A lot of us spend years looking outside of ourselves for the answers we’re looking for. It’s understandable. We’ve been indoctrinated in this way since just about birth.

As children, we watched commercials on our television sets that sent us clinging to our parents’ shins, begging for the latest toy we’d seen flashing on the screen.

As teenagers, we learned acceptance stems from blending with the crowd, adopting behaviours, fashion trends, mannerisms, slang.

As adults, we sought love and entertainment, healing and validation, through the vessels of romantic partners; peace and joy through the acquisition of grownup toys.

All the while, we were learning to disconnect from who we are. So the messaging goes, that doesn’t matter as much, in the end. Our trust “should” be placed in those who “know better.” Because, surely, tastemakers understand the fabric of our souls better than we do. And to argue otherwise would be foolish.

Over the course of our lives, these subtle learnings were sewn into our subconscious minds, where they anchored themselves, morphed into beliefs. 

Beliefs that suggest it’s the “next” thing that will save us. While, in reality, the goal post is always moving.

So, where does the rat race end? For some, it goes on for as long as they live. For others, it ends when they get so exhausted by the whole charade that they necessarily peel back, and begin to consider if there’s another way.

Cue the calling to develop an intimate relationship with the self.

To become aware of what it is we uniquely need to live a good life, to achieve inner peace, we must cultivate and nourish this relationship with ourselves. 

To do that, we must learn to turn down the volume on the outside world, so we may listen in. This can look like anything, but broadly speaking it means carving out time for oneself—sans technology, sans music, sans anything at all—and being with the self.

Over time, we may begin to get curious, and ask ourselves questions as we would do with a friend, or a potential partner. In general, it’s a wise idea to ask one question, and then dive deeply into your answer, as is shown below. 

You don’t need a number of scenarios in your life to investigate to unravel your layers and bring you closer to your core. A few will reveal plenty.

“When was the last time I was so engaged with what I was doing that the hours melted away?”

“What exactly was I doing?”

“How was I feeling?”

“Why did X activity make me feel that way?”

“Who was I with?”

“Who was I not with?”

“Where was I?” 

“What was it specifically about that location that made me feel that way?”

This process of deep, bold introspection is how we begin to connect to our souls, our calling. When we begin to get comfortable with the answers we’re finding, accepting ourselves as we truly are, that’s when we’ll see major shifts in life, for the better. Think: greater confidence, ease, fulfillment, love, sparkling inner glow. From this place of release and alignment, we can co-create with the universe the life of our dreams.