Cultivating inwardness: an inner journey
Inwardness relates to cultivating our inner garden, specifically, our thoughts and feelings. It’s a place for reflection and introspection. A place that brings us get closer to our true self by connecting us to the values, beliefs and desires that drive us. Inwardness is an inner journey to shed light on our personal shadows and explore how we might grow and change.
Nurturing our inner self
Everyone feels the pull of various external factors in their search for success and fulfillment. Between professional obligations, socializing and constant distractions, it can be hard to find a quiet moment for introspection.
People also tend to identify with those factors over their own needs, which often leads to their words and actions lining up poorly with what they actually feel.
The breakneck pace of day-to-day life is a sharp reminder that sometimes we simply need to stop and look inward. Nurturing our inner garden is important: it plays a vital role in connecting us to our core identity.
Understanding that connection to our true self isn’t always easy when society mainly values people in how they compare to others and how well they conform. But there is a road that leads to our unique inner self: that of acknowledging our needs.
Acknowledging our needs
By looking inward, we can tune out external pressure. It makes it easier to acknowledge and honour our core needs. It builds our confidence and our ability to make decisions that are in line with who we really are.
Moments of introspection can help us find our centre and focus on the little things that bring us joy or help us recharge.
Those moments are a haven for self-expression, a space to cultivate our passions, where we’re free to just be ourselves.
The goal of cultivating inwardness is to pay special attention to our well-being, so we can find a measure of harmony and holistic health.
Ultimately, a better understanding of our scars and patterns will help us develop compassion for ourselves and others.
Finding space for inwardness in your life
Inwardness doesn’t belong to any one place, but places like Le Monastère des Augustines provide spaces that are conducive to renewal.
Indeed, our quest for connection with our deeper self starts the moment we state our intent and make the deliberate choice of integrating moments of inwardness in our lives. Depending on the time and resources at our disposal, there are many different ways to experience these moments.
Here are some suggestions:
– Practice cardiac coherence
– Enjoy a wellness retreat
– Try walking meditation
– Have a meal in silence
– Practice journaling
– Dig into a book on personal growth
– Immerse yourself in a museotherapy experience
Inwardness can seem challenging to understand and apply effectively. So here’s an example of a visualization ritual:
- Sit comfortably on the ground or on a chair with your back straight, your hands down on your knees and your eyes open or closed.
- Breath in and out a dozen times. Pay attention to your breath, and to how your body is moving.
- Take note of where you feel your breath most: your upper chest, your heart or your belly.
- Focus on your body from top to bottom and find all the points of tension as well as the places you’re most at ease.
- Try visualizing, say, by imagining that you’re a mountain, firmly planted and able to let your thoughts come and go like clouds across the sky.
- Be mindful of thoughts as they arise, and let them run their course as you return to your inner peace.
Like visualization, positive thoughts and affirmations along with questions for introspection are great ways to explore inwardness. Here are some examples:
- I am enough.
- What would the best version of myself do today?
- What values matter most to me?
- I am doing my best.
- What do I need most?
- What did I learn about myself over the past year?
- Are my actions in line with my priorities and choices?
Regardless of where, when or how we experience inwardness, what matters most is to cut ourselves off from outside influence, to dig deep into our own mind and be honest with ourselves.
Inwardness is a journey back to our core essence. It provides access to a wealth of knowledge about ourselves, others and the world we live in. It helps maintain the inner peace so vital to better understanding our own needs.
Lastly, it helps us find balance between our inner and outer worlds. It’s an inner journey worth cultivating over time, as it’s through taking time to connect with our inner self on a daily basis that our life starts looking more and more like who we really are, and meeting our own personal needs.
Houten, Andrew van den, Headspace Inc. (2023). Headspace, version 3.273.0, mobile app, accessed at: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/headspace-mindful-meditation/id493145008.
Wiest, Brianna. (2020). The Mountain Is You. Thought Catalog Books.