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Going Within

26 Jan 2016   Shanti Gowans
Every snce I encountered the Western world, I wondered whether it was something in the air, but I observed many of my friends and cohorts struggling and/or feeling agitated in an unusually difficult way. They would describe it as odd …as if they have felt strange, almost as if they didn't belong in my their skin, and would anguish over an answer to this frustration. Yet many of them are able to shake their discomfort and feeling out of sorts. They claimed that
- they needed to do some "thing" to fix themselves, or the situation they were in (a delicious massage anyone?)
- someone, (perhaps a therapist, coach, or best friend) who is smarter or more assuredly aware, knows THE answer
- or, when the moon changes, or the planets align differently or, or, or like by magic they were going to feel all better, and that everything was all good again…
Any of the above could work.  Who doesn't love bodywork, conversations with really smart individuals, or sleeping a lot until the angst passes? But I know, for sure, that that there is a practice, which you can rely upon every time, which will always work, if you just do it! When you finally, come to realise what is in your best interests right now, and what you already know is the solution, which in times of need, most peole often hide from themselves. In fact, nearly all of us go to great lengths to avoid performing this simple little task. And that is (drum roll please!): Set aside regular time to become quiet. Call it what you will…It's nothing more than closing your eyes, relaxing your body as much as possible and truly going within and embracing the space between your thoughts.  
You must stop. Stop trying to figure "it" out. Trying to figure it (a problem) out with your brain is like trying to put out a fire with petrol.
Too often what we do when we don't feel like we know what to do, is quite literally inflame our discomfort by pondering potential solutions. We focus so much on what the problem is that it grows bigger and bigger.  It consumes us.
We are not a do-nothing society.  We think we can and should fix everything in front of us and would be the first to admit that we're not going to idly sit by if we know for sure how to help someone or some situation. However, by now we have surely learnt that we often don't have answers, and what might work for one of our patients or a friend, may be all wrong for another…and so it goes...
Where is the Truth? It is quite literally between your thoughts. In that space where you see/hear/feel nothing. Whilst it might be difficult to turn off the inner conversation that keeps coming up as you meditate, you can become quiet and have spaces between your thoughts and that's very valuable territory.  Discovery, inspiration, creativity, intuitive knowing happen in the quiet.
I've written many books and courses about meditating. No matter how you find silence, that's the place you are looking for. Gardeners find their peace digging in the earth. Or simply, writing three pages first thing in the morning without thinking too much about what is going on the page or even re-reading it is a lovely practice. As is meditative walking. If you have a technique that allows you to stop problem-solving, be in the moment, and find spaces between your thoughts, you understand what will work for you.  Or try something new to settle down and be with yourself and all of your brilliance and inner-knowing.
Everything that happens to you, teaches you, if you are open to it. Eventually life will open you. Quieten you mind and open your heart. Trust yourself, and the universe. Going within is precious. It moves us in the direction we most want to go to.


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About Shantiji

Shanti Gowans is the globally recognised author and founder of Shanti Yoga™, Meditation and Ayurveda for the self, family and community.

Shantiji has brought the concepts and practices of a healthy body and a still mind to thousands of Australians through her Yoga and Meditation programs on national television... Read more about Shantiji's biography

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