Our society today is very outward facing. Many feel compelled to consistently share their experiences via various forms of social media. I too feel this pressure at times. We try to maintain a balance between public and private spheres of our lives. Sharing some but not too much. I think social media can be positive if it is used to shed light, to create connection, to share growth and inspiration and to make us laugh. I'm not here to talk about social media or anything outward facing, I'm here to talk about what is seldom discussed, our inner life.
I am an introvert and for me personally the value of my inner experience is undeniable. What this means for me is all of my internal thoughts, musings, the things I battle with within myself, the areas I've grown in or that still require growth. These aren't things that any one else is necessarily aware of but they are crucially important to my interactions with others. I believe strongly in the need for disconnection, for silence and for cultivation of a deep inner awareness. Once we can sit with ourselves in silence and truly know ourselves, it gives us a greater capacity to empathize with, listen to and hold space for others.
So what does an inner life look like? For me, it means taking 15 minutes each morning to read and reflect before I get in the shower. This allows me to refocus my thoughts toward the mindset I am eagerly trying to cultivate- one of greater love, greater acceptance. This also means checking in with myself throughout the day to return to this way of thinking. I set reminders on my iPhone with one liners that remind me of the ways I like to think (e.g. "there is nothing to fear"). I'll attend a yoga class, listen to music while walking, try to really focus on nature. I find that all of these activities help rejuvenate me and make me feel reconnected.
I fail at maintaining the non-judgemental, love and light filled perspective that I strive for, many times each day. What I never fail at is having a deep knowing within me that regardless of this, I'm a worthwhile person, I'm doing my best, and I'll have many more chances to get it right. I believe that this inner life I am consistently cultivating is the foundation for not being shaken by anything external. People, things, locations, circumstances continue to change and like anybody I feel the ebb and flow of all of this. I do believe that the connection I feel to my own growth and development keeps me grounded despite these changes. To know what I'm striving for and where to return to when I fail seems to make all the difference.
I think for each of us it takes different forms but I encourage you to give as much energy to your inner life as your outer one. Whether it's through music, art, writing, reading, creating video, crafting, gardening, the list is endless. Do those things that make you feel connected to the person you most want to be. These things are your gift to both you and the world. There is a beautiful spark that emanates from people who are deeply connected to that part of themselves that can never be taken away.