As we engage in Svadhyaya, there are two aspects of the self that we examine. The first and most obvious is what many call the small “s” self—our mind, ego, personality, and also our physical bodies. Until we deeply examine our thoughts, words, and behavior and align them with our highest integrity, it will be difficult to become the best we can be as human beings. And it will be nearly impossible to pursue our spiritual growth.
This first level of Svadhayaya necessitates that we observe all of our relationships. How am I treating my partner, friend, parent, child, co-worker, subordinate, boss, or a stranger in a grocery store? What is the quality of my speech—am I speaking truth to others? Am I loving in my communications, or angry? Do I listen to others, or do I only want to talk?