Joining me today is Melissa, my dear friend and personal mentor. It is with her that I started my own personal journey when I hired her as my coach. We worked together for over nine months working on my self awareness and developing tools to help guide me through life. I’m so excited for her to share not only these tools with us, and the importance of self awareness with intimacy.
What does it mean to be self aware?
In general, being self aware is being aware of yourself, of the words you’re using, the emotions you’re feeling, the behaviors you’re exhibiting, not just with yourself, but also the environment and people that surround you. Self awareness in intimacy is being self aware with respect to what intimacy means to you with a person or with a spouse. It can help you have a richer, more vibrant relationship with your partner. The way that I use that in the form of intimacy is being present with myself when being intimate with myself and or partners.
What are the four archetypes of self awareness?
In preparation for this, as you read each description of the archetypes, and check in with yourself. In this moment you can practice self awareness as you’re reading and consider what is really resonating with you. Be cautious not to allow your mind to try to define you and what I’m about to share. Allow your body to light up or offer you a physical sensation right now, it might feel like a warming sensation, it might feel like an open expansive sensation when I speak these words. That will help you really understand where you might sit within these four archetypes right now.
There are two broad categories of self awareness: Internal self awareness and external self awareness. Internal self-awareness means knowing your values and personality strengths and weaknesses. External self-awareness means knowing how other people see you.
The four archetypes are introspectors, seekers, pleasers, and an individual who is aware.
Introspectors are someone who has a very high internal self awareness and low external self awareness. An interceptor is the person who is clear on who they are. They don’t challenge their own views or search for blind spots by getting feedback from others. That’s where the low external self awareness comes from. If someone were to sit in a conversation with you and offer you feedback, you’re very closed off to this.
A seeker is someone who has low internal self awareness, and low external self awareness. This individual has no idea who they are, what they stand for, or how others see them. This person might feel very stuck. They might feel very frustrated in relationships and in life. Seekers are very closed off to outside feedback as well as who they are, and how they behave in the world. They’re numb to life.
Another category is pleasers. Pleasers have a low internal self awareness and high external self awareness. Also known as a people pleaser. Pleasers are focused on appearing a certain way to others or the outside world. They do this pleasing to receive some type of acceptance from somebody else and disregard who they actually are on the inside.
And then lastly, what we actually strive for in regards to human life on this planet is to be aware. People who are aware have high internal self awareness and high external self awareness. This is a person who very strongly knows who they are on the inside. They are very confident in how they behave, very competent in how they speak. People who are aware are extremely open to outside feedback, they will listen to another’s opinion or perspective. That doesn’t mean that the individual who is aware is going to fully take on another person’s perspective about them. They kind of take it all in and maybe see if there’s any truth for them inside.
What do you think is like the best tool for somebody who wants to start becoming more self aware?
There are two small practices that you can do to begin your self awareness journey. The first practice is all about connecting to your five senses, sensory work. Think about each of your five senses: sight, smell, taste, sound, and touch and activate each one individually. You want to spend two minutes with each of your senses. Here’s an example. If you’re going to activate your sense of smell, you might pick up an essential oil, light your favorite candle, grab your favorite perfume, body lotion, something with a very strong scent. Close your eyes so that you can heighten the sense of smell. Then just smell whatever it is that you have for two minutes. Take your time. This is not a process that you’re going to rush. Do this for all five of your senses. Another example is for the sense of taste. Grab a favorite beverage, a piece of chocolate, or a favorite food item. Again, close your eyes, take a bite or a swig of whatever the drink it is that you chose, and allow it to sit on your taste buds for about a minute or two and let that sense activate. When you start to activate your senses, you’re starting to activate your body, and your internal environment, that internal self awareness. Once you activate your internal self awareness, you will start noticing an activation of the external self awareness where you become more aware of your outside environment. Sensory work will be the biggest and best practice.
Then pair your sensory work with 10 minutes of pure stillness. This can be challenging for some people because we live in a day and age where there is constant sound. So, when it comes to 10 minutes of stillness, put your cell phone away, turn the music off everything, any sound, remove it, sit with yourself in silence, and you may feel uncomfortable. And at the same time, it’s giving you that opportunity to again, increase your self awareness of what’s going on inside of you, as well as what’s going on outside of you. It’s important to note that in the beginning you will notice mind chatter. That will subside when you continue to sit in that practice of 10 minutes of stillness.
How does self awareness impact intimacy?
Self awareness heightens intimacy; it brings two people closer together. Your partner wants to please you. It’s one of their highest intentions. And they want to be communicated in a simple way, such as hey, I want this, or hey, do it this way, or hey, do you know, X, Y, and Z. That’s all you need to do. It’s that simple. When you are self aware, you know what pleases you, and you can communicate that. Then your partner gets to do what he wants, to please you, and ultimately that makes him excited. It’s bringing us closer together.
How do you engage your partner in joining you on this journey?
First, remember that we all have different perspectives, desires, and wants. While you might be on this journey of self awareness and are excited about it, your partner may not even understand the world of self awareness. Therefore, you don’t want to approach them with hey, you need to be more self aware of your own body and your own needs, or hey, you need to be more self aware of my body and my needs. That is going to be very unappealing and your partner is not likely to be open to the idea much less want to partake in the experience. Instead, you want to invite them in, and you can do that in a couple of different ways. You can do this indirectly, by sharing with your spouse your excitement about what you’ve discovered about yourself, or something you heard on a podcast, etc. Tell them a story sharing your experience with them. That becomes an invitation, heightening their curiosity and creating intrigue about this topic that you’re talking about. A direct way is to look them in the eye and say, I’ve been learning X, Y, and Z, and I would love to invite you to listen to this podcast, this program, or read this book or article for the purpose of enhancing the intimacy between us.
If you start the journey and share how you’re being impacted, a lot of times people around you are going to be curious and want to join you. So, share it, be open about it. It’s a really great way to help bring them along.
You can find Melissa Boleslawski on Instagram and Facebook @melissa_boleslawski
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