Introspection - How to?
This is a short focused note on introspection. There are likely quite a bit of information that exists. This note is about a process that I use, and have found extremely useful. This is also based on a few requests on "how to introspect" that have been posed.
Step 1. State purpose - useful to have a standard purpose statement.
(Example: The statement I use is, "I am keen to introspect and learn the truth about myself, for my progress. I introspect with awareness and willingly accept all thoughts that come during this process." Add anything that comes to mind at that time.)
Step 2. Accept the state of mind that exists (SILSA is very useful)
Step 3. Introspection. Useful to:
Keep your eyes closed.
Relax. Yes! relax.
Become aware of your breath and breathing; follow the air from the tip of your nostrils into your lungs and back. Might be "funny" at first, and keep at it.
Trust yourself. Especially when in doubt, trust the process, and yourself. The answers WILL be found.
Whatever thoughts come up, become aware. more importantly, become aware of the emotions associated with the thoughts. Aim to be specific about the emotions. The more aware one becomes and is able to differentiate between emotions, the more aware they become of themselves. Most people tend to not delve deeper. Anxiety, Fear, Apprehension, Worry, are all from the "fear" category, and very different from one another. Being able to distinguish each, is useful.
Have pen & paper handy to make notes of anything relevant
Let the thoughts come
Be aware, especially emotions linked to thoughts. Anything that makes you cringe or flinch or want to be distracted is important to make note of.
Step 4. Make notes of everything that is relevant. Trust yourself. if something keeps coming up, repeatedly, be aware. it is a message.
Step 5. Let the learning happen by itself.
Step 6. Accept whatever lessons are learnt. Think about how any behavioural changes could be brought about, if needed, to implement the learnings. Start thinking about who else could help in this. A person does not need to know all answers. Knowing someone who could help find the answers is as useful and helpful.
Remember: Introspection is about knowing oneself, and not a destination. There is no cause for shame, guilt, blame, anger or any of those. This introspection is mostly about the past and nothing can be done about it, except learn and make changes or corrective action. It is a journey. And the journey consists of accepting what one finds - and the more one becomes aware of anything that they think is not useful, might disappear. And that which they find is useful, might multiply. Be aware. Be happy. be healthy.