I had a comment to my last blog (yay!), asking for tips on looking inward. So, I thought I would post them here and share them with everyone!
I think the first part is purely practical: get comfortable and in a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. This may be easier said than done if you have a big family (not in my case) or a cat (definitely my case). The cat always comes when I am looking to get comfy! 🙂 Before you start looking inward, realize that God loves you very much and you have nothing to be afraid of. There’s no judgement coming from God, only love. So, there should be no judgement of ourselves either, although it might take a little while to get used to not doing that. I think we are often afraid to really look inward, because we’re afraid of what we’ll find, that we won’t like what we see, or that we’ll feel guilty (same reason many people are work-a-holics or have other addictions). When I look inward, I use my imagination a lot – how else can I picture something non-physical? So, I imagine that I have a little flame inside me, the flame that is my spirit, my life, my true self. That flame is also the flame of God’s love and presence inside me. So, if I want to reconnect with God or my true self, I think about that flame just as if I am gazing at an actual candle flame, all full of peace wonder. You can practice on a real candle flame, and pretend it is your inner flame. Then, I take a few deep breaths – not ridiculously deep, just deeper than I normally breathe – and imagine the flame burning strongly, confidently. And I realize that God is here, in me, and that happiness and wholeness are there, too. So, I feel it, just give myself permission to feel totally and completely happy and content, and full of peace. I make it real; it’s hard to say exactly how, but I make it real to me. It might help to talk to yourself, just saying “wow, I feel so happy! I feel so accepted! I feel no obligations or pressure to perform!” And then I allow myself to feel anything else that might come up – if I feel anxious for some reason, I can now feel it without it overtaking me. The emotion is like a wave, but I am the water, and the water might be disturbed by the wave, but it is not destroyed. So I feel what I feel, think about why I am feeling it, and if it is fear or anxiety, I remind myself of God’s amazing love for me – totally unconditional – and the fear or anxiety fades. I guess the key is not to be afraid of what you’ll find when you look inward, and realize God’s ultimate acceptance of you.
Once I have done that in my day, I find it’s pretty easy to go back to that place of peace and quiet any time I need to. And it makes so much more sense than letting something happening in my day determine my mood – I much prefer being in control of my own mood! So I decide I will be content and happy, and that’s what I am!
I hope that helps! If you have more questions or comments, please leave them! 🙂 I have more thoughts I use while meditating and other visualizations… maybe I’ll start a series on this! Check back later!
Take care, everyone!