I’m a self proclaimed Bucketlist Yogi. For me it all started there.
As a little kid I would always sit in the classroom, looking around, wondering what everybody else was thinking. I would observe my teachers, asking myself if they were happy and why they do the things they do. I was interested in so much more then what was taught in school. I was a great student, but my real passion was uncovering every mystery life has to offer. And I was always wondering; there has to be more then what I see around me right now.
I started making lists of places I wanted to go, things I wanted to see and stuff I wanted to do. For me these lists are not a checklist. It’s not a reason for looking at your life and only seeing all the things that you don’t have or all the things you still want to do. For me a bucketlist is a way of saying that I’m going to make most out of life and not just sit by letting life pass me by.
We all have been given a life. Maybe you’ve already had a few, maybe there will be more to come. But I believe we have to make the most of what we got. Which means that I commit myself to getting everything out of what life has to offer me.
This is where the bucketlist came from. All those things on that list represent a choice. The choice to live up to my greatest potential and to live the best life I could live. These things are not a ‘must do’ or a ‘if I don’t my life will be worthless’, they are my guides of how I want to live my life and why I do the things I do. And that for me was the first step of always listening to my inner-voice.
The yogi part came later, although it has been inside my since a little child. Most kids just play around, learning about their environment and how best to live life. But I was always observing and analyzing, asking myself big questions like; ‘Where do we go after we die?’ or ‘Why am I here on earth?’.
Later in life this turned into a search. A search for myself, who I am and what I want to create, how life works and how best to handle things. This is where my spiritual path started and since I love yoga, the term Bucketlist Yogi came alive.
The reason why I am sharing this with you is not so much because these were my first steps on finding my inner compass, but these two things ARE my inner compass. They have been my guides on which steps to take in life and they have brought me to the most amazing places in the world, and allowed me to experience some incredible wonders life has offered me so far. Looking back on my life and tracing back to how I came where I am right now (which is pretty great if you can say that most of your dreams have come true) I noticed all the areas in my life where I listened and let myself be guided by my compass, the result being flourishing and ease, but on the other hand also areas in my life where I hadn’t listened to this compass resulting in a lot of resistance, blockages and a lot of hardship. That is why below I want to share with you the steps I use to get back to my inner compass and let myself be guided to a place of flow and peace.
1 Listen to the signals of your body
The first step of tapping back into your inner compass is to understand the signals that are given to you, and most of all the signals that are given to you by your own body. Our body is not just organs and limps that help us to breath, digest food or to move us around. Everything in life is energy, which means that so our we and so is our body. And our body is a field of energy which we store information in (like memories) and where we get information from.
When we are faced with decisions or choices it is very good to take a moment and investigate how something is feeling in your body. One very easy way to understand signals in your body is to feel if something is heavy or light. When something is heavy, that means that this is not for us. When something is light, it means that this a path we could go on.
Another way is to see how our energy flows. When you think of a certain choice you need to make, does that make you feel contracted or expanded? We as humans are meant to flow and grow, which means that if something is giving you a feeling of contraction, it usually is not meant for you.
I do have to make a small side note to this; learning to understand the signals of your body also comes with learning the kind of memories and traumas that are stored in your body. Sometimes a choice might make us feel heavy or contracted because of an underlying fear that has not been healed yet. In this case first of all trust that life and the universe will always give you exactly what you need to grow. So if you make a choice thinking ‘this makes me feel light and the other heavy’, but actually that heaviness was there because of an underlying fear or trauma; if needed life will give you a new situation in which you can heal this.
Secondly when making decisions based on the signals of your body, you can do a double check by asking yourself if making that choice makes you go towards something or away from something. When we go away from something this means we are avoiding certain fears we hold. For example; You can choose a type of work so you won’t be broke. Or you can choose that same type of work so you can create abundance. This example shows that often the type of action doesn’t even have to change, but the reason why you do it does. The first holds heavy energy, which can mean you might be having a fear surrounding money. The later is free from this fear and thus feels light and expansive.
