Inward bound: How adventuring inside can nurture your inner health and unleash wonder in your world.

We live in an age where people are obsessed with crafting their abs, their hair, their lips and butts and boobs – but how much attention are they paying to their inner appearance? Their inner health? Oh and I’m not just talking about your gut.

Mental health isn’t just about not being depressed. True mental health is so much more than that. It’s like tuning one of those old fashioned radios until you can hear your inner dialogue clearly. It’s being able to challenge thoughts that pop up into your head, pruning those that serve you versus the noise and distraction designed to tease and tempt you off your path.

I believe we all have a soul mission. It’s our job in this life to uncover it (easier said than done) and live and speak our truth while we do this. This is called “purpose” by some and when you’re “on track” delivering your soul mission, you will feel focus and passion and a level of energy like no other because you will be in flow.

Flow isn’t just reserved for elite athletes and CEOs – it’s something we can all access provided we listen to our intuition (tune that radio) and our heart. We can condition ourselves as humans to perform well on all fronts, we can practice and play and act out a whole manner of amazing tricks that are both impressive and feel somewhat rewarding – but deep inner satisfaction and happiness only comes when we are living our soul mission and in flow. Until you’re doing this, it’s just a really lovely cocktail of hormones (hello serotonin, oxytocin, dopamine!). These hormones are wondrous and by goodness can they trick you into thinking you’re on track and even in flow – the problem is, like any cocktail, the effects are short lived and the hangover may not be very pretty (and may take a while to show up).

How do I know all this? As a dopamine dealing wonder junkie, I’ve mastered the art of creating a whole stack of wonder in my life. I built a Wonder life. I had vision and I went after everything I could possibly dream of and worked with hubby to build it all out. We worked hard, we played hard. We travelled, we entertained, we drank all the aperol and all the fancy wine. It was only last year between a rather stressful house move, starting my consulting business, hubby unexpectedly getting the sack from a senior executive position and two small children robbing all the sleep from my life that I got so low I realised I was not in flow, on track or living my soul mission. Wow. That’s kinda hard to realise. It was like being hit by lightning. I’m living in this beautiful home in an affluent suburb in Melbourne. I have two beautiful children and a partner who loves me. I’ve launched my dream businesses and they are thriving. I’m pouring my heart and soul into everything I do and then it hits me, I’m not happy. Whoa.

Our happiness is our own responsibility – I truly believe this…. We must chase our dreams (not the dreams of others for us), we must tune in, we must do inner work, get curious and understand ourselves, our strengths, our passions, our obsessions, our fears, our desires, our hopes, our secrets, from here we can really start to listen. We can start to listen to our inner dialogue, to our heart, to our soul. Your soul isn’t going to send you an email with your mission in it. It’s not going to send you an envelope “your mission should you choose to accept it is…” either. You’ll get whispers and feelings, your head, heart and gut are there to help you… like a “warmer, warmer, cooler, cooler” sort of feedback system – people say “you’ll know” and it’s true. You’ll know when you’re on track because of that feeling of flow. Because of that car park you got out the front, the ease of connection, how simple the answers suddenly appear. Even if it’s a mountainous problem you’re facing, it excites rather than frightens you. I’m not saying you won’t feel fear… Fear is a feeling, a good one at that! It can warn you to impending danger… or it can remind you to tune in… “feel the fear and do it anyway” the rewards come next.

The first step to reconnecting with my flow was admitting I was unhappy. Admitting that I wasn’t on track and that some serious stuff had to change, I’m on the journey and each day I get amazing validation through feelings and thoughts that I’m getting back on track and getting into flow. It’s certainly a vulnerable and sometimes painful journey to be on but by god it’s worth it. Already I know this. I have moments of crystal clear clarity, glimpses of my mission, feelings that everything is going to work out. I’m awake. I’m alive. I’m feeling more on purpose and in flow than ever before, all from admitting I was unhappy. It’s like sometimes we are too afraid to feel the feels. We get busy following recipes, trying to be like them or look like that or do that thing or achieve that milestone.

Don’t spend all your time worrying about how you look or how ‘things’ look that you forget to tune into how you FEEL. How you think. How you roll! Don’t spend so much time on the outside that you neglect the inside. Let your inner workout begin and suddenly you’ll discover your soul mission, your passion, your purpose, your flow.

Some questions to start you on your inner work out:
  • What am I disappointed about in my life?
  • What secret thoughts do I have that I avoid tuning into for fear of the pain they may cause?
  • What is my wildest dream?
  • If a genie gave me 3 wishes right now to change 3 things on the inside of me…. what would they be?
  • When does time go really fast for me?
  • What does my favourite day on earth look like? If I only have one day to live how does it start? what am I doing? who am I with? where am I? what am I eating? how am I feeling?
  • What do people typically ask you for help in?
  • If you had to teach something, what would you teach?
  • What would you regret not fully doing, being or having in your life?

Ok you’re 99 years old and looking back on your life, which areas do you give yourself a 10/10 for playing full out and being 100% authentically you…(in no particular order)…

  • Relationship to self
  • Family relationships and Friendships
  • Career/Business/Work
  • Learning and personal growth
  • Fun & Adventure
  • Spirituality
  • Community
  • Sexuality
  • Romance
  • Nurturing the planet
  • Your purpose/soul mission
  • Body
  • Mind
  • Legacy

This is not an all inclusive list, what other areas would you like to focus on? What do you want to give yourself a 10/10 for when you’re 99? What is your long view for your life? A 99 year old who spent all their time worrying about how they looked may be sitting alone in a nursing home wishing they had read more books or worrying about all the relationships they weren’t fully present for. A 99 year old may be walking down the beach in excellent fitness wishing they had taken that risk in business or love instead of worrying so much about money. A 99 year old may be crippled, dreaming about all the places they wished they had been before their body failed them.

Have a long view. Think about your mental fitness, do deep and unrelenting inner work, get curious about your mindset, your soul mission, get inner fit and watch your life start to get into genuine flow.

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