Exploration is really the essence of human spirit.
Frank Borman, Astronaut
around you since the first day of spring? Can you see and feel
how the Great Mandala energy has shifted? May 1st marked the
mid-point between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice. The
sun sets much later than it did at the Spring Equinox. It’s grown
considerably warmer outside (well, for many places that's true--
we're having a particularly chilly spring). At the Spring Equinox
new life was just beginning to emerge--sprouts poking their
heads above ground. Now, the Earth is alive with new life, with
blooming flowers and trees. We're so fortunate that the
restrictions we've felt over the past year are easing a bit just in
time for more outdoor activities and for people to come together
It's so wonderful to celebrate new life as we ride the current of
life opening to the new possibilities that are here to be felt,
experienced, and explored! May the warmth of Spring and the
springing forth of life bless you beyond anything you can
I invite you to celebrate the natural world today and everyday for
the rest of the year. Invest in your well-being as often as you
can by enjoying nature, even if it’s just a few minutes sitting by a
tree, feeling the warmth of the sun on your face, walking
barefoot on grass, or strolling in your neighborhood and
enjoying all the signs of spring that are bursting forth. Notice the
shifts in energy with each passing season.
Exploration and curiosity have been on my mind all month with
the energy that May brought us. May reminded me to welcome
the unknown, to nurture what's coming up in life now, the seeds
that where planted a while ago that are bringing beauty to life.
It's so delightful to allow my attention and energy to be drawn to
the beauty of nature all around me, to trust that there will be
more beauty to experience and explore.
Wholeness--the interconnectedness of all things. My love of
and connection to the natural world started when I was in grade
school. Every summer between second and eighth grades my
brother and I were "dropped off" at summer camp. Well, it wasn't
really summer camp--we spent our summers exploring our
grandparent's farm in southwest Georgia. Oh, those were
wonder-filled days! While my grandparents were busy with all
the work that comes with farming, I was free to explore the
fields, woods, and creeks on and around the farm. Besides my
brother, there were no other kids close by to play with. In my
solitude, I found (or they found me) three invisible (to everyone
else) playmates that I'd visit every day, spending hours
exploring with. Years later I realized that they were nature
spirits. Fortunately, my family was very supportive, if not
indulgent, of my daily reports about Miz Saniseets, Boggy, and
Gigy who showed me all the flowers, the animals, the birds, and
secret places where I explored and let my imagination and
curiosity run wild, where I could be fully myself--playful,
carefree, curious. Although I didn't know it at the time, they were
instrumental in opening my awareness to what the late Dr.
James Bugental called "inward searching"--the practice of
listening, in the moment, to what's going on inside of me --my
thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, memories and dreams.
This connection to the outer world started my inner journey of
The exploration didn't stop there. I'm a life-long learner...
Why is exploration important?
Therefore we must ... let ourselves be led by the inner thread of silence into the unknown, beyond where all paths end, —not once but continually.
It helps us understand and accept who we are and why we do
what they do, which improves self-esteem, communication and
relationships. As we travel the path of inquiry, we find that
there's an incredible amount of information that’s just waiting to
be explored, which is revealing itself all the time--if we notice.
We just need to pause and ask. Even a simple question like
"what did I notice about myself today?" reveals a wealth of
information about ourselves and where we are as we travel
along the path to remembering our Wholeness.
Travel is a wonderful metaphor for the most profound form of
exploration--self-discovery. Both force us to face our fear of the
unknown, which in turn can provide opportunities for growth we
never imagined. It's exciting to awaken our inner child, sparking
our sense of curiosity. These experiences provide a living
education that far exceeds what can be learned from a textbook.
Reading about exotic places or listening to a travel agent's
description of a beautiful beach, although lovely to hear about or
see on a brochure, can't match the experience of being there.
Even though reading about enlightenment or listening to a
spiritual teacher may inspire us and enliven our imagination,
they are only road maps, guides that point us toward the real
thing. These outer resources inspire us to explore a deeper
understanding of our self. Our journey is truly an "inside job".
Many of us don’t deeply explore who we are, our thoughts,
feelings, values, and dreams. We may just skim the surface.
Over the years, I've discovered (for myself and for clients) three
main challenges that arise and create obstacles to self-
1. We're busy--sometimes too busy for self-care. We're on the
go. Our to-do lists never seem to get done. It’s a real challenge
to pry ourselves away long enough from everything that's
grabbing our attention to take a deep look inside. If your life
depended on it (which I believe it does)--would you be willing to
invest 5 minutes a day toward just being with yourself? To listen
to what your still, small voice is saying?
2. Self-exploration takes energy. It's like working out--difficult at
first, then gets easier over time.
3. It can be difficult to heal from past stresses that keep us
stuck. Finding skilled practitioners who will help guide you
toward clearing stuck energy will smooth the path and provide a
safe space for exploration.
the scariest and yet rewarding personal growth work we ever
do. When we invest the time and intention toward self-discovery,
life starts to slow down and our awareness begins to expand,
time just seems to stop. These moments sweep away our
stresses and allow us to remember that just like the natural
world, we are whole, complete, and perfect.
This process of exploration and self-discovery has taught me a
lot about accepting myself and what is, enjoying what I have
and also what I don’t. This idea has taken me some time to
understand; awareness is always emerging. It's vital that we
break free from our limiting beliefs about ourselves and take the
time to explore what inward searching has to offer.
Like me, you may feel lost sometimes. And, so the search
begins. Thinking that we have a mission to find ourselves is
flawed because we are already found. Inward searching isn't
about finding yourself but knowing yourself, remembering your
Many Paths--One Destination
Are you feeling called to clear outdated beliefs that keep old
patterns and stories stored in your body and stuck in your
Are you ready to claim your authentic power and live in
alignment with your purpose?
