Introspection: 5 possible approaches

Have you ever found yourself in the midst of a conflict and you’re not really sure how you got there? This has happened with me this week. I find myself in a conflict I would have never predicted and I don’t really know how we got here. It hurts my heart. I do not like conflict and typically work very hard to avoid it. All the same, here I am. I have been trying to use an introspective approach to determine what steps I can take in the future to avoid this same situation. After all, life is about moving forward.

The Oxford Dictionary defines introspection as: “the examination or observation of one’s own mental and emotional process.”  This seems like a good approach to heal this situation and avoid future ones. What could I have done differently? What within me caused me to react in the manner in which I did? What parts of myself do I need to heal in order to move forward without a similar future situation, like this,  rearing its ugly head? Introspection is about looking deeply within yourself. We can only control our own reactions and responses to situations.

There are many ways to approach introspection. Here are 5 of my favorites.

1. Journaling – journaling is a great way to let the words just flow. It is a safe space to say everything you want to say, and you never know what wisdom may flow onto the pages. There can be many “ah ha” moments while journaling.

2. Meditation – mediation allows you to step away from the circling thoughts and find a few moments of peace. This is a great space to set an intention of having clear guidance and insight flow to you. I find this a powerful process.

3. Therapy – Meeting with a good psychotherapist is a great way to have someone hold space for you to get beyond any issues at hand. This person can often help you identify blind spots or actions you do see, that can cause pain.

4. Exercise – Going for a walk, running, or yoga can also be a great way to go inside. There is something about this process that is not only healing but helpful in gaining insight into who we are and the type of actions we take.

5. Tarot – This one may seem weird to you but I find, working with either tarot cards or oracle cards, is a great way to dig into the subconscious. Our subconscious often has a different agenda than our thinking mind. Even if you do not know what a card means, looking at the symbolism you notice and thinking deeply about its message for you, can be a great source of insight.

Introspection is a great tool. Whether you are currently within a situation that brings a need to look at your own actions and intentions, or you are just on a journey to be the best version of yourself. We all have shadowy areas within ourselves. It never hurts to go in and clear out the cobwebs.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you! May you have introspective insight when you need it, as if by magic.

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Let’s Talk About Desire; 7 questions to help you explore yours.

I was raised Catholic and I remember getting the distinct impression that desire was a bad thing. That is was a sin, something to be avoided and resisted. I remember believing that weak people gave into their desires. Through studying wise teachers and texts, as well as meditation and seeking guidance; I have come to understand that this way of thinking is wrong. Let us explore the notion of desires and understand why they are often our friends.

During a meditation, Deepak Chopra introduced a centering thought that started to shift my perception of my desires. It was “My life moves forward through my desires”. What a freeing thought. That I have these desires because they are moving me forward. When you really think about it we strive for things, work hard, get education and all because we desire something. It is these desires that keep us reaching to be better, do better, accomplish more.

There is so much in this life we can accomplish. It may be personal goals, like being calmer and more centered. It can also be professional goals, like starting a business that improves the world at large. One person who has done this is Sage Lavine. In her book Women Rocking Business she also talks about desires being a positive thing. She provides a quote from Janet Attwood which says, “Your desires aren’t necessarily your destiny. Your desires are stepping stones on the path to your destiny”. I really like this imagine of following my desires like a path into the unknown; bringing me face to face with my life purpose. Sage says, “…Source is using your desires to communicate what you need to do”. Looking at our desires as messages or directions from God, changes everything.

I do think it is important to differentiate between desires and distractions though. Sometimes I want to drink wine until I am comfortably numb. This I would not classify as a desire leading me to my destiny, but rather a distraction to avoid feeling something. By allowing that feeling, I can acknowledge it and move past it.  Activities such as shopping, eating, drinking, and staying busy could fall into this category of distraction.

