What exactly is a personality?
There are many lenses through which we could define, discuss, and determine what exactly comprises the human personality. Psychotherapist and Higher Self Yoga Founder Nanette V Hucknall, who is trained in Transpersonal Development, states, “We are all uniquely comprised of character traits, inherent and learned, that inform how we relate to ourselves, each other, and the world at large.”
This tells us that some of our impulses, our temperament and overarching demeanor were at least somewhat built-in response to the structures that have surrounded us since birth: family, culture, and society.
By this logic, there are aspects of ourselves that we may take for granted to be inherent but may largely be a reaction to how we are perceived and how we desire to be perceived. At the center of Higher Self Teachings, there is a great push to liberate the true self, free from conditioned traits, in order to create a life that is unique to your being, one that is purposeful, and filled with meaning that feeds both you as an individual and society at large.
As adults, though, we often become stuck in these constructed versions of ourselves. Having built whole lives, systems, and agendas based on the self that learned simply how to cope rather than to thrive. Constantly living in a state of survival can be paralyzing. It is only when we are able to examine our true self, no easy task, that we can begin to shed the layers and uncover the truest version of ourselves.
Higher Self Yoga as a Tradition is About Practical Application
Because the Higher Self tradition is one that doesn’t stop at concepts but rather offers practical application for what has been uncovered, there is, of course, a path in place to bring this question of our true self into practice. To begin, we first task ourselves with leaning into the sometimes painful but always fruitful practice of self-awareness.
Through self-awareness, we get a sense of the internal roadblocks that may be stopping us from moving forward. Prior to exercising self-awareness, we are driving blind, believing that all we do and say is a true expression of ourselves and the best pathway forward. It is only when we open ourselves up to the power of self-examination that we understand which aspects of ourselves may be impulses, defenses, or tactics that are not serving our greater purpose.
The great gift of self-awareness through self-examination comes when we begin to see that we have the power to intentionally evolve and shape our personality to better serve our true purpose. This new lease on life allows us to embrace the parts of our personality that are true to us. We can also reshape unhelpful characteristics so that the energy behind them is put to better use and bring forward traits that are already expressing themselves holistically but may have previously been repressed.
Specific Characteristics are the Inroads We Use to Evolve Our Whole Being
The idea that we must reshape our entire personality is not only daunting, it is an inaccurate portrayal of the word. In actuality, the project is a bit more refined. We take the approach of examining ourselves through the lens of the characteristics that shape our behaviors. Through this point of view, the project is first to map out a new depth of personal understanding.
Through the lens of the Higher Self Teachings, we have either positively integrated each trait into our personality so that it is displaying in a healthy, helpful way or we have left the trait unexamined, so our social conditioning is likely dictating how this characteristic appears.
As an example, consider the trait of having a helpful disposition. If we manifest this on the positive end of the spectrum we may have an open-hearted, available approach to life. If we are uncomfortable with this aspect of our nature, we may demonstrate this characteristic on the less enlightened or unintegrated end of the spectrum by acting in a way that is overly eager to please.
A New Approach to Growth
We often think of personal growth as a grueling exercise in self-criticism, but in reality, growth is a liberating, friendly exploration of personality transformation and loving attention to our true nature. True self-awareness empowers us to move beyond the delusions and patterns that keep us trapped in outdated versions of ourselves. By reflecting on the traits that could benefit from refinement and embracing the strengths that are already present, you can move through the world as your best possible self.
Cultivating Your Highest Nature
A downloadable guide to refining the personality traits that can bring about your best self.
This brand-new workbook from Higher Self Yoga comes complete with insightful reflections, guided exercises, and helpful practices to examine the characteristics that are unique to you. By reflecting on the traits could benefit from refinement and embracing the strengths that are already present, you can move through the world as your best possible self.