If you are dissatisfied with certain things in your life – you’re not being valued in your job, you have a painful relationship with your parents, your business isn’t taking off as you’d hoped, you’re having issues with your partner, your kid is throwing tantrums, money is tight, your body feels heavy and tired – just to name a few…. chances are you start looking at the ‘thing’ in question, to see which buttons to push, which switches to turn and which levers to pull in order to make it work better.
I don’t blame you, I used to do this myself all the time, and still fall into that trap regularly. When something is (or seems) broken: fix it. This is what we learn. By fixing meaning: fiddle with it, tinker with it, work hard until it does what you want it to.
And the truth is: sometimes that helps. When you shout at your kid, it may shut up for a while. When you plead with your partner, he may put the garbage outside once or twice. But the thing is, the effect of your tinkering almost always wears off sooner or later, and you have to start all over again. It’s a short-term, temporary solution.
If you want change in your life, real, sustainable, liberating change… You have to stop looking outside yourself and turn inward.
And the thing is ( I KNOW!): that is usually the last thing you want to do when things are not going well. Because when things are not going well, you usually don’t feel well. And unpleasant feelings are something we rather avoid. All of us hon, you’re not weird or anything 😉
But really our life isn’t about what is going on around us. It’s what’s going on INside us. Our inner condition is what determines us.
And what do we know about that? What have we learnt about that?
Not much, right? From an early age, we are stuffed with rules, with (other people’s) values, with facts and figures and knowledge….
And after years of education, we may think we know quite a bit.
But no one tells us to look inside, to feel inside.
In fact, I know quite a few people who were actively discouraged to examine their feelings. Emotions… just don’t go there. So we know preciously little about our inner landscape. About OUR values. About what drives us. Or about the childhood wounds that still determine our behaviour patterns (and hinder our progress – and change).
We are never taught how to use the most valuable and important tool we have in life: our inner compass.
Using that compass requires emptying ourselves of everything we think we know. Requires us to quiet the mind a little. To sit and listen, and feel. To step outside of the box that we have put ourselves into, to change our perspective. To listen to the wisdom of the body, and of our intuition.
The freedom is in not reacting to what is outside, but acting from what stirs inside.
Mind you, I said acting. This is not about navel gazing. If I encourage people to turn inward, I don’t mean to encourage world renunciation, or laying down their head in resignation. Your next step will probably be action. But it will come from the right place: your authentic self.
If you want to put an end to unnecessary drama, and become better at navigating on your inner compass, my special online zen course could be for you. Find out all about it here.