Monday, March 30, 2015

Journal of a Soul 72

Looking Within

Portrane, Co. Dublin, February, 2015
Do you ever just sit and think? Do you ever take time out to see where life is going for you? Or is your life so busy that you rush from one activity to the next? If you are reading this, chances are that you have a few free moments at your disposal. This is a short invitation to look inwards, to answer the call to step within yourself.

At the start of most journeys we are full of expectations and sometimes anxieties. We don't know what surprises are in store for us further down the line. The journey inwards is no different. In fact it is probably the most frightening of all journeys - we are afraid of what we may find or uncover in our real selves. We may find a lot which we don't like, and which we may not want to change. Certainly we will find the negative, but if we journey long and deep enough we will unearth the positive too.

Life today happens at such a fast pace. We constantly rush to keep appointments and run to catch the bus or train. With a little reflection it becomes apparent that not alone are we rushing to somewhere or other, but we are also running from somewhere or other. With a little more reflection we realise that we are running away from ourselves a lot of the time.

When you are alone in your home what do you do with the silence? Do you fill it with every possible distraction? Do you hurry to turn on the television, radio or stereo? Must you always find something, no matter how trivial, to keep yourself occupied? What about positively deciding not to do any of these things? For once why not do nothing? Yes, that's what I've said, simply try doing nothing. We are all afraid to look into silence, perhaps because we really hate feeling lonely, feeling alone, being just an island cut off from the mainland of life.

Reflections on a Rock: Portrane, Co. Dublin, February, 2015
Next time you are alone why not try challenging silence or even embracing it. As the legendary Snoopy of cartoon fame says, "Sometimes I sits and thinks. Sometimes I just sits." There is a lot of wisdom in that. Try just sitting in silence with your eyes closed. Get yourself into a relaxed position with your back straight - a kitchen chair is ideal. Too soft or comfortable a chair and it's bedtime! A simple exercise like tracing all the sounds both inside and outside the house, letting them come and go into your consciousness, is a simple way to begin. Just relax and let all of the strain drain from your body, down your arms and legs and out. This is not just simply an exercise in relaxation. Yes it is that, but it is much more. It is an exercise in awareness, becoming aware of yourself most essentially. The more you become aware of yourself the more you will know yourself. Of course, this is a long journey, and it will not just happen all at once. As soon as you have begun to become present to yourself you are ready to start out on the most important journey you can take - the journey into self and to self -awareness.

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