I don’t think I’m speaking for myself only when I say that there’s a lot going on in the world and in our life. We hardly allow ourselves to stop and breathe, even if only to admit that we feel overwhelmed and stressed. We allow issues to build up.
Adding to the dilemma, when we want to solve problems or concerns that bother us, we look outside of ourselves for answers. We have adopted the habit to turn to books, to the internet and social media. Some of us ask advice from friends and family, or people whom we perceive as authorities, such as teachers and gurus.
Keeping so busy learning from YouTube, seminars, and workshops, we forget to turn to the most obvious authority: our own self.
What is it that Needs Improving?
Over the years I’ve participated in many workshops that I have become something of a pro at self-development seminars.
Have I gained answers that I seek? The honest answer is: ‘yes, but no. On the whole my questions remain.’ At times I even feel confused. Reminding myself of a motto of mine ‘confusion is the start for a new beginning’ I ask myself, so what’s this new beginning?
Perhaps it’s time to simply listen to my inner self. But how to begin?
Less Doing, More Being
Here we are, living life on earth. Being human is complex, at times even messy. What we must remember, then, is that we are fine just the way we are. As we start to see that our experiences were chosen by our soul for us to learn, grow and evolve, life gets (even more) fascinating.
Whether it is our body or other (supposed) flaw of ours we reject, perhaps it’s the images and beliefs we carry with us that need to be inspected instead.
Going deeper within and improving our understanding of life in this manner can be transformational. And of course, there is nothing wrong with wanting to engage with improving our lives outwardly too, but it can help to ease the load when we understand that we are meant to have the very exact experiences that present themselves.
Whatever high-flying ambitions or set goals we may have, we can look at it from the level of: the main (sole?) purpose of life is to learn to make peace with ourselves and our complexities.
Often, we are chasing our own tail without knowing it. We are prisoner in our own illusion. We forget we are human beings, as opposed to human doings.
Through the Body
We’re all different and there can’t be one recipe that suits all. In the end, only your own unique self can tell you what works and what doesn’t. Listen to it and the path will reveal itself.
I find that some of the best methods for listening in to self (without any improvement intent!) involve connecting to your body and feeling what’s happening inside.
No teacher or book can reveal more to you than your own inner compass.
An Exercise: Ask a Question
A simple and powerful question to ask yourself when life gets overwhelming and you are present enough to realise it and honest enough to admit it, is:
What is this situation teaching me?
Allow yourself to deeply listen and (I assure you) you will ‘hear’ answers.
Perhaps this will not be an immediate happening, but once you have prompted your consciousness to consider the question, do trust that the answer will be revealed to you.
The key is to stay alert and observant not to miss the guidance from that subtle space within. One way of describing the process is as if an inner dialogue is happening. Another is that by stilling the thinking mind, more of what is coming from the Higher Self and the intuitive mind can pour into it and appear as thoughts, but these are not ordinary thoughts instead they carry an energy of higher vibration. It’s a feeling of deep knowing. Watch out for this subtlety. The answer will be tailor-made to fit you and nobody else.
This is often referred to as the path of self-reflection or self-enquiry and path of knowledge — also called Ynana Yoga. It’s a direct path and can be much more accurate and meaningful than yet another workshop or book, not to mention – on a practical note – it’s probably also much cheaper.
The Power of Self-Reflection
While life is happening, we are ‘in it’. We are living life defined by what we do. In this ‘doing’ space we are normally closed to the emergence of inner guidance. But I’d like to stress that even when you are searching for answers outside of yourself there is something within that needs to welcome them, right? So there is always the self that reflects and has the final say.
Each day, if we are observant, invites us to learn and grow. Every encounter or experience holds a piece of the puzzle, an opportunity to transcend, if only we stay alert to the signs.
Imagine your life as a puzzle. There are many pieces. Each signifies a life experience and, with it, a learning. As life is messy the pieces of the puzzle seem to be scattered and all over the place – and so we feel we are.
We are conscious of many of these pieces. They are our memories. Others have gone astray, we can’t find them at all, or we don’t even know we are looking for them. Especially unresolved issues or traumas tend to remain hidden from our view.
I look at self-reflection as a trying to complete the puzzle. It’s so satisfying to look upon a completed puzzle! But can we even complete the puzzle of self? The mystery that we are, can it be explained?
No End Goal
Life is like a puzzle, and at the same time it is not. It will never be complete, is ever-evolving. Better focus on each puzzle. Enjoy and embrace each piece for the experience and learning gained.
Laying a puzzle means to spend quality time with yourself. It’s a good practice to silence the thinking mind. And just as easily as we completed it (with time) we take it apart. It’s not about completing a ‘perfect’ ‘finished product’, is it? We don’t lay the puzzle to have the puzzle…
When it comes to a daily routine, each morning after my meditation practice I reach out to a special handmade journal, the words ‘Soul Conversations’ engraved on the cover.
Still in a space of inner calm I ask the question, ‘What does my soul want to tell me today?’
Leaving the mind alone and allowing the hand to lead me, I start writing ‘Dearest Claudia,’. What follows are always insights from my soul, and there is always a natural end. As I stop writing for the day, I thank my Higher Self.
An Invitation: A Journey of Self-Reflection
If you are intrigued by the promise of self-reflection and want to cultivate a deeper relationship with your inner self to find peace and calm, you are invited to join me on a self-reflection journey, we call ‘Me-Time’. Starting in October, I will share a short reflection every 2nd Sunday over 6 months.
Just as life keeps happening at each moment, so can you experience peace and fulfilment. Self-reflection is a gateway to a deeper understanding of yourself. Practising it regularly allows you to align with what really matters to you, and to make better decisions for yourself and your life.
Only through integration and assimilation of our life experiences – our emotions, dramas and dreams – can we deepen our experience of life and of what is present to our awareness.
We hope you feel inspired to give yourself a few minutes to check in and feel life fully. Life is happening at each moment – are you aware?
To stay tuned, subscribe to the Just Breathe Mag newsletter below. It’s free of charge. We start on October 3, 2021.
I look forward to journeying with you.
From my self to your self, from my heart to your heart,
More About the Author:
It was at the height of Claudia’s high-fly corporate career that she arrived at a turning point. A meeting in the forest of a spiritual community in the south of India presented her with a vague notion that she was about to depart from the highway of business success. Little did she know that her life was to radically change.
Claudia founded Soul Luxury and now dedicates her time, wisdom and knowledge to support people who want to live a heart-centred life. In her work, she draws on a lifelong interest in how our energy field is influenced by our thoughts, beliefs, and emotions and how this in turn influences our lives.
Claudia runs a global community which holds space for conversations exploring a future based on a new and deeper understanding of self. Working with individuals as a Quantum Energy Coach, she also facilitates retreats and offers personal change programmes. She is the author of a guided journal Your 28 Days to Self Love and I AM EVERY WOMAN, a collection of transformative life stories.