For several months, I’ve been writing about the relational nature of the universe, with a focus on how we connect deeply with others. Now, I’d like to shift the focus to interior realms, with a series of short posts on how we relate to ourselves.
Be yourself. How often have you heard or given this advice? This doesn’t mean that we disregard others and care only about our own reality. There’s a balance here – and also a sequence. Inner engagement informs how we engage the world. The dance of inner and outer begins with the inner.
In order to operate with authenticity and integrity, we first need to enter our insides with curiosity and compassion – no comparisons with anyone else, no judgments about how we ought to be. We orient toward appreciating what is – creating an inner spaciousness that allows room for every feeling, every desire, every nook and cranny within us, - including our inconsistencies and contradictions in an ever-unfolding inner landscape.
To prevent paralysis or aimless drifting, inner spaciousness is balanced by clarity and focus. In a friendly, balanced relationship with ourselves - when we attend respectfully to the interior, inviting spaciousness and clarity - we naturally gravitate toward what’s important and central. An inner gyroscope directs us toward choices and actions that reflect and express who we are – allowing us to live with authenticity and deep integrity.
Again and again, we return to the practice of mindfulness – gentle, compassionate self-awareness, self-discovery and clarity. We have to be with ourselves before we can be ourselves.