Conversations in my Inner Island
by Ella Anahata on April 19, 2021
It started with an awkward moment of sitting with my Self, followed by better days of walking with my Self along the paths up in the hills, in the middle of a farm or just along the right side of the road. It took a few days plus daily yoga practice before I felt free enough to wholly engage with my Self. It was a series of conversations here and there for about sixty days.
The experience taught me that honest and sometimes brutal conversations with my Self is the foundation of healthy, lasting and conscious relationships. I realized that this is a crucial thing to work on before I can sign up and happily keep different types of external relationships whether with family or friends, professional relationships, romantic relationships and acquaintanceships. I spent a day or two answering each of the questions below and asked my Self again and again whenever I feel the need to.
Who am I?
Not spiderman but I could perhaps look into the values that spiderman embodied as a fictional character. What are life’s foundational principles that I genuinely believe in? Is it saying yes to everything and seizing the day? Is it stepping back to pause in between decisions even if it is just about what to wear on Monday? Is it nurturing and taking care of my friends and my family at all costs? Is it stretching my Self to keep learning and evolving? Will my loved ones describe me as the adventure seeker? Or the most rational decision maker? Do my friends see me as the motherly figure or am I the learning junkie stuck in the library? If I’m lucky to figure it out at that moment, I then verify it with my Self and ask further. Will I still feel comfortable with my Self even if the crowd outside no longer agrees with who I am?
Where am I going?
As part of my HR work, I do occasional check in calls with my colleagues. I remembered a conversation with a young girl fresh out of college. I asked her where do you see yourself in five years?
She was caught by surprise and unhesitantly answered “I don’t know. I don’t even know what I’m going to eat for lunch tomorrow.” I was expecting a rather long and serious thought about it but I loved her unfiltered genuine answer. It reminded me the importance of knowing where I am going from that point in my life while keeping my future open to possibilities. It meant allowing my Self to flow effortlessly to where life wants me to go. I asked my Self what kind of environment will I thrive and flourish? What place or event could stage my natural gifts? Lastly, would I find stillness in that place or point in time?
What does my heart desire most?
This is how I finally understood the concept of passion. It was not just about feeling good on what I do but it was more about fully devoting my entire being on what I choose to do. I asked my Self, what are the possible challenges in pursuing a certain project? Could I still work on it and accept the dirty part of the job? If I accomplish what I desire to do, would I be able to shout out to the world and celebrate it? It could be a passion for baking bread on Sunday mornings, a passion for upcycling empty jars to a passion for transforming my room into a cosmic getaway pod. For real, it could be a small and simple project where I allocated all of my power and creativity and felt amazing about it.
What do I need to let go of?
By now I would have a better picture of my Self and could then hand-pick some stuff to let go of. Opening my closet and stashing away clothes could count but this drill was far deeper than that. This meant consciously eliminating the excess things in my life. These were anything beyond what I need to live a simple yet meaningful life. It could be extra cups of rice, a dozen of membership cards I don’t use, backup pairs of running shoes, overconsumption of news, excessive urge to control, too much judgement, and so on. I asked my Self, what could be the smallest possible quantity of things I own that I had to keep so my life would still be adequate and in order? What are the ideas or outlooks in life that I could surrender? These would help me in different levels of choices I had to make to allow me to adapt to my current state of being.
What is my vision?
If this is too big to grasp, I could start by looking at people I admire and find out about their life vision. I asked my Self, could I approach life the same way they approached theirs? Could I plan my life journey with more certainty now? What are the risks I could take and deal with much flexibility? If this still appears intimidating, I then ask my Self, how do I plan to wake up tomorrow? Should I try to remember what my dream was or choose to grab my phone and chat away? How do I envision myself wrapping up my day tomorrow? Should I binge watch my favorite TV show or should I talk to my family about their day?
This was how conversations in my inner island would go. I had to answer these questions with raw and blunt honesty. Tons of work, it seemed! Starting it out was uncomfortable but I had to sweat on this to have clarity on the kind of people, places and events that I would need to attract in my life. Once I navigated the conversations more comfortably, I would do it again. I would do it more until I feel capable enough to immerse my whole Self into healthy, lasting and conscious relationships.