In the present, here and now, you are but a chapter of your eternal life. Just an adhyaya, that is, a chapter. When you start ‘studying’ this chapter that is the Self, you start connecting to the grander frame of your total being. The self-study (swadhyaya) therefore, is important.

Swadhyaya or self-study, at the core of it, implies self-reflection; reflection on aspects your life, the way it unfolds each day, moment to moment, reflecting on you and back at you.

You see, you are not just one aspect but several, encased in this body. You pack in all flavours of emotions that direct your various actions.

The study of these emotions and actions are important. If YOU don’t reflect or study on or about yourself, who else will? Why shy away from connecting to the Self? Running away is not the answer, because unfinished work has to be completed. Some changes have to be brought. Completion is the law of nature and we all work under this karmic principle.

Why is self-reflection important?

Self-study or self-reflection is important to understand the unfolding(s) of your life. Really there isn’t much mystery in it, but simple unravelling of the cause and its effect. If you understand the cause, you can change/ transform the effect. The miseries then don’t affect in the way they do now, because the cause is known. From the vantage point of the present, when past is reflected upon, the future course correction is possible. This is hope and hope is positive energy.

Ultimately all rests in our hands, on our will and desire to transform. But the first condition is to engage in self-reflection. Else, what will you correct? When you reflect on the past, you can course correct the future, if you so desire.

Why is self-reflection a privilege?

Self-reflection is a privilege because you are not giving the reins of your life to anyone else. What can be better than this? Would you like to trade your freedom of privilege? I bet you will never ever agree to place your freedom in anyone else’s hand. Would you like decisions of your life to be taken by others? If not, then use the freedom of self-study/ reflection to the fullest. You know what really causes the blocks? Your self-permission or absence of it. If only you said, I permit myself to change or transform, you will see the positive energy will start flowing. Things and situations will start complying.

In yogasutra, three action-plan is prescribed to tackle hardships (or klesh) of life. These are tapas, swadhyaya and Ishwar-pranidhan.

When swadhyaya is done with surrender to the Higher Source who is the Creator and Knower of All that is, (Ishwar pranidhan), and done so regularly with devotion, hardships drop off. Our connection the Source is important because when done so, wisdom flows as inner guidance is tapped in. This connection, however, has to be done in all purity and with regularity (tapas).


Reflect on what you did and said and how you reacted to others in the past 24 hours. (You can also break this exercise into four or two hourlies initially). Connect to how you felt in these moments. Register your feelings. If you feel that you could have done things differently that would have made you feel better/ peaceful, register that feeling as well. Mentally affirm that you will react / behave/ say/act, in the way that you desired, the next time. Don’t worry if you don’t get it all right the next time. Be at it. Change is a process and bit- by- bit, you will see transformation happening.

Disclaimer: Urmila Rao is a healer and a forgiveness teacher. All the ideas expressed herein are her own and not professional advice or medical prescription. She can be reached at: