I live in two worlds, and I hope you do too. We tend to put much attention on the outside world, and in a way, we are to. After all, we have so many senses engaging with it: we can see it, smell it, taste it, hear it, and feel it.
But if we withdraw from our senses just a bit, dare to close our eyes, and stay still, we get in touch with another world: the invisible, intangible, inner world.
Our values, dreams, the calls from our hearts, our deepest feelings, drivers, and desires.
Now, what does that have to do with discovering your potential?
Our greatest power is our capacity to create and change, and our inner world is the seed that creates everything we experience in the outer world, collectively and individually. These two worlds are actually one.
Everything there is in this world (besides nature itself) was first a thought in the human mind. The chair you are sitting on, your clothes, highways, planes, the educational and democratic system, and the market economy, they are nothing but human creations. They don’t exist in the natural world, and they all came from the mind of a human, just like you and I.
Look around you, in your own home, your own gadgets — they all came from an artist, an engineer, a product designer, a friend, you name it. They all started in human thought: a concept, invisible, intangible, in someone’s inner world, that was then sketched, prototyped, tested, articulated, and acted on.
The outer world is the physical manifestation of the inner world, collectively constructed, by each and every one of us. You built the school, and I baked the cake.
Despite how obvious this is, it is easy for us to neglect our power over our own lives, and the power of our will and mind.
This applies to everything. From furniture, businesses, and elaborate dishes to the quality of our relationships and our fulfillment in life.
We are the creators — first and foremost, of our own lives.
Thoughts convert into words, into actions/habits, and finally bring material results. No different than that small seed that if nurtured well gives birth to a tree that can bear fruits season after season.
Yet, all we see is the chair — and an apple detached from the tree that gave birth to it.
Living in the attention economy and with so much stimuli around us, it is easy to forget about the inner world. Still, it never seizes. What happens, unfortunately, is that we are unconscious of what is going on within us, and what we are doing as a result of that — but we still have thoughts and emotional reactions that are constantly creating our reality.
Our lack of consciousness only means we are not aware of what we are creating, and therefore we are often not aligned with our best interest. And so, we replicate patterns and what is already there, in autopilot. That is how we continue with the statuo quo — except, we don’t have to.
Our outer life is a manifestation of what is in us, whether we are conscious of it or not. Change what is inside of you, you will change what you live outside of you as well.
Your current life is a result of the seeds sprouting in you now. For instance, when we feel utterly alone, it is easy to create more of that feeling — we amplify it. And, when we are loving and open-minded, we bring more of that love and possibilities into our lives.
That’s why when we want more love but are living in fear and in scarcity, not giving or sharing our own love (even to ourselves and friends!) it becomes impossible to actually experience love in our lives. Everything begins within us.
If you want something different, consciously change what you are nurturing within yourself first.
Practices like meditation and mindfulness are there exactly to teach us to connect further to our inner worlds — and, through that, change our outer world.
“Every man lives in two realms, the internal and the external. The internal is that realm of spiritual ends expressed in art, literature, morals, and religion. The external is that complex of devices, techniques, mechanisms, and instrumentalities by which we live. Our problem today is that we have allowed the internal to become lost in the external.” Martin Luther King Jr.
Point of Balance
Neglecting our inner world makes it easy for us to lose our balance when the outside world hiccups. We forget that we are the ones creating it, in the first place.
If we live constantly for the outside, chances are it is not that easy to find the silence, love, and spaciousness that is in all of us — all of which nurture our creative/empowerment processes.
Total focus on the outside takes us to live forever reacting to the outside, as if our balance was under attack. All it takes is for John or Mary to say those bad words and our world shatters. We read one bad news in the newspaper and our day falls apart. This is how we become prisoners of external stimuli, instead of finding freedom in ourselves. Also, this is how life becomes highly dramatic.
When we don’t nurture our inner world, we are 100% at the mercy of what is outside of us — if everything outside is fine, we are fine. If things outside are not fine, we are not fine.
For a peaceful life, it is the silence within that is brought outwards. Live from within.
We live our lives as if we were ships anchored at sea. As we live, we learn that this world is anything but stable — everything changes. And so our ship loses its balance.
However, it is possible to anchor our being in itself — in a weird metaphor, this would be to say that the anchor of the ship doesn’t actually need to be cast at sea.
We are the anchor, for we are the creators.
As long as we don’t know who we are, as long as we don’t understand and embody our potential, we look for safety outside.
See, understanding our power at a conceptual level doesn’t cut it. What makes the difference is to actually embody it — live based on it.
We are our own safety. Our anchors are our ability to trust life, ourselves and our capabilities, to love life and ourselves, and to know that we are bigger than any of our problems.
Change, Change, Change
Things need to change. Stability is not a good ground for learning and expansion. Things have to move — which allows for learning and growing.
Change allows us to experience more of ourselves, and see different sides of us and our potential.
This requires embracing the seeds of our inner world, and our ability to constantly create anew.
Creation can be unconscious — but as long as we are alive, it never seizes.
Consciously creating is work, and it takes time. Seeds don’t become strong trees instantly. Yes, it can be exhausting. It is a work of love — caring, and nurturing. It is a work of devotion — to life, and to ourselves.
Nurture Your Inner World
Living in a state of busyness and worry about the outer world is not fertile soil for a new loving vision — it just creates more of things as they are.
What is supportive is creating spaciousness in our lives, so we can stop getting caught up.
Whenever I say this, I always hear back “but I don’t have the time”. Remember, as creators, we create space for ourselves — first, in our minds.
It doesn’t even need to be that much time at first: intentionality is what matters most. Two minutes between two meetings in your calendar to ask yourself why are you doing what you are doing next can do wonders. Another example is to take five minutes as you lie in bed at night to contemplate the best moments of the day — and the not-so-good ones, to create awareness of what you want more of, and what you want less of.
It is about the creation of a new habit. A habit of a conscious breather. Changing habits demands energy to break inertia (especially when we keep repeating to ourselves we don’t have the time like a broken record, or when we don’t see ourselves as worthy of the time).
Saying “I don’t have the time” is a way to not change anything — and not have to look into things we don’t want to see. I’ve had so many clients that panicked when they started giving themselves time for they did not know what do to with it — and this is a painful (and normal) realization.
Your current inner world is the seed of the life you are living right now.
To change your outer life, change the seed that is sprouting within you.
Nurture silence, so your inner world can make itself heard — let yourself breakthrough. Nurture yourself.
Live from within — and the outer world will follow.
How do you want life to be — and how can you redirect your thoughts and actions towards it, even if just a bit, right now?
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