Self-Awareness is one of the most valuable tools we have in the human tool shed. However, to reap full benefits we should do the work that helps shape and nurture our individuality. It is the gift that keeps on giving, once you get a grasp on the essence of your character. The ability to concentrate on yourself, the reasons why you do things, how feelings and views align with the internal self is all part of this high-level consciousness. Mindfulness takes time to craft, getting to know yourself at the core demands careful listening to the inner self. Life’s constant distractions create countless challenges, as you build the skill but it is well, worth it.
I had the lovely opportunity to discuss self-awareness with the author of Embrace that Girl, one of my favorite reads! The memoir describes the journey of Cris Ramos-Greene, a girl who faces her fears, peels the layers of doubt, transforming into a confident and limitless woman. Along the way, the fearless Latina encounters many of the same struggles I’ve had with identity, relationships, family, and others. Personally, one of the most interesting aspects of the book was her affinity for who she was becoming and how she managed the process.
I first interviewed Cris in December 2020 during the promotion of her debut book. We had instant chemistry, chatting like old girlfriends on a Wednesday after work. I was delighted to receive a new opportunity to speak with her on a completely different topic. The connection and gratitude shared have much to do with a common interest in mindfulness. We believe in intuition and the ability to navigate life using a healthy combination of emotional intelligence, empathy, and spirituality. Oftentimes, I look to “gut instinct” or have a heart-to-heart with myself to find the answers to life’s questions. The confidence to heed the internal guide comes with time, practice, self-belief, and frequent reinforcement.
Our Zoom conversation was filled with golden nuggets, personal stories, anecdotes, and lessons but the best part was having a moment to connect with a friend during a time, many were starved for human interaction.
I read your book, Embrace That Girl, where you shared your personal journey to finding yourself. As an author myself, writing anything auto-biographical is challenging because of its personal nature. What has been the most important lesson you have learned about yourself while writing this book? From where I stand today, the book, Embrace That Girl is based on another life. My life is very different from what it was all those years ago. I don’t have the same friends, beliefs, and insecurities that I did when the journey began. I enjoy a vast amount of self-love and give myself credit for the work I’ve been doing, creating my own advocate in the process.
Your story will resonate profoundly with lots of AW readers. Going on a journey to find meaning, self-love, and purpose. Initially, for myself, it was difficult, to be completely open with my story. Owning my truths, particularly the ugly ones was brutal. Coming to a realization this was the only way to begin moving forward was the hardest step of this process. What has been the toughest part for you, as you become the best version of yourself? The vulnerability aspect has been the toughest thing to master. Self-acceptance and allowing myself to be seen can be difficult, not just for me but for everyone. I was not comfortable with owning some truths of my own or showing up as the real me.
The amazing journey we share as women includes endless chapters to overcome. We can strengthen self-awareness if we do these (2) things – what would those two be for you? I would have to say, being open and curious. These are invaluable when looking to strengthen your self-awareness. Deep down, we all know the answers but resistance holds us back. Our muscles tighten and the tension is overwhelming when we push back on the things that make us uncomfortable or scared. Being open allows for the answers to come, we have a reservoir of wisdom to draw from but you have to tap into that resource. Uncover that gift by being receptive, sit in the silence and truth of your life.
The year 2020 has been a time of reflection and introspection for most people. The distractions have been eliminated forcing us to ask ourselves some difficult questions about who we are and what makes us happy but you’ve been walking this journey way before this new normal. Have you embraced new parts of yourself during this time? How has your self-awareness increased? I would not have been able to get the book out were it not for the lockdown. I am always learning more about self-awareness. Not always sure of things, I continuously ask myself questions to help me evolve. I’ve been discovering many layers of the woman I am during the journey. Going into the pandemic, there was a tunnel we had never entered. The uncertainty pushed us to experience things that were so unfamiliar.
We are all very connected which made this time very difficult. I used the time to connect with myself. Everyone should be asking themselves – “Who am I? Where have I been? and Where am I going? It will be uncomfortable but you must continue to ask yourself the important questions. Life is messy, there is no straight line to the desired destination. Once you accept this journey to becoming the best self, you cannot go back – keep moving forward!
I like to end the AW interviews with a positive message to help make an impact. You have written a book about your life, thus far but there is so much more to experience. What advice, quote, or mantra do you have for readers just beginning their journey to finding themselves? You are the author of your life, the creator of your story – an architect building an empire. “I am at cause, not at effect.” Each of us has a choice, we are not a victim. Always choose to be the best self, there is incredible power in showing up for yourself.
AW appreciates Cris’s time and willingness to share her wisdom and part of herself with our readers. Self-awareness is such a critical part of becoming who you are meant to be. Most of us are afraid of seeing the truth because it hurts. It’s easier to ignore it or numb ourselves but doing so, deprives us of an amazing opportunity for growth. I urge you, seek to understand what makes you tick, your strengths, weakness, emotions, and everything that makes you, unique. Giving yourself permission to feel can help you better understand how truly beautiful it is to be you.
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