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People need to know that they have all the tools within themselves. Self-awareness, which means awareness of their body, awareness of their mental space, awareness of their relationships - not only with each other, but with life and the ecosystem.   Deepak Chopra

My memoir, Painting Life: My Creative Journey Through Trauma will finally be out this week. What a long, and worthwhile, journey it has been. I have learned so much about my self, about the creative process, about my life philosophy – and about the publishing world!

Once again I was reminded how much our future is totally unknown and unpredictable. The only thing we can “know” is our true Self. When we know who we are, at the core of our being, that core Self provides a consistent anchor in this unpredictable world.  

To understand who we are – at the depths of our being – we must pose questions that only we can answer. Then, in order to find the answers to these questions we must access our deeper, inner selves.

This is where curiosity comes in. The path to self-awareness is triggered by curiosity. We ignite curiosity by asking ourselves questions such as:

  • Who am I as an individual in this world, at this time of my life?
  • What is the meaning and purpose of my life?
  • What must I do to manifest my deepest meaning?
  • How can each of the many decisions I must make, reflect my priorities, values and main purpose in life?

Answering these questions requires a form of meditation to help us go deeper into ourselves – to move into a state of self-awareness. There are many ways to drop into this meditative place, but what works for me, is to be engaged in a creative process such as journaling or spontaneous painting. Whatever method we choose, being in a peaceful, pensive place is absolutely necessary.

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. Albert Einstein

When I began my new memoir, Painting Life: My Creative Journey Through Trauma (to be published this week) I was curious. I wanted to answer many questions that were left unanswered about my traumatic experience.  I wanted to develop a stronger self-awareness about the trauma that happened to me and how I was able to recover from it. I asked myself:

  • How would I now view an incident that occurred twenty-seven years ago?
  • Is it possible to learn something new about my self and my recovery process?
  • What was my recovery process?
  • Was it related to creativity in any way?

Fortunately, the answers were all positive.  What surprised me was the new insights and self-awareness’s that arose.

Interestingly, one piece of self-awareness that occurred was how I maintained energy throughout a difficult time.  As I wrote my memoir I realized it all began with curiosity.  As one understanding led to another and I identified the energetic process of (what I call) the five C's of creative energy: Curiosity, Courage, Consistency, Commitment and Completion, and how these processes helped me on my path of recovery.

In the end it fascinated me that I came full circle – I began this search with curiosity and it ended with a deeper understanding of the importance of curiosity and the role it played in my recovery.  Sometimes the search for self-awareness ends up with surprises.

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.                                             Walt Disney