In today’s era of personal growth junkies, the saying “look within” is as common as “yoga” and “meditation.” But how can we start “looking” for something we’ve never seen? In today’s article, we’ll explore the five personal gates we can open in order to clearly look and learn about ourselves, then share tips on “easy ways” to introspection.
To look is to learn
In working with people to increase their willpower and overcome addictions, I’ve “walked” with people through their “scariest,” and “darkest” places “within”. In doing so, much learning has been done about “why” people behave the way they do. Even the oddest behaviors are actually quite premeditated (although often we are not consciously aware of this). Once we know “why”, we do as we do, we can “do something” about it and change if we choose. This is a very empowering possibility.
Before we begin our “look within”, there are two things we need. First, we must be free of drink, drug and distraction. Possibly easier said than done. Unless led by a spiritual healer and we are one of the few people who would take a medicinal herb with the pure intent to learn, there is no other way to “look within” but to be clean. Why? Because all that other nonsense dulls our vision. Think about it; when we’re “checked out”, none of our senses are keen. How could we expect to see, speak, think or feel clearly?
Secondly, we have to be willing. We need to believe that it’s possible to know and understand ourselves, and that no matter what we find, it will be OK.
So let’s take a “look”
How do we do it? Let’s open the five gates.
The first gate
Judgement. Like a house of mirrors, nothing deflects our ability to look within like judgment. Sure, we might have our reasons for judging ourselves. Maybe we did something that we know we shouldn’t have. In the desire to avoid believing that we are “bad and wrong” when we know that we have behaved in “bad and wrong” ways, we judge and distance our “good and right” self from our “bad and wrong” self. We might even make a nickname for the “bad and wrong” part of us, like Mr. Hyde or The Devil, claiming that the “bad and wrong” part isn’t part of us at all. When we abandon the judged part of us in this way, we abandon our ability to heal it. And then … we’ve left the door to our hearts and minds wide open to be filled with every form of addiction, distraction and pain. So open the judgement gate and judge not.
The second gate
Meanness. Nobody likes mean people. We avoid them and hide from them. Same goes for the way we treat ourselves. If the “good and right” part of us calls the “bad and wrong” part of us mean names—like “stupid, fat, ugly, worthless, etc., then the “bad” part will feel hurt, angry, rebel and hide. It is very difficult to get to know anyone who is hurt, angry, rebellious and hiding their truth. By choosing to be kind to all of ourself as we learn more about it, we keep the communication open and pleasant with both parts of ourselves and we can learn more. So open the mean gate and be kind.
The third gate
Stubbornness. Instead of being stubborn and refusing or resisting to “look”, we can be curious. Think about how curious we were to get to know that special someone that we’d fallen in love with. Are we willing to become that curious about ourself? We really are quite fascinating … so open the stubborn gate and be curious.
The fourth gate
Blindness. Instead of choosing not to look, for fear of what we might find, we can observe. We can watch how we think and feel. Like a three-year-old, we can ask ourself, “Why?” and observe our reactions. So open the blindness gate and look.
The fifth gate
Deafness. Instead of refusing to hear out of fear, we can listen. Time and again, it is my clients who choose to listen—to intuitive guidance, their thoughts, feelings and senses, that grow their willpower, kick addictions and become their most successful self. On the other hand, those who refuse to listen—and instead choose to check out through drugs, alcohol, denial, distraction, work, etc., suffer the immense pain of addiction and then share that pain with everyone who becomes near and/or dear to them. So open the deafness gate and listen. (For more about the power of listening, click here http://www.willyou.guru/the-power-of-listening/
When it requires us to open so many gates to really “look within”, people have asked me, “why bother?” The simplest and most direct answer is—to learn, enjoy life more and bypass painful “repeat scenarios” (like the movie Groundhog Day). By “looking within” we can “go without” addiction, drama and “wrong” doing.
The easy way
The easy way to “look within”, is to simply choose to unconditionally be kind, curious, observant and listen. We can treat our whole self like a friend, one that we truly want to know, understand and care for, for the rest of our lives. When we can do this for ourselves and others, we will truly live in fascination and awe of the intricacy and simplicity by which we are made.
Make it fun
What we find within can also be quite entertaining. Haven’t you ever wondered, “Why do I do that?’ or “What is my favorite color?” and why do I like it? Or, “Why do I always go for the same type of guy or always eat cheeseburgers and hummus on Sundays?” Who knows? YOU do! Have fun exploring.
I encourage you to start or continue your journey “within” and share with us what you learn, so we may grow in strength and willpower together …
Always with love,
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