I sold my car a few days ago. I had this car for eleven years and it accompanied me through some very significant moments in my life: university days, first loves, first jobs, moving out of home, getting married, and having a baby. It saw my joy, my tears, my ordinary and extraordinary days. This car was a witness to my blossoming into who I am. It came to symbolise my independence and my youth.
The day after I sold the car, my mum gave me back two boxes that I had kept in storage at my parents’ place. The boxes held all my journals, photos and childhood mementos. It certainly feels like a time of letting go of the past and moving forward with new beginnings.
In the pursuit of a conscious life, I realise that everything is rich with symbolism. Our outer life is a reflection of our inner life, so when coincidences show up in the world, it is because we have shifted or moved forward in some aspect of our inner life. We must recognise the symbols and patterns that appear in our outer life as insights into our inner world.
To practice living a symbolic life, we can ask ourselves:
1. What patterns are showing up for me in my life at the moment?
2. What do these patterns reflect about my inner life?
For example, you might be faced with constant, unwanted work and responsibility, and so you need to ask yourself how you are putting pressure on yourself or expecting too much of yourself in your inner life. Is this coming from a lack of self-love or a belief that you need to persistently punish yourself in order to be worthwhile?
Or, you might have patterns where you need to constantly nurture others, so this is a symbol that you need to nurture yourself more.
Or, as in my case, you might have some significant symbols showing up that signify an end or a new beginning, which indicates that you are ready to start a new chapter in your life.
3. How can I shift these patterns in my inner life?
This next question requires some reflective time. If you are new to reflection or meditation, it may take awhile for you to tune into your intuitive mind, but the answers will come. Find a comfortable space to sit or lie in, and ask yourself, ‘What do I want more of in my life?’ After you mentally ask this question, allow your intuitive mind to offer up the answers. Follow the trail. Every thought is leading you to the answer.
For example, you may have an immediate thought like ‘I need to call that person from work back’ or ‘I need to do the washing.’ Instead of dismissing the thought, use it as an initial signpost from your consciousness, and go with it. Regardless of what your first thought is, ask yourself, ‘What’s underneath that thought?’ Keep asking these questions until you land on your inner wisdom. And you will. The insights will amaze you.
This gentle reflective practice is a useful way to bring us back to our inner world. Remember, the outer world is just a mirror of our inner world. The outer world does not have answers unless we are conscious of our inner patterns. If we want to see change in any area of our life, we need to start with our inner life first. We need to develop an intuitive dialogue with our inner world.