Dear Seeking Self,
We live in the age of distraction. Advertisers are continually vying for our attention. Notifications pop up on our phones, telling us we should read this or respond to that. These alerts deliver a ping of emotion — the satisfaction of knowing that a friend has sent us a message, or the anxiety that comes with a news update. And, of course, our to-do lists are as long as ever. Each day becomes a string of seemingly necessary tasks.
With this onslaught of ads, alerts, and errands, who is really in charge of your day? Who is deciding what’s important?
Modern life asks us to always be flexible — to let go of the familiar, to be ready to adapt to fast-paced change, to assimilate new information, and to take action. If you are always in reaction mode, who is running your life?
In this noisy, demanding world, it’s essential to take your cues from the inside, from your inner self. This is the place where you access your deepest values and, most importantly, your enduring connection to the Divine. Acting from your inner wisdom is the only kind of productivity that matters.
Taking time to listen to your inner self is vital for your survival and well-being. It is a deliberate act of self-care, a kind of emotional detox that helps you live well in the midst of constant change and competing messages. Listening to your inner self is an opportunity to pause, process your emotions, and find your center again. It is the surest way to live from your authentic sense of purpose.
Here is a simple but powerful journaling practice for tuning in to yourself and accessing knowledge, wisdom, and guidance at the level of the soul. To prime your mind, body, and spirit for the experience, I recommend doing it at the same time each day — perhaps first thing in the morning or last thing in the evening. Find a peaceful and pleasant place where you won’t be interrupted, and let these familiar surroundings activate your readiness to listen. Have a pen and a journal ready.
- Breathe deeply. Start with six to seven deep breaths. Allow the energy to move easily through your body. Let go of tension and stress.
- Set your intention. Prepare yourself to connect to the inner self that is always guided and supported by the Divine.
- Clarify your question. You might wish for help choosing between two options, or you might wish for insight about how to resolve a conflict in your life. Your question could come from struggle or from desire. Either is fine; both energies can help you move from where you are to where you want to be.
- Let your question settle into your heart. Allow it to expand there as it seeks to be answered through the grace of God. If you wish, you may state a prayer at this point.
- Begin to write. You may feel thoughts and sensations arising. When you are ready, let them be expressed on paper. Do not stop or think about what you’re writing. Just keep writing from the heart! Continue until you feel you’ve finished.
- Reflect on what you wrote. What wisdom can you perceive? How might it be relevant in your life? How do you feel in your body after writing? Highlight the key insights you’ve gained.
- Distill your observations. Now transfer those insights to an easy-to-find place in your journal. Below that, write a clear statement about what you will do now that you have this wisdom. What actions do you need to take? It may be that simply raising your own awareness or changing your perspective is enough at the moment.
Writing from the heart and then reflecting gives you access to the centered wisdom that resides within. You will be empowered to live according to your own authentic purpose, values, and priorities — not ones imposed on you from the outside. Your actions will be intentional, not impulsive or reactive. Practice consistently, and you will reap the happiness that comes from aligned living!
Action item: Practice writing from the heart and then reflecting. What do you discover? How are your actions affected? How do you feel? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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Originally published at medium.com