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Your Ultimate Guide for Accessing Inner Wisdom


As with most therapeutic processes, learning how to begin alchemizing your own emotional and cognitive energy starts with awareness of what is going on internally. And cultivating awareness is a process in and of itself. Collectively, we have been conditioned to disconnect from our bodies and each other in service of capitalistic, heteropatriarchal and religious structures and systems instead of consciously engaging with them. There is a reason for this. If we were to consciously engage with these systems, and really feel the impact of them in our minds, hearts and bodies, we likely would have a lot of questions and concerns! We may want to change the status quo, which to larger systems is quite threatening. And so, awareness is where we begin.

To start building awareness, it is important to dedicate time to check in with ourselves regularly on all levels: physical, emotional, psychological, social and spiritual. In practice, this will look different for everyone in terms of frequency, location, time spent, etc. Though typically, it requires a few minutes of quiet time where you will not be disturbed and asking yourself the following questions:

How does my physical body feel right now? Where am I holding tension? Where do I feel disconnected? How is my digestion?

How does my heart feel right now? Is it heavy or light? Soft or hard? Open or closed? If I were to name one emotion that I am feeling, what would it be?

What is the quality of my thinking right now? Negative, positive or neutral? Scattered and/or blocked or flowing? Am I engaged in a lot of worry? Are my thoughts urgent, pressured or racing?

How do I feel about my relationships right now? How do I feel about the world in general?

Do I feel connected to something larger than me, my ancestors, lineage and/or to those who I love who have passed?

Once you have a good handle on the truth of your experience (this does require radical honesty with yourself!) you can then decide to focus on one discovery that you have made and begin to work with it alchemically. (*Also, please be kind to yourself if this is a difficult thing for you. In the beginning, it is extremely common to not have clear answers to these questions. Be patient with yourself <3). 

For example, let’s say I do a check in and find that my heart feels heavy and weary. I may turn to a meditation practice like Tonglen to ease some of that heaviness. Tonglen is a meditation practice where you breathe into the pain you are experiencing while holding in your awareness all the people in the world who are likely experiencing that same feeling and breathing out comfort, love and ease for yourself and the world. This could be followed with a mantra such as: even though I am experiencing a moment of suffering right now, I choose to also remember my own goodness and the goodness of others. 

It is important to remember that inner alchemy does not mean “getting rid of” suffering, it is the process of learning how to be with it compassionately and gently so that the energy can move through you and transform, bringing your body and nervous system back into equilibrium so that you can engage in the things and with the people that are important to you. Over time, you will gain an intimate understanding of your internal landscape and what works for you, making this process less effortful and more like second nature.

How about trying a check in with yourself right now?

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