Home » Blogs » In Your Own Hands » Self-Empowerment through Conscious Awareness and Choice
empowerment yoga

Self-Empowerment through Conscious Awareness and Choice

It is important to identify your personal values and goals. Once you have spent quality time identifying what values and goals matter to you most, the next step is the following mindfulness practice: Throughout the day, form a habit of asking yourself if your behavior—your actions—are in harmony with your self-identified values and goals. Each time you notice that you are doing something that is not aligned with how you really want to live your life, step up and courageously do what would be more aligned with what you most value. With your personal values clearly identified, you will then be able to consciously choose not to engage in behaviors that interfere with your health and happiness.

The reason I refer to this process as courageous is because it will seem very uncomfortable at first to choose to do something different or respond to certain stimuli in a way that is unfamiliar to you.

The reason I refer to it as a mindfulness practice is because just the process of going through your day observing your own behavior requires an enormous commitment to practice a very high level of awareness.

As you practice identifying your values, observing yourself, and choosing each action your take, you may find yourself becoming self-critical. It is important to be gentle and kind to yourself. Practice self-forgiveness for all your mistakes. Try to do the right thing, but don’t put yourself down when you do the wrong thing.

Get a FREE Preview of the first 3 Chapters
of “In Your Own Hands…”

The purpose of these videos and my website is to provide evidence-based information on how to live with self-care mastery. It is for all medical patients, caregivers, and advocates who want to learn how to collaborate with physicians to optimize the efficacy of your medical care.

Self-Empowerment through Conscious Awareness and Choice

Dr. Larry Berkelhammer

Dr. Berkelhammer is a retired mind-body medicine psychologist. He writes about mindfulness-based practices with a unique emphasis on optimization of wellbeing and health. Dr. Berkelhammer also lectures at San Francisco State University and UC San Francisco, and is currently teaching a class in Marin County through College of Marin. He is the author of the book "In Your Own Hands; New Hope for People with Chronic Medical Conditions".

See his extensive website:

In Your Own Hands: Mindfulness-Based Practices to Optimize Wellbeing - College of Marin Community Education

No comments yet... View Comments / Leave a Comment



APA Reference
Berkelhammer, D. (2016). Self-Empowerment through Conscious Awareness and Choice. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 4, 2020, from


Last updated: 6 Jun 2016
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network ( prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on All rights reserved.