Step 2: LOOKING INWARD
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
~ Mark Twain
The first part of the spiritual journey is focus on seeking your soul truth. “He who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matthew 7:8).
You are seeking truth, but it isn’t clear what you are looking for.
In my previous book “Walking in the footsteps of the Masters” I came to conclusion that our lives is being created on the foundation of our core value. In other words, the value that we believe in is creating the experiences we have. We don’t just believe in it, we living it, since it is part of our dharma. Therefore, you want to start your search by seeking your core value. From this reason, in chapter one you reviewed home values and their influences on your life, so we can start eliminate the values that aren’t part of your dharma.
In this chapter you are going to hone into the core value that creates your experiences, therefore, you should pay closer attention to your experiences. You are about to look inward, in order to access your soul truth. My teaching is helping you to sort all your values and see which one is the value that dominates your life choices and creates your experiences.
Before we get started, I want to explain important issue, I was asked many times: Do we have more than one core value?
If I will ask you to make a list of values that are important to you I am sure you can list a hundred of them. But I strongly believe that one value is going to be the stronger and dominate than others. Since I am founding my teaching on the journey of the Masters, I learned that the Masters had one core value that guided them into awakening. Therefore, I prefer to focus on one core value that its dominates your entire life.
The first clue about your soul truth is revealed to you in childhood. Children are in touch with their inner truth, and they make choices that are right for them. As you grow older, you begin to doubt your soul truth and lose yourself to conformity, assuming that if everyone agrees with a certain truth, it must be true. As a child, you don’t care much about conformity, and you stay authentic to your truth.
Let me refresh your memory. Think about a childhood experience, such as games you used to play, a hobby you were passionate about, or movies and books that you always felt compelled to go back to or activity that you love to do.
- Do you have a childhood memory, such as a dominant interest or activity, or a favorite movie or story?
- Ask yourself: What attracted me to it? Why was I obsessed with it?
- What was the belief or the concept behind this activity or movie?
Your adult life is very much affected by the natural tendency as a child. If you pay attention to these clues, you will understand better your choices as an adult. The childhood memory shows you the raw-material of your soul, when you first express interest in doing something that you still love to do; when you first discover a poem (or story, movie, song) that communicate the words of your heart and soul and ever since you keep reading similar materials, or flowing the same author since you soul aligns with this message. These kinds of clues leading you forward to discover your soul’s truth.
Most of us don’t remember a lot from childhood but we seemed to remember a feeling of being weird and misunderstood because of a certain interest or anything else. If you disconnect yourself from the emotional hurt and see what had distinguish yourself from the crowd and made you “weird,” you are on to something. “Weird” simply means unacceptable by the norm, but it also highlights your uniqueness. As a schoolteacher I mat a child in second grade that told me that he is Plutonian. He was very different kid who loves the Pink Floyd. Watching this kid was a pleasure for me, since he honored his own uniqueness.
Childhood memory is only one tool of looking inward. Next, you will learn how to distinguish yourself from the crowd in order to find the true essence of your soul.
Does It Look Normal?
We already know that normal means average behavior that is more or less acceptable. If you wish to be normal, you follow the social expectations to be like everyone else.
The first time you question the normal is when you experience something different outside your norm, which gives you an opportunity to see your norm in a different light. For example, if you have traveled to Europe, you know about the concept of “siesta,” which is a mid-afternoon nap. All of the businesses close between 2 and 4 p.m., and people go home to take a nap. In Israel, the afternoon break gives mothers an opportunity to go home, welcome kids from school and make them a warm meal. In fact, mothers are required by law to end their day at 2 p.m. In Israel, the concept of living is found in the values of family life, whereas in the United States, life is structured on the values of money and career, and days are longer and busier. A different norm indicates a different mindset. The question is what makes more sense to you and how do you see yourself connecting to either of these forms of living?
Evaluating your norm through the lance of new experiences is giving you an opportunity to see your home-values more objectively, without the emotional attachment. When you notice that the logic of the norm is not aligned with your logic, you would be able to entertain other possibilities that could be measured against our own truth. Take the time to identify the norm in order to learn: How are you programmed to think?
Here are the questions you should ask yourself:
* What are the most important values in my birth surroundings?
* What about this seems weird or not right for me?
* When did I first become aware of it?
* Why do I choose to pay attention to it?
Part of your growth is doubt. When you doubt the truth as it presented to you, you become thinker. You are able to shift your focus to pursue what you want and not what “they” want.
The next step is to compare yourself against your norm asking yourself – How am I different?
Make a list of your normal behavior through different situations in your past and see yourself thinking or reacting different from the crowd.
They are…. I am…