It’s not mysterious, and you can absolutely learn it on your own. Here are the basics.
You are essentially having a dialog with yourself. Not a fast, confusing and circular one. But a calm, focused and peaceful dialog.
You do this dialog through writing. Writing by hand slows you down. A bit like moving your body through water. You can more easily notice and become aware of the patterns that emerge.
You can quite literally write questions for yourself and then see what answers emerge. Like an interview with yourself.
Some of the most essential questions to work with are:
- What do I actually want? (in my life, career, family, the world etc.)
- Why do I want that?
- Who do I want and/or need to become? (in order to get what I want etc.)
- What can I begin doing to move myself towards what I want?
Try now. Take a pen and a notebook and see if you can answer these questions.
What if you can’t answer?
This is the interesting part. I will be the first to admit that I often don’t fully know how to answer these questions. That’s why it’s so interesting. It’s easy to think we know what we want, but do we really?
You can ask yourself: why is this hard for me to answer? What could it be that is preventing me from knowing this?
How do you know if your answers are right?
Another, equally interesting challenge is to know if the answers you eventually come up with are the right ones for you. If what you want looks and sounds too much like the socially defined norms for success: variations on money, prestige, fame, sex etc. then are they really representative of something you want or just the result of what you’ve been taught that you should be wanting?
Here, it’s a matter of becoming gradually more aware of your own patterns and emotional reactions, and then using your imagination to trigger feelings and notice the results.
It’s not a hard science. If that’s what you are looking for, this isn’t for you. But if you’ve ever done something or experienced something that just felt really meaningful and important to you, then you know what that feels like. And if you would like to shape your life in a way where that sense of meaning is ever more central, then these are at least one of the ways you can learn to navigate and get closer and closer.
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