The practice of Svadhyaya is the practice of self-study either through watching how and what you are or by reading works by teachers who have already trodden the path. It is a process of waking up to who and what you are.
Here are some questions to align yourself with what you might be ignoring and to help point you in the right direction for 2015
Who do I love and how do I love?
If you look at who you love and who loves you back it will tell you a lot about yourself. Also if you look deeply and more closely at how you love yourself you will learn about your ability to love others. Do you love out of need or wants? Do you love freely without expectation? Can you love someone without expecting them to be your version of how they should be? Have you learned how to forgive so you can hold everyone including yourself in your heart?
What triggers me?
What situations, words or people set me off? Why do they trigger me? Just learning and seeing what these arrows are will make you more alert each time they happen. Without going too much into your past become more friendly towards these bursts of energy that can send your spiraling down hill. Learn to see them as part of who you are but don’t accept them as something that has to change you each time. How can you let them bounce off you?
What are my conditioned responses when I feel trapped, fearful or betrayed?
What is the first thing you do? Do you run and hide? Do you feel and show anger? Do you feel shame and regret? Do you act out with words or actions? Do you add the situation to your ever mounting dossier of how the world had done you wrong? When you look at your conditioned responses more carefully you will see them as just that, conditioned. How can you jump off the treadmill of reactivity into thoughtful response instead?
Am I doing what I really want to do with my life?
Putting aside money and time are you doing what you are meant to in this world? What absorbs you, where do you get lost in time and space doing what you love? Do you put up excuses to move closer in the direction that you should be going? Take one small step towards that dream.
What is the one thing I would like to change, put down or move on from?
Are you sure that you have put down your attachments to the past carefully? Do you still hold on to the conversation or the actions of another? Are you holding on to a person or a job just because the options not to don’t seem feasible? What are you clinging to from fear of losing? What can you do to make a change really happen in your life rather than just dream about it?
As you move into your new year and consider these questions do so without judgement on yourself for how you are but instead with a loving kindness and acceptance. The practice of self study is one of bravery and courage.