. If you take a moment to change the way you are looking at it, you will realize that you can be happy because he is loading the dishwasher at all, and let go of the idea that he is not doing it the way you prefer. (Or if there is a serious error involved, you can simply move things around later, without making a big fuss about it!) Instead of an annoying partner who can’t do things correctly, you now see a well-meaning partner who doesn’t always know how you want things done but tries to be helpful anyway.

Another example is your parent constantly giving you advice that you don’t need or want. Instead of letting them drive you crazy, try reframing their advice-giving, which makes you feel incompetent, as their way of showing they love and care about you. If you express this new viewpoint to them, it may even result in their bugging you less since they will feel more appreciated and understood.

Identify Core Values

Another helpful exercise in personal growth and evolution is identifying your core values, which are attributes central to how you lead your life. These values are critical to your living a fulfilling life, and they are different for everyone. Examples are authenticity, integrity, joy, creativity, connection and compassion. There are many lists, some with close to 200 choices, that can help you in identifying your core values. Start with your top 10 values and narrow down to your top five. It’s not easy, but you will learn a great deal about yourself if you are honest about it! You then can use your core values to make decisions to create a life that is meaningful and fulfilling.

To make 2020 a year of positivity and personal growth, you can get started by trying these exercises:

  • Find an energy healer to help you release stuck energy and patterns
  • Let go of limiting beliefs from old stories you carry in your head
  • Change the way you look at something that bothers you so it becomes more positive
  • Identify and honor your core values to bring meaning and fulfillment to your life

Katie Augustyn is the spiritual head of Transformation Center CT in Westport, which offers group workshops and trainings, as well as individual sessions, for those seeking healing, spiritual growth and personal transformation. She is also a transformation coach, a shamanic practitioner and the host of the cable TV show, The Katie Augustyn Spiritual Connection Show. Visit her website TransformationCenterCT.com for more information.

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