February is the time for hibernation in bear country, or the Northwoods, but for us humans, we hunker down in winter and call it ‘going within’!
Why would we want to focus on going within and what does that really mean anyways?
Going within is a process that helps us direct our awareness and attention down into our bodies, bringing ourselves into the present moment. This exercise allows us to accept whatever is happening in the moment and allow any emotions to surface and be released. Going within encourages us to point the finger toward ourselves and BE the change we wish to see in the world. Any time you are triggered or have a strong reaction to something going on in your life, that is a clue to go within to track where, when, and who your reaction is in transference too.
“The truth will set you free, but first it might piss you off!” - Gloria Steinem
Most of us spend a good chunk of our day focusing and pointing a finger outward -- we are always judging and evaluating everything that is going on around as as good, bad, right, or wrong. We act as if we are victims of the lives we live. What if we shifted our focus inward? How would a focused change of going inward instead of outward, affect our everyday life?
Take a minute to FEEL how that shift might feel in your body -- no judgements and no critical evaluations. Instead you might have a quiet mind and a feeling of peace, love or joy.
Have I convinced you to hunker down and start your journey of going within? If so, here are some tools and events that will help you get started. Having a silent breathing practice is they key to start you in the right direction.
1. My free PDF Breathwork Tool will help you practice your breathing, focus inward, and calm your mind down. If you practice enough, it will create a lasting change in your life. It sounds simple, but until you actually take on this mindful practice each day, you will not notice a change!
2. Check out my recurring event, Snowshoeing into the Silence, located on our beautiful 80-acres retreat, the Northwoods, just 15 minutes outside Traverse City. These snowshoe meditations are from 10:30 am - 12:00 pm on February 10th and 17th. After a silent snowshoe trek around the lake, hot drinks and nutritious soups will be served. And to finish the connection, we will have the opportunity to share our own experiences. If you can’t do a snowshoe with us, just go outside and connect, be silent and do some sort of movement.
Do you have any other pointers for going within in your life? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!
WHAT IS AN AIM?
An AIM is an intention that stems from a curious investigation about your life. It requires turning your attention inward not outward, when you are trying to achieve something.
It is not like setting a goal, which tends to be based on the ego or the future. A true AIM is directed toward truth, no matter what that truth is. The target your AIMING at is NOW, in the present moment.
To set your intention, you must be committed to being present and curious during the investigation.
What is the difference between an aim and a goal?
The practice of setting goals often comes from a stiff rigidity of judgement and in turn, we tend to beat ourselves up if we don’t get to where we ‘think’ we should be. Further, a goal tends to be ego-driven and is a way for us to seek out more happiness, love, and so forth.
With goal-setting, we tend to go to our heads or mental place - attempting to will ourselves to achieve the goal. Whereas with aim-setting, we set an intent to become curious and investigate with our whole bodies (not just our head, cognitive level) in the process.
SETTING YOUR AIMS FOR THE YEAR
What are your AIMS for 2019? In other words, what do you want to feel differently about in your life this upcoming year?
To help you set your AIMS, as well as action steps to help you get there, here is a step by step process:
STEP 1: DO YOU HAVE A BALANCED LIFE?
Allocate a percentage to each of the following 5 categories based on time spent, either on a weekly, monthly, or yearly basis.
STEP 2: DETERMINING AIMS & ACTION STEPS
Come up with an AIM and at least one follow-up action step for each of the following categories:
CATEGORY: Family / Relationships
AIM: Be more curious about why I struggle to make true heart contact (i.e. being present in the body and having a fully open heart without withdrawing) with others.
ACTION STEP: My action step is to practice making active contact with my family members on a daily basis (without numbing out on my iPhone or TV during the process). I will practice active listening 1x a day for 15 minute increments, 5x a week.
THE KEY FOR ACTION STEPS
A C C O U N T A B I L I T Y
It is often easier to hold ourselves accountable to other people rather than ourselves.
When it comes to keeping a promise to ourselves, we struggle.
If you have a hard time keeping a promise to yourself, start an inquiry into this.
Before you can hold yourself accountable, you might need someone else to hold you accountable first.
SETTING YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS:
Choose You, Pt. 2
November 1, 2018