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The Courage to Explore

 

The Courage to Explore

The key to answering life’s greatest questions resides within yourself, but you must first learn how to access this internal well.

I talked with a woman I will call Diane over the telephone to give her a series of life-coaching sessions about moving forward. During our first call, she said, “I am not sure what is behind this feeling. All I know is that I don’t want to repeat this pattern anymore. I want so much more from my life. Something is missing, and I don’t know how to find it.”

From the outside, Diane appeared to have it all as a vibrant, witty, and smart woman in her late 30s. She excelled in her career and loved being a mother and wife. Yet in her mind, she felt like she was still failing in life. There was an elusive feeling of wholeness she had always chased.
In response to this feeling, she joined new activities, tried new things, and met new people. Although each attempt was moderately successful for her for a short period of time, her enthusiasm eventually waned, and she would revert to the same sense of longing.

This is a common feeling for most of us. But looking externally will keep you on a never-ending path. To create a foundation for your life, you must search internally.

Marcelo Manucci of Emotional Competitiveness writes, “The inner landscape is the personal representation of reality […] The inner landscape is a map that contains historical references based on our emotions, sensations, ideas, and habits that we use to give meaning to the facts of everyday life.”

These emotions act as electric ley lines within us, dictating our responses and reactions to our lives. This is a blueprint of our deepest thoughts about ourselves and our deepest truths. It also houses our deepest longings and desires. Yet because its location is housed so deeply within us, it becomes buried beneath the clutter of our lives. We rarely consider accessing it when looking for any type of solutions in our outer world.

The world we live in externally is a direct result of the stories that lay deep within us internally. If we truly want to effect change in our outer world, we have to be willing to investigate our inner world.

If you want to renovate your house, your first step would be to consult its blueprints. You discover the rooms and passageways that lay within. Sometimes you uncover forgotten rooms or reveal hidden walls that have been closed for ages. This same thought process can be applied to concepts of changing the external reality of your life. To do so, you must have the courage to explore the internal landscape that is your current foundation.

Accessing your internal landscape can be rewarding and revealing. Try one of these easy exercises to connect to your internal landscape.


ASK WHY:

Get a fresh piece of paper and a pen. At the top of the paper, write a question about a current life challenge. In Diane’s case, she wrote, “Why do I feel so dissatisfied in my life?” Without judgment, write down the first answer that comes to mind and then simply ask “Why?” Then answer that question and after, ask why again. Continue this process until you discover the golden answer waiting to be revealed.

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EXPLORE:

Sit with an empty chair facing you. Ask yourself a question about the current situation in your life you would like to explore. After asking, switch seats and answer the question from the other chair. By placing your-self in both seats, you are able to reveal a fresh perspective of your own challenge rather than asking and answering from the same place, both physically and metaphorically.


RELEASE THE ANSWERS:

Get a fresh piece of paper and a pen. Write your question or challenge at the top of the paper. Set a timer for three minutes and write nonstop without correcting or judging yourself. You can reveal so much truth within when you allow it to simply be released without
judgement.

In chapter 64 of the Chinese classical text “Tao Te Ching,” Laozi writes: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Imagine the destination of this journey is toward the life you know is waiting for you to discover. By having the courage to explore your inner landscape, you can begin the journey to a life where you feel truly at home. You deserve nothing less.

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