If you feel drawn toward self exploration , it’s because there’s a
deeper YOU that’s ready to emerge.
Right now our deepest healing lies in our ability to peel back the
layers and make way for the new energy that allows our fullest
potential to emerge; that supports remembering our Wholeness,
our soul's calling, our purpose on the planet.
Your powerful journey of deep exploration and inner
transformation expands the light of your true, intuitive, authentic
There are many paths to discovering who you really are. Here
are a few tips to help guide you:
1. Invest time in being rather than doing. Life is busy and messy,
and we often forget to take time to relax. A good way to regain
connection with yourself is to meditate. Practice mindfulness,
inward exploration, in everyday life by noticing the present
moment, without judgment.
2. Discover what matters to you. What are you core values?
They help define who you are and who you aim to be. Use this
tool to help you explore your core values.
3. Find your "yum" and "yuck". Listen to what you say "yes" to
and what you say "no" to. What do you enjoy? What are you
interested in? Look back to the last thing that brought you joy.
Remember how your body felt.
4. Examine the story you tell about yourself. You can
consciously change the story about who you think you are.
5. Ask for help. Make connections. Co-create your community.
Your journey is an inside job, but it isn't solo, although at times it
may feel like it is. Surround yourself with loving, light-hearted,
like-minded people who support your growth.
Who Are You, Really?
The journey toward answering that question embraces both
discovering your true self and remembering who you are. It's a
lifelong journey. It doesn’t happen in one day or one revelation,
and it's worth the pursuit. When you remember your true self,
you know who you are, and your purpose--what you’re meant to
do in this life. For inward searching to be truly effective and life
changing, we must listen to what is going on inside of ourselves
while staying curious and maintaining an expectation of inward
discovery. This goes against our tendency to identify with what
we already know about ourselves and stop the exploration
there. When we have an expectation of self-discovery, we will
surprise ourselves with what we uncover, what we remember.
This Co-Creative Mandala, "Exploration" from photograph of a
rhododendron (symbol of spiritual understanding) reminds us
that we are on a spiritual journey that helps us remember our
Wholeness. No matter where we are on our journey toward
Oneness, there is a next level calling to us, unfolding our
greatest potential. Your work now is to release any blockages
that prevent you from fully knowing yourself. Self-discovery is
about self-love, most of all.
It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question.
In this simple, yet powerful exercise, I invite you to celebrate
"Exploration" and feel supported by your inner and outer
resources. Honor this powerful time of embracing the unknown.
This is a special opportunity to reflect on the powerful energy,
within you and as it's reflected in nature.
Give yourself plenty of time without interruptions to dive
deeply into this exercise. Meditate, journal, create and bless
your sacred space.
Make this exercise your own. Invest your time and attention.
As you sit quietly in your space, light a candle that welcomes
In a moment, when you are done reading through the
instructions, write everything that the Co-Creative
Mandala-"Exploration" makes you think of. Write how you feel
when you look at it. Write about what the associated chakras
represent (root, solar plexus, heart, throat, and crown)
and how that might be applicable to your journey toward
Oneness this year.
Close your eyes. Bring your awareness to your breath; just be
with your breath. Take a deep breath in. Breathe out. Take
another deep breath in. Breathe out. Notice the sensations as
you exhale—without judgement. Feel the body breathing. Bring
your body into stillness.
Open your eyes and bring your attention to the "Exploration"
mandala; allow the mandala energy to fill your heart; be with
whatever is there.
Invest a few minutes toward allowing the "Exploration" energy to
flow to and through your body. Imagine that energy bursting
through your crown chakra and extending far into the heavens.
Imagine the "Exploration" energy flowing through you and down
deep into the earth. Imagine it radiating from your heart and
extending out in front of you and behind you. Imagine the
"Exploration" energy is a radiant ball that encircles you.
Now, sit with this energy for a few minutes.
What about the "Exploration" mandala captures your attention?
Notice and Wonder--Something in me is feeling...
I wonder what it wants me to know?
Relax into your body and its quietness. Be with the energy, be
Here's the exercise:
This is a very powerful exercise to do with a trusted friend.
Often, having someone else present serving as a witness,
holding sacred space provides just what you need for deeply
exploring who you are. (If you're doing this alone, ask yourself
the questions and answer yourself out loud.)
Have a friend ask you the question, "Who are you?" (or ask
yourself "Who am I?). Then, without analyzing or thinking about
it, answer with the first thing that comes to your mind.
Remember, there are no right or wrong answers.
Your friend then asks "Who are you?" again. You again answer
with the first thing that comes to your mind.
Continue the process of asking and responding for about five
Once you've completed the exercise, invest some time in
journaling about your responses. What surprised you? What did
you notice as you were answering the question? What did you
discover about yourself? Ask your friend what they noticed.
Thank whatever Higher Power you call on, for supporting your
journey toward remembering your Wholeness.
What you will uncover may surprise you as you delve into
deeper levels of knowing who you are. You may start out by
answering with the roles you have assumed in your life (I’m a
dad, a husband, a therapist, a tennis player, etc.) then as the
exercise continues you may realize who you want to be but
haven’t yet become (an author, a singer, a gardener). You may
then move into thoughts and feelings you were not completely
aware of (a vulnerability or confidence you didn’t know you had).
The point is you will get in touch with the depth of who you are
as a human being.
Over the days, weeks, and months ahead, repeat this exercise
as often as you like.
Read your words daily. Ask the question again.
These self-discoveries can lead to feelings of excitement, as
you realize you can always open up to more of who you are. We
are never static human beings. The process of exploring and
learning who we are never ends. What a dynamic way to live!
Peace and joy to your exploring heart,