Building self-awareness resembles building a house. Here’s how to find the bricks, cement, tools, and architectural design to construct one that’s uniquely yours

Image of a self-awareness house
Image of a self-awareness house
All illustrations by the author (using Creative Commons graphics from Pixabay).

Self-awareness is such a complex idea. We all want to improve it, but many find it hard to unpack the concept. What does it mean to be self-aware?

Over the past few years, I’ve explored this question from many angles. At first, self-awareness seemed to be a primarily spiritual endeavor. I discovered that all my experiences, at any given moment, can be used as raw material for discovering my essence, i.e., that part of my consciousness that remains unchanging.

Even now when I write these words, I feel chills of excitement.

As I kept meditating and exploring other self-awareness techniques…

When people sit in a circle, they can see what used to be hidden.

Photo by VisionPic .net from Pexels

On the last Full Moon, I did it again.

I know I shouldn’t have. The current limits on social gatherings are still quite strict. Yet, the promise of what we would create together was much greater than the perceived risk.

(Note: Although the gathering was bigger than allowed, we did follow social distancing rules and met outdoors.)

Under the cover of the night but with the guidance of the Moon, ten women went into the forest to sit around the fire. Each made her way through the darkness and to the sacred space. There, we knew we could feel safe…

Running with others can give you perspective on how to approach relationships

Photo by Gabin Vallet on Unsplash

How you run is usually a great metaphor for how you live your life. The way you exert effort, motivate yourself when you're tired, interact with your breath, decide when to slow down and when to speed up — all these elements may reflect how you do other things outside of running.

Then there’s the next level: running with others.

For most of my life, I ran alone. But over the last year, this changed. With lockdown restrictions, running together has been one of the safe outdoor ways of socializing. …

Here’s what can happen when you infuse your practice with Western cultural baggage

Woman doing seated meditation.
Woman doing seated meditation.
Photo by Jan Kopřiva on Unsplash

Mindfulness has established itself as a personal growth technique in the West. We think we understand what it’s all about.

But sometimes, I wonder: do we actually know what we’re doing when we practice mindfulness?

The truth is, your knowledge of mindfulness is probably incomplete. Mine certainly is, too, even though I spent the past five years exploring the caveats of my mind, studying mindfulness at university, and sitting in all kinds of meditation circles. What are we missing? …

I sometimes think about them before falling asleep

Photo by Geraldine Ng on Unsplash

When we talk about how to market ourselves as writers, we rarely discuss this short piece of text that displays next to each of our articles.

The online space that’s so uniquely yours.

The best opportunity to remind your readers who you are… and then, do it again. And again.

I’m talking about your writer’s bio on Medium.

The bio isn’t an easy thing to master. There’s quite a lot of pressure attached to it. How do you make the best possible use of such a limited number of characters? …

The ability to take a break shouldn’t be a privilege

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

For the past few days, I’ve been busy sending emails and canceling commitments. Last week, I made an on-a-whim decision to take a break from work and clear my calendar as much as I can until my 30th birthday in June.

It feels like taking that break just before I pass the magical threshold of 30 is essential to my mental health, as well as personal and professional growth. It feels so vital right now that I’m willing to own the fact that I’m putting a lot of my connections on the line.

Having said that, I feel both a…

Overdoing self-reflection may not only lead to inaccurate answers—it may also encourage detrimental rumination

Illustration of a woman sitting on a swing, reading in moonlight.
Illustration of a woman sitting on a swing, reading in moonlight.
Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

As we’re slowly emerging from the pandemic, the way we feel may surprise us. As Melinda Wenner Moyer explained in her recent piece in Elemental, it’s perfectly natural that we’re not bursting with enthusiasm just yet.

In fact, now is the moment when many people’s mental health is taking the biggest dip.

For many of us, the amount of thinking we’ve done over the past year has hit us hard. We’ve been forced to evaluate our lives from all possible angles. We asked ourselves serious questions about why we’re here and what we’re doing. …

Embracing the idea that humans are “born to run”

Photo by Ham Kris on Unsplash

On 31st December 2020, I ran 30k doing the “7 hills of Edinburgh” route with my boyfriend and friend. It wasn’t an ordinary achievement. My longest runs to date were half that distance and on much flatter trails.

“You’ll run as slow as you want and walk whenever you need to,” my boyfriend, who runs ultra-marathons, said to me before we set off. Ultimately, he took the pressure off of that run — which I believe was precisely what allowed me to complete it.

It took around 5 hours, so sure, we weren’t fast. But, it allowed me to enter…


It might be time to outsource part of this to the people in your life who see you differently

Image of people’s faces in cogs. Interconnected
Image of people’s faces in cogs. Interconnected
Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Recently, I’ve been forced to accept a hard truth about myself.

I’m way more outgoing, knowledgeable, interesting, fun, confident, courageous, and eloquent than I used to think.

You may think that I’m joking right now. How is this a “hard truth”? All these adjectives are everything one would want to be, right?

But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to accept that I can be all those things.

Why? Because they aren’t coherent with the self-story I’ve been nursing in my mind for years. …

Here’s what may happen to your writing if you monetize it ASAP

Photo by Yan Krukov from Pexels

I haven’t been writing in my personal style for a while. I feel like I’m recovering from a “content writing hangover.” All I can think of as I type these first words is whether or not I’m “luring the reader (you) in” and if my headline is click-worthy enough to get some eyeballs on this text.

This “content mindset” has been with me for a while. And I feel limited by it. Initially, I became a content writer because I’ve always loved writing and it seemed like a good idea to turn my passion into my career.

That’s what we’re…

Marta Brzosko

Self-awareness precedes self-improvement. Join me on

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