What is the source of your inner unrest? Why do you feel the way you feel? What is an actionable strategy to make sense of it all? Big questions need simple solutions that bring lasting improvement. But where to start? Here is how.
Life in the fast lane is capable of derailing self-reflection; we rarely slow down enough to explore feelings leaving the meaning unclear. However, help is on the way, in the form of a rich, sensory, symbolic realm full of knowing, deeply embedded in our unconscious. Accessing this intuitive wisdom isn’t hard, but you must know how to make it work, especially in turbulent times of trouble.
1. Begin by softening your body, and creating an environment in which such softening is acceptable and safe. Bring down lights, and turn up music, that is, soothing music. Nestle in the softness of a comfy armchair or lay down in a clean bed, and begin relaxing. Begin forming in your mind and body a beacon, an essence of the adventurer within yourself. You can create a being, an animal, or simply an ethereal figure or sense. Let it all emerge in your mind. When you have come to this place of relaxation, allow conscious thoughts, worries, tension fall to the side. Rest in a responsive mind of ease and home-coming before you start this work. If this is difficult, do not progress just yet, instead first teach yourself to fully relax before progressing further. If you are already fully relaxed: excellent work, let's go on an expedition.
2. Now let this adventurer emerge in your mind and imagine inviting it inwards, into your body. Watch how it walks the halls of your body, exploring your mind, heart and intestines. See how it observes, and pay attention to what it notices there in these halls on the inside of your body. What is it seeing? What type of environment is there on the inside of your body? Let it simply observe the way any way it goes. Don’t try to force anything, don’t try to find something that you want there. Let your adventurer explore just the way things go, and as a passive cameraman, just witness and report on what unfolds.
3. What is there? What is going on? What is the significance of what you are noticing on the inside of your body? What is fresh or novel about it? Accept what is happening, however strange or normal it may be. You could see an anatomical representation, muddy waters, or you could see a clear open sky; there is no need to label it as right or wrong, simply notice what shows up. What is surprising you? What might that mean?
4. Remember that wisdom and insight does not always originate from cut and dry, linear, rational thought. Wisdom and insight, in the form of intuition, may take a million of a different forms. For some this exercise might be easy with information and insight flowing freely. For some it may be difficult, or even downright scary. For some this exercise seems ridiculous and silly, and that is fine too. Whatever comes us, just accept it and then release it. Whenever you are done walking around, let the experience fade into the background, in the knowledge you can come back to it any time you want, and return to the here and now.
5. Grab a piece of paper and a pen. Create a symbol that expresses the positive insight(s) you just gained through this experience, and through the symbol, capture somehow the message it wanted you to have, to optimize your life and well-being. Possibly you gained nothing at all at this very moment. Possibly, you need to sleep on it, or let it simmer a little longer. It could be that in your environment this week, things are going to stand out to you more, like specific paintings, words in magazines, symbols in nature or smells. Simple stay with these experiences, without trying to force it or make anything happen, and see what positive message they carry. If they do, create a symbol of the message in your journal.
ACHIEVING NATURAL EQUILIBRIUM
The above process is called intuition work. Intuition describes our ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning. In today’s society, we have learned to prefer spreadsheets, venn diagrams, science and rational thought in the logical, sequential realm. Through the attempt to bring knowledge in a form that could be peer reviewed and scientifically analyzed, we lost our ability to find truth through unconscious reasoning. By overruling and ignoring symbolic representations of our longing, we devoided ourselves of an opportunity to understand the origin of uneasy feelings leading to sleepless nights of mental unrest and bursts of frustration and anxiety.
Mental unrest stems from living an incongruent, inauthentic life in the fast lane without a clear destination. If we want to change course to happier, more meaningful lives, we must restore trust and intimacy in our unconscious. By reconnecting with our intuition, access hidden resources of intellect, long forgotten, underutilized and ignored. Through harnessing this intellect, we can solve complex problems in alignment with who we are and what we stand for. Once we reconnect with this knowing, deeply seated inside of all of us, and honor its time-tested message, the need for unstable emotions to provoke motion fades away, allowing us to return to natural equilibrium and rest once more in a responsive mind of balanced humanity and growth.
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"We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails." - Dolly Parton