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.

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Mindfulness: The art of living the present moment

As this year is ending, I’m reflecting on the experiences of 2019, both the positive and negative ones. I recently told my sister that the well-known saying “living in the present moment” always did sound quite cheesy to me, nothing more. One lesson learned in 2019, probably the most important one, is this one: we shall in fact try to enjoy the present moment. It’s easy to say, more difficult to put in practice. 

I thought I was living in the present moment, trying to make the most of it, feeling content with what I have and taking each day as it comes. I recently came to realize I wasn’t. 

2019 has been a year of self-care. I’ve put the focus on myself, it was very much needed: taking a slow pace, going inwards, taking the time for me to figure things out. 2019 has also been a year of solitude: I’ve embraced it, I’ve accepted that I needed it in order to grow and distance myself from my old patterns. I went on my first solo trip, refused to take part in many social events I would usually attend. I draw the line: I wanted to be alone

Halfway through the year I realized I was maybe closing myself too much. That’s the thing with solitude, with being independent, it shouldn’t mean not inviting others into your life. Isolation can be necessary, yet it’s not necessarily better. By October I figured the walls I had built around myself as a person were very high. It was a good protection, but maybe too much. I figured I was closing my heart and in fact myself to new opportunities. I had refused countless social interactions, but also intimacy with other people. A change occurred and surprisingly enough, I fell in love. That’s not really the point of this article, nor the fact that I got heartbroken. I see this experience as a lesson but mostly as a blessing: I welcome this reminder that my heart works and that I am able to feel

I bring this up because it helped me realize the importance of living in the present moment. My last relationship was easy at first, very much uplifting. It was good times, easy interactions, a deep connection and happy moments. Until it wasn’t anymore. It became all about hopes, fears, projections. What does it mean, how is it going to be in the future, what if it doesn’t work? It ruined everything. As I see each and every experience as a lesson especially the hardest ones, I figured, isn’t it this the biggest lesson of all? At least I see it as another reminder to live my life in a more mindful way.

Here’s the thing: we are constantly running. We run in our daily lives, to catch a bus, to be on time for work, interviews, parties. We run and we are always looking for the next thing to plan, to do. We are hurrying in the search of happiness too. We view  happiness as an ultimate goal, as something we will reach, achieve, by any possible means. If I work hard enough, I’ll have more money, I’ll be more happy. We are looking for happiness in the future, worrying about it constantly. When we aren’t, we’re worrying about the past, letting old things bring us down. We wish we could relive the past, sometimes change it. In all this mess, and all the negativity it brings (overthinking, stressing …) we tend to forget the most important of all: living in the present. Being grateful for what we already have. 

I thought, well…this must be what it’s all about. All the cheesy quotes, the idiotic sayings I overlooked. There must be some truth behind it after all. As I deep-dive into the concept of mindfulness (the “psychological process of purposely bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment without judgment”), it all makes sense to me. We shall indeed focus on the present, on what we have, and seek happiness in it. Being more mindful is a key element for happiness. Being happy now, not in the future. Being more mindful also significantly reduce both rumination and unnecessary worry. Who wouldn’t want that?

Another saying pops into my head as I’m writing these lines: “Happiness is a journey, not the destination”. It is very true. There is no way to “find” happiness, nothing in the world can bring it to you on a silver plate. The amount of time, all the means, all the things, all the efforts, all the money in the world will not bring you happiness. Happiness can’t be found, it is already within you. If you are not happy today, chances are you won’t be happy tomorrow either. Simply because there is not even a guarantee that you will be alive by tomorrow. This sounds pretty harsh, but it’s a fact. We should stop running after happiness, and find it in the present moment. Enjoy things as they are, and let them be. Simple to say right? How to put these thoughts into practice?

A good way to do so is firstly to take the time to enjoy things. We can start by slowing down, using mindful practices such as meditation, watching our breath, to help us refocus on the here and now. Then, of course there is yoga and using asanas to refocus. It’s the practice that speaks best to me, but it could be a different one for you. It’s up to you to find a way to practice mindfulness. It’s not easy, but it’s not supposed to be. One thing is sure though, it won’t be harder than living a life on endless dream-chasing and overthinking.