To me, going inwards means putting my attention into my internal environment – not only what is happening around me, but what is happening within me.
What is this buzzing of life energy incased within this body of mine? Who or what is “Malavika” and why is she delighted by some things and dismayed by others?
A life of reaction
Right now, this is our life – something happens in the outside world, and then something happens inside us. For example – Today it begins to rain outside. Perhaps on this particular day, this is bad news to us for many reasons. And so it rains inside us.
But if we learn to love the rain as much as we learn to love when it doesn’t rain, then it doesn’t matter what happens to us. Because we will always love what is.
Self mastery and creation
After a certain level of mastery over ourselves, we can decide exactly what happens within us. We become conscious creators of our life and what happens in it, and leave less up to “destiny.”
We can choose whether we are full of peace or full of anger. Do we have a choice right now? Well, I don’t think I do. Not yet anyway. Usually, something happens to me in my life, and it fills me with something I have little say over. It changes me and I am consumed by it for that time.
And because of this, I have little ability to change and influence my life. Things happen to me and I react to everything. Until we have a certain degree of mastery over our internal world, anything and everything can happen to us outwardly.
And when we have a choice of what happens within us, wouldn’t we always choose to be filled with peace? It just makes sense – smoother living. When we are filled with peace, we are finally free to choose how we want to be in this world.
The steps to Self mastery
Step 1. Go within and get to know the terrain of your inner self.
Step 2. Look at different aspects of yourself and learn how their work. Then, figure out how to switch out of auto pilot and get into the drivers seat of these unconscious processes.
Let’s get there together. Let’s start today.
Today, I am not here to assert my personality and my story into life. Today, I am here to experience life for what it is. I am here to experience the world. With this mindset, I naturally go inwards. I become silent. And life becomes more wonderful and extraordinary than I can even comprehend, that I can barely even speak about it.
Oh, how difficult it can be to just sit and be. It can be difficult for many reasons. It can be difficult because we are used to such a high level of external stimulation that the pulses of our soul are just not enough for us anymore. We need something. We need to check on our e-mail, on our messages, on our friends, and on our enemies. We need to check on the news or the book we are reading. We can’t bear the possibility of being bored.
“Only boring people get bored.” – Ruth Burke
Or maybe sitting and being is difficult because our darkness, our negativity, our stories consume us and it hurts to replay these terrible movies in our mind.
Whatever your reason is, let us sit with it anyway.
Today, take some time to sit and notice everything. Be completely aware of your space you are in.
So often we forget to take the time to look around and to be aware of our surroundings and ourselves. We tend to rush into things – places, situations, relationships, emotions, people. Instead, lets take a few moments to just look at it first.
In the morning, you wake up, and you just sit and be. Feel what kind of state you are in this morning, what is your body asking for this morning? How does your space feel this morning? What is happening around you today? Is your loved one anxious about something, or are they distant and feeling unloved. There is just so much we miss about our own lives because we forget to notice.
Overflow with Love
This is a powerful exercise. Close your eyes and think of someone or something dear to you; a person, a plant, a moment. You can bring your palms together at the level of the heart center in Namasakar. Then try to generate the highest level of emotion or energy that you can towards it. Let that feeling overflow and sit with that bliss for some time. Hold this for at least 2 minutes. Practice this daily. Keep finding more and more things to love.
Bring gifts of kindness wherever you go
Wherever you go today, you may bless that place with a gift. It does not have to be a material gift. It may be a gift of kindness and intention. It may be a smile, a prayer, a touch, acceptance, forgiveness, support, strength, the telling of a truth. In whatever situation you find yourself today, ask yourself “what is the gift I can bring with me into this moment, in this place, for this person.”
Silence is golden. Do you sometimes have an incessant commentary in your mind while you go about your day – commenting on everything you are doing, berating you for the mistakes you have made, or the embarrassment you have caused yourself? Can you imagine if this internal voice was audible to all? How awful would it be to go about your day broadcasting this fickle narrative that we tend to conduct our lives by.
And the worst part is that this voice often influences how we act in life as well. It holds us back, traps us, or it pushes us to do compulsive things just to keep it quiet (which is short lived anyway).
This is why practicing silence is important. Set aside a couple of activities in your day that you will complete in silence (that means putting the Ipod away too, I’m afraid.)
We think we are being silent when we stop talking, and in the main sense of the word – we are. But all we are really doing is listening to the chatter in our mind instead of talking. And that doesn’t feel “golden” to us at all because it rarely gives us peace, and it rarely adds value to our life.
The first step to changing that voice, is to meet it. So spend some time in silence. Just notice what comes up knowing that you do not have to act on it. Over time, that voice will quieten too. And what you will be left with, is golden.
Speak Golden Words
Silence is Golden and so are the words we speak. The words we speak have the capacity to alter us. Sound was one of the first things to exist in the creation of the universe, and holds a lot of power.
Today, decide that you will only speak Golden words. This means you will think about what you will say, and speak with a certain gracefulness. With words, we can do so much, words have a place in the creation process and so, today, decide that you will avoid hateful words, negative words.
Decide that you will speak beautiful, wise words. That you will speak with strength, and honesty. That you will speak truth. Decide that you will speak enough, that you will not speak too much, nor too little. Decide you will always say what is necessary in a beautiful and wise way. Decide that you will use your words to uplift those around you. Decide that you will use your words to create what you desire.
Respect in the face of disrespect
Another practice for going inwards is to embody respect in the face of disrespect. And why is this? Because respect comes from within, it is created internally.
When someone is disrespectful to you in anyway whats so over, where does it hurt? It hurts inside. And when something hurts inside, it greatly and unconsciously influences how we act and who we are.
To become conscious of this process is part of our inner work and we can do this by practicing respect and grace in the face of disrespect.
In order to conduct your life in a graceful way, means to be conscious of where you are, what the situation requires, and who you are. It is however, important to remember that consciousness is different to self-consciousness.
Because engaging with the people you come across in your day of “going inwards”, take a moment to be completely conscious and aware of the many dynamics at play. Be soft yet strong, understanding and clear, speak truth with kind words and clarity, bring gifts of kindness to every interaction. Make a heart connection with all that you meet, even if it is just a short 10 second interaction. It makes a difference.
Consistently reorient yourself towards your highest self
Our spiritual path is not one we set for ourselves once and that’s it. It requires constant reminders and adjustments. The pull of our karma and autopilot will always pull us back and so you have to keep reminding yourself of your highest self and best life. These daily reminders can be in the form of reading, writing (for me – writing my blog is a huge reminder), watching, conversations, contemplation etc.
Increase your receptivity by choosing today to listen, feel, notice, and of course, to close your eyes and and know.
I hope you are all having a beautiful Tuesday.