Next to these signals there are also personal signals. I have two signals I have come very familiar with in the past couple of years, which means if I feel them now, I know exactly what to do. One of them is getting the chills over my body. For me this means somebody is saying something or something is happening that aligns with my true believes and values. If for example I’m struggling with a certain situation in my life, I ask a question to the universe and 5 minutes later I’m talking about this with a friend and I get the chills; I know I have to pay good attention because I might just get my answer at that moment.
Like me you also have all kinds of signals in your body. Discovering them and learning how to understand and act on them is a reflective process that you will have to do by yourself. It comes with trying, testing and mostly being aware of what you feel. During the day take some moments in which you do a check. How do I feel? What kind of signal is my body giving me at this very moment? Do this for a while and you will learn how your body is guiding you along the way.
2 Always follow (don’t chase) that inner desire
I always say that our dreams are the seeds of our future reality. Both dreams and desires are like signal posts along a route. They show us where to go until we come across a new signal post (dream or desire). Finding out what your inner deeper dreams and desires are, is crucial in leading a life that you love, because those dreams and desires not only represent what you love, but they also guide you to all the places you need to go and lives you need to touch.
I believe every life is born to transform the energy of this world. Which means each and everyone has a purpose. Yet the purpose of your life is not handed to you on a paper when you are born. Often when people live their purpose, it is because they live their life and one day look back and realize that it was exactly what it was supposed to be. Everything they did was part of their purpose. So not everybody is always fully aware of what their purpose is. Since sometimes we cannot be fully aware of our purpose, we get dreams and desires. Each dream and desire is part of a bigger picture that in the end will turn out to be the exact reason why you are here. So finding out what exactly are your deeper dreams and desires is a big step in finding your inner compass.
Now I say follow and not chase, because for me the energy behind those two words is very different. Often what I see (and have seen within myself) is that when we chase a certain dream, it becomes crucial that this dream turns into reality exactly the way we want it to. Yet the form, shape and way things come to us, is not up to us. That is up to the universe. We need to figure out what is our dream and then let ourselves be guided by the universe as to how that dream comes to us.
Also when we chase dreams, we sometimes forget the bigger picture. That it is not about me or you, but about us. What is best in the highest good of all? Sometimes that means we don’t get exactly what we want in the moment we want it. This is why we follow dreams, because they guide us and lead us to new possibilities, not because they are the sole end result.
3 Listen to your own truth, not those of others
The third step into finding your inner compass is to always trust your own truth and not those of others. This doesn’t mean we need to fight every discussion till the end and have proven our way, but it does mean letting go of people or the believes that other people hold. Some believes we have cultivated as a society out of fear, others because it served us in a certain time, but not anymore for your generation. And sometimes there are believes that help one person, but completely ruin another.
For me this goes for the believe that if you work hard enough, you eventually will get to your goal. This believe serves many people and made many people very successful. Yet for me this believe wore me down, made me depressed and meant I gave up on most things that I truly love to do. For me a believe that serves me way better is the believe that it is not about what you do and how much you do, but who you are and the energy you put in the things you do. If you can just be you, truly you, then the right type of actions will flow from that state of being. Combine that with for example the energy of love in the things you do and you can manifest anything you want.
This is because the latter believe is completely aligned with my true self. Whereas the former comes from upbringing and society. Neither one is good or bad, but one is mine and serves me and the other is not and hurts me. So when talking to other people, getting new information, making choices and taking action; always put everything through your true self filter which tells you whether some believe is aligned with you or not. If it serves you or not.
Here as well as in the first step, feel what is light and heavy. Is it heavy? Then it is not yours. Is it light? Then it is. You can start reflecting on your believes by writing down what you believe about certain subjects like money, relationships, work and career. Then see who else in your family, your friends or society holds this believe. That way you can find out whether a believe is yours or not. The next thing is to feel if it is light or heavy. Or just reflect on your past to see if this believe has served you or not. Is it not your own and hasn’t it served you? Then release it and replace it with a believe that does serve you and feels good.
4 Take it step by step (don’t try to understand the bigger picture)