Cultivating Your Inner WorldLuke Coutinho
Each of us are connected to our outer world and while that matters, we only chase the outer world and seldom look at our inner world and the kind we want to cultivate for our health, success, emotions, careers, personal growth or relationships.
If you are someone who in spite of doing charity, service to others, giving back to the society, meditating, still feel empty, uneasy and hollow from the inside, it’s time you must start “turning inwards”.
Before that, it’s important to put light on “attention”. What is attention? It is a kind of an energy, that we use to focus on something and where we use this attention is extremely important. For e.g.: If you focus your attention on a foul smell, chances are you will start feeling angry and irritated. But, if you begin focusing on a flower or a nice fragrance, your mood immediately changes. This is because of your inner world and how you choose to respond to the outer world.
You could be in the best of surroundings – nature, lakes, mountains, scenic views, but also feel sad, depressed and full of turmoil from within. This means the outer world and your inner world are poles apart. Many of us think that the more holidays and getaways we take, the happier we are, but it doesn’t always work that way. In fact the lockdown has been out biggest teacher to help us realise that we can be happy without all the socialising, partying and eating out. Our outer and inner world are not interdependent on each other. You can be living in the busiest and nosiest lanes, but still feel calm and at peace from within. The outer world doesn’t make a difference to your inner world, no matter how noisy it may be. So, it all depends on where you choose to focus your attention on – the peace within or the noise outside? If you are surrounded by nature and focus on flowers, birds, wind blowing, fresh crisp air – you generate good thoughts. Good thoughts in turn generate good feelings which in turn will determine your behavior and finally your experience. Similarly, a bad new today can result in a bad thought, leading to a bad behavior and finally a bad experience and all of this starts from one energy called – Attention and where you put it.
Coming back to the two worlds – inner and outer, we all know how the outer world is filled with stimulation and fillers today like alcohol, internet, drugs, shopping, but does it do anything to change our inner world? Absolutely not. At the same time, one doesn’t need all of these fillers to make them feel happy and fulfilled. You could be happy because of peaceful relationships, good health, simple pleasures of life, nature, irrespective of the things from the outside world. We are mostly worried about what others think of us, our clothes, makeup and are in a constant mode to make others happy etc., not realising that there is an inner world within us that needs more focus and attention. If you have great clothes, cars, etc., and your inner world is happy and content too, then you have a great equation! Maintain that. However, if you have none of the external things, and are feeling sad and dissatisfied with everything, then its time for you to turn inward and start cultivating the inner world, and this only depends on how much time you invest in growing and nurturing it. The more you invest in your inner world, the outer world automatically changes for us because now we need none of the stimulation and fillers to please us. Its often said that the key to happiness lies within and that we are the in-charge of it. It’s because of our inner world. Right now, you have the power to start deciding how you want to feel, how your health should be, relationships, feeling loved and appreciated, just by changing the inner world.
Reasons for not turning inwards. What stops us?
Most of us are not comfortable looking in our inner world. We are not comfortable facing our own insecurities, jealousy, hatred, low self-confidence, anger, low self esteem etc. and start looking at material things to plug the hole, not realising that we need to first move us of our comfort zone and start working on these feelings.
Turning inwards is not just about mediating and finding peace. All of us have gone through emotions and asked questions to ourselves like – How could he do this to me? How did my love fail? How could she backstab me? In situations like these, try turning inwards and reflect on what could have gone wrong that lead to this consequence, even if it’s the other persons fault. It is human to find blame, fault and transfer accountability and responsibility on someone else’s shoulders, but always remember that every cause has an effect. If you truly reflect and turn inward with fairness and unbiasedness, you will find something that could have been wrong from your end in someway or the other. After all, it takes two hands to clap!
You could blame a failed business on the pandemic, inefficiency of the team etc., but what if, you reflect within and find out several reasons that could have also contributed to the failure like – investing in the wrong kind of people, not taking an advice and diversifying your business or maybe you weren’t prepared enough to even start a business. In fact people who are in a constant mode of complain and blame are the unhappiness because they have never turned inwards to reflect on what action, behavior, words or past could have led to this circumstance.
Every time we turn to the outer world for a solution to help tame our inner world, it will lead to addictions. Depressed? Have a drink! Sad? Smoke a joint! The outer world has a drug for every negative emotion you go through to give you a false sense of happiness, which slowly becomes an addiction. But is it really making you happy from within? Maybe momentarily. Long term? Absolutely not. You are far from happy, rather you are more depressed and this is where hollowness in your heart starts. The outside world is only designed to make us unhealthy, confused and addicted and that is the bitter ugly truth.
How many diet plans and dieticians will you change? Try reflecting inward. Maybe you don’t need another food plan to lose weight, but just need to work on consistency. Maybe lack of consistency is the kind of pattern you are stuck in and hence not losing weight. No health professional can look into you and tell you what might be wrong, except you and this maybe your only secret to success.
Reflecting in the inner world brings across a lot of clarity, however one doesn’t have to spiral down into those emotions of guilt, sadness and unhappiness, but use this as a learning to fuel improvement and avoiding mistakes. In fact turning inwards helps you to stop living a life of misery and always feeling that you are in a victim mode. It allows you to move ahead in life, a better life and this doesn’t need any money. Blaming, accusing, whining and tearing people up of their past – are all wasted energies. We rather turn inward and improve and evolve ourselves.
Also watch: Cultivating Your Inner World
YouCare Is All About YOU
You cannot pour from an empty cup. So build YOU first before nourishing the world. You Care is all about YOU. - Luke Coutinho
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