Articles, Lifestyle

The Inner Self

I’m the kind of person who speaks her mind most of the time. It doesn’t mean that I am loud or extroverted but rather open about my thoughts and opinions. They translate into words but also into paintings, articles, movements. I’m being myself. When I don’t feel well, I’m on the contrary very quiet. 

When I feel at my lowest, I often have the feeling that I am disconnected from my inner self. I tend to put aside everything that I like, everything that gives me energy and feel even more depleted. The inner self is who you really are, what are your purpose, values, vision, beliefs, motivations and goals. 

When I was younger I had a hard time finding my way, deciding which path to follow was hard and I often felt like I also had to please those around me. Lately, I felt like I had lost myself in relationships by putting another person’s interests before mine. Maybe this can resonate with you too.

Sometimes we distance ourselves from our inner selves to please others. We put masks on, we try to be someone else. Sometimes it is simply our ego speaking: we want to prove ourselves, our worth, we want to win at everything. 

Not only is it useless as it can only last a short while, but it is also counterproductive for our personal happiness. There are no benefits in comparing ourselves to others or doing something for the wrong reasons. We should rather listen to our own heart’s desires and do things because we feel like doing them. It doesn’t mean we won’t make mistakes, it’s necessary to teach us through experience. 

Distancing myself from my inner self repeatedly taught me valuable lessons. 

I came to realize that I am the happiest when I am true to my Inner self. This means when I trust my intuition, follow the path of self-discovery and when I do the things that I feel like doing instead of the things I think I am supposed to do. I’m also more at peace. Being true to my inner self became a priority. To reconnect with my Inner self I did (and am still doing) a lot of introspection. Finding your inner self requires both introspection and awareness. Once you do find your inner self, you can just be yourself. 

From experience I understood the importance of just being myself, no matter if it doesn’t please those around me. When you are being yourself, you attract those who will feel your energy, and feel you in general. In the end, you’ll surround yourself with people who will support you and love you for who you really are

I discovered that the law of attraction perfectly refers to this. It can be described as the ability to attract in our lives whatever we are focusing on. It supposes that the power of the mind can materialize our thoughts into reality. Basically whatever we have in mind is achievable.

Let’s say you’re having a very bad day and you send out a lot of negativity around you, ranting and being unpleasant to others. You’ll probably attract a lot of negativity back. As human beings we send out our emotions and thoughts and attract more back. It is therefore essential that we check on our own thoughts and emotions.

If we fail to do so, we might send out the wrong messages and attract unwanted things back. Same things goes with intentionally sending wrong messages to try to please people. Whatever we receive back won’t be aligned with our desires. Every decision we make in our lives, good ones as bad ones, have been the result of our thoughts and emotions, and have been determining factors

The law of attract is said to go way back, originally been taught by Buddha himself:

“ What you have become is what you have thought ”

My intention is not to serve you some inspirational life guidelines that you can find in personal development podcasts. I rather think that we are entirely responsible for our own happiness. While we can seek external help for advice and guidance, this work is in the end, very personal

My intention is rather to remind you that in your life, possibilities are endless. Once we do understand that, we realize that we are and always will be, as long as we are living, able to make different choices and decisions. It’s an essential thing to be aware of who we really are and of all the possibilities that exist. It is difficult to learn and to remember,  especially when things are not going well. In dark times it is easy to think that worries and sorrow will last forever. Just remember it won’t.

Stay true to yourself, trust your intuition. To reconnect with your inner self, you can try meditating, going inwards is a great way to find balance. You can also simply pursue things you love. Be gentle with yourself, trust yourself, the process never ends, it is a lifelong journey.

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Growing also means improving, right? Unless you can grow by staying your good old self, which I rather doubt. I personally try to often reflect on my own behavior and habits.

One of the things I noticed is that I’m often ranting. Part of it is I believe, deeply cultural. I’m French and French people like to complain about anything and everything really. It can vary from unleashing a few “i’m so tired” every single morning to a ranting level that could easily lead to another French revolution. I too, like to complain about things on a daily basis. Small things, bigger things.

Complaining is human, we all do it. But complaining is deeply negative, especially if you do it a lot. For sure there are some aspects you can feel unhappy about, and you are allowed to express your feeling of discontentment. Some days are harder than others, life is a mix of ups and downs. The trick is not to fall into a perpetual circle of discontentment. Negativity brings negativity.

As I became more and more aware of my tendency to complain a lot, I really tried to make a change. One thing I’m trying to set as a routine, is to practice being grateful instead.

It seems to be rather an easy thing to do right? In practice it’s not that easy. In our lives we tend to focus harder on the negative things, than on the positive ones. As an example, when someone asks us how our day is going, we tend to highlight negative events first.

“My colleague annoyed me”, “my boss sent me extra work”, “I’ve missed my train and had to wait 30 minutes at the station” are common answers. How many of us would answer “I’ve helped the neighbor take the trash down and it made her happy”, “my lunch was extra delicious today”, “I’ve met an old friend and it was nice catching up on things”. Ranting is easy, it comes naturally.

To help practicing daily gratitude I chose to include this routine in my daily yoga one. I decided to choose to select and reflect on one daily thing I am grateful for doing Shavasana (yoga asana, usually closing the practice). It does not have to be something huge, it can be about anything. Usually I don’t”t even have to think about it, there is one thing naturally popping up in my head. For example, some days I’m grateful for my dog not being sick, for a phone call I had with my mom who lives far away or for a great time with friends. It helps me acknowledge the small, beautiful, ordinary daily things.

It’s quite easy to find and point out the things that aren’t so great, it’s harder to acknowledge the things that are. Some things are taken for granted: our health, well-being, the health of our loved ones. We take such things for granted until they go wrong. Everyday, I’m trying to be grateful for the things I do have, instead of whining about the things I can’t change. There will always be things to rant about, there will be unfortunate events, missed trains, failed interviews, heartbreaks. It’s part of life. If everything was beautiful and easy, in the end we would complain about it as well.

You can choose your own way to practice gratitude: have a personal diary, make it a daily or a weekly routine, do it through random acts of kindness… whatever works better for you. Hopefully it will help you keep things in perspective and be more positive.

If you already do practice gratitude, I would be interested to know more about it. Leave me a comment to let me know what your daily routine is and how beneficial it is for you.