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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Self Care: a series – part 2

In the first blog, in the Self Care series, we talked about the importance of healthy boundaries. Now let’s talk about another aspect of self care, finding time for yourself. It is an important aspect of taking care of yourself but it can seem impossible in the course of our busy days and hectic life. Let’s think about some simple things you can do to take a little time for yourself.
1. Take a walk. (or a jog if you prefer more of a fast pace) It is a great way to get a little time for yourself. The nice thing about this activity is that it is also good for your body. Additionally, it can get those healthy endorphins flowing to help your emotional health too!
2. Work on a creative project. If you are like me you can get lost in doing something artistic. The time and pressure fall away. As the item starts to take form, your stress can also melt away. I enjoy drawing with chalk pastels, making sun catchers with beads and crystals, taking pictures and working with stained glass. There are so many creative things you can do.
3. Read a book. Whether it be poetry, fiction, history, spiritual, or self improvement; books are a nice way to step out of your world for a short period of time and find a little space for yourself. It is something you can pick up for 5 minutes or an afternoon, depending on how much time you have. If you like audio books you can listen to a book while getting something else done. (if it doesn’t require a lot of mental concentration)
4. Take a bath. Baths are underrated in my opinion. I love to soak in a nice hot tub. Bring a nice cup of tea or glass of wine along, light some candles, and put on some soothing music. It can be like a trip to the spa. There is less expense to it and not as much of a time commitment. If you are able to do it right before bed at night, it can help you relax into peaceful slumber, when you crawl beneath the covers.
5. Play with children. Whether it is your child, your nieces, your grandson, or the kid from down the block; taking some time to hang out with a wee one, can be quite refreshing. The smile from a baby, the giggle of a toddler, or the curiosity of the school aged youngster can provide a nice fresh outlook on life. My grandchildren, stepson, and I made fairy gardens yesterday. It was an mystical and imaginative way to spend some time together. Just make sure this one feels fun and is on your terms.
6. Snuggle with your pet. I do not have pets but I respond very well to pet therapy. I say hi to all the dogs when I go on walks. I coax my friend’s cats over to scratch behind their ears. The act of petting an animal has been shown to lower blood pressure. It can be very soothing to spend a few moments with a four legged friend, even if you do not have your own.
7. Meditate. First off, do not ”should” yourself about meditation. I know too many people who get stressed about this, because they feel they “should” be doing it more. Instead, make it like a nice little treat, something you “get to do”. There are so many different ways to meditate, find the one that works best for you.
I am sure you can think of many other little things you can do to give yourself some of “your” time. What is important is that your remember that you deserve it. If you keep giving all of your time to others eventually you will have nothing left to give. Take care of yourself. I worked with a chaplain once, who compared it to when you are in the airplane. They tell you to put the oxygen mask on yourself first, because if you don’t, you will pass out and not be able to put it on the person next to you that really needs your help.

I wish you peaceful moments that are just for you! Thank you for reading my blog today.

 

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