Other things that can appear to be desire is looking to gain someones approval. This may be because you are wanting to live up to someone elses expectation of you. Are you chasing that next promotion because it will make your parents proud?  Do you want a new vehicle because the neighbors have one? These types of things maybe more connected to your self esteem. When our self esteem is low, we are more likely to give our power away to things that others want or want for us. So it is important that we take a look at those things we are wanting to discern if they are true desires, or something we are doing for another reason. Having people be proud of us may be the underlying desire but is that the reason for your actions. There maybe a way to accomplish this that is more in alignment with our true nature.

Here are some questions to help you look at your desires to see if they are true to yourself and have your best interests in mind.

  1. Are you using this to avoid something?
  2. Are you doing this to “keep up with the Jones”?
  3. Is your drive behind this to make someone else proud?
  4. Are you fooling yourself about one of the previous answers?
  5. Why do you want/desire this?
  6. How long have you wanted this?
  7. If this has been calling to you for a long time why have you not acted yet?

Be honest with yourself. It is easy for “justifications” to get in the way of the deeper truth. I am an expert justifier. I can make myself believe all kinds of false truths that do not help me dig down to the truth of what is under the surface. Have fun exploring your desires! May they bring you face to face with your destiny!  “This above all, to thine own self be true…”, William Shakespeare.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you. May you find your desires leading you in the direction of your dreams, as if by magic!

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Are You Following Your Dreams? 7 Steps to Make Them a Reality.

I recently finished reading The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. This is a book about a boy who has a reoccurring dream, so he sets off to follow his dream to his destiny. The book tells us that the Universe conspires to give use what we are wanting and striving for.

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
~Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

So what are your dreams? Do you know what you want? What are you doing to move in that direction? Do you notice signs, see synchronicities, or feel a ‘knowing’ that you are meant to achieve this objective? I dream to be a published author. I am already a writer and I write all the time. Emy and I have 3 books under our belts and hundreds of blogs. We have not received our publishing deal yet, but it is coming. It is our destiny. Right now we continue to move in the direction of our dreams.

Deepak Chopra says that our lives move forward through our desires. Desires are good things. They give us a goal. Sometimes desires are distractions. Shiny bobbles that look nice and cause us to believe that they will make us happy. Even when our desires may not be a part of our destiny, they are still a goal that keeps us reaching for something. Reaching for things is like exercising, the more we do it, the better we get at achieving those goals. It gives us practice at setting goals and the confidence that we can achieve them.

Here are some steps you can take to help make your dreams a reality.

  1. Know what you want – So many of us do not even have a firm sense of what we want. You cannot run a race if you do not know where the finish line is. Spend some time meditating on what it is that you ‘really really’ want.
  2. Set your goal – Often, even when we know what we want, we do not set a firm goal. Write it down or place it firmly in your mind. “My goal is to achieve this”.
  3. Do some research – Next we need to know what we need to do in order to achieve that goal. So spend some time learning how others have achieved it or a similar goal. Find out what it takes and the steps that can help you reach this goal.
  4. Put action steps in place – Make a list of the things you will do (objectives) to achieve your goal. You may even want to put dates on when you will do these various steps. This keeps you from getting distracted and suddenly it has been years since you moved towards the desired outcome.
  5. Do it – Take action and keep moving forward. The Universe loves action. Whether it is taking a class, attending a seminar, doing the research, talking to people who have done it before, or some other action step that gets you a little closer to your goal. Work your plan!
  6. Never stop believing – Our thoughts become our reality. Believe that this is your destiny and you will achieve, what it is, that you are after. Make a vision board or album. See it as if you have already achieved what you want. You want it for a reason. Feel the feeling of success, as if it was already yours. If you need help with manifesting, here is a series of blogs I wrote on the subject.
  7. Achieve – You will get there. The Universe will help you. Follow your steps and believe that it is your destiny to achieve this goal. You can and will do this. I believe in you!

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you! May your dreams come true, as if by magic.

*Photo was taken in on Clearwater Beach, FL.

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