What happens when you do a deep dive on introspection and how can we keep coming back to ourselves when life gets busy?
The last few months have been somewhat frenetic for me. I moved house, moved back and forth between home and my parents (for various reasons), went to my first few in-person events, caught Covid, launched new ventures in my side-hustle… like I said, frenetic.
Lots of it has been exciting and fun (not the Covid part though, I admit) but I was longing for the dust to settle. Just as things started to slow again, I was asked if I’d like to try out a DIY introspection retreat from Clarity Kit and I felt an exhale immediately as I said yes.
When life gets busy, it can get complicated and noisy. For me, this tends to lead to a feeling of being a boat in a storm, totally at the mercy of the waves with no idea where I am or which direction I should be going in. What we need at this point is stillness and quiet. We need an anchor. Time to recalibrate and check in with our map before moving forwards.
This is what introspection can do for us. It gives us a chance to connect with ourselves on a deep level. I try to do some sort of introspective work daily, whether it’s writing in my journal, meditating or going for a short walk alone. Now and then though, I need to go deeper and this is what I got with the introspection retreat from Clarity Kit.
The idea is to take a weekend for yourself to go through the exercises and treat it as if you were on a retreat. The kit contains tips for nutritious meals and morning/wind-down routines to help facilitate this work and encourage ultimate self-care.
When I started working through the exercises, I lit my favourite scented candle and played some relaxing music in the background and told my partner what I was doing so he could give me some space. The exercises themselves take you on a clear journey, from establishing where you are now to facing your fears, recognising your strengths and identifying which direction you want to go. At the end, there’s an illustrated poster where you can reflect and calibrate everything you’ve uncovered, noting down the key points in one beautiful place.
As I finished, I looked back at my poster and felt an incredible sense of calm and reassurance. This deep dive revealed to me that I was on the right path. It helped me loosen my attachment to ‘success’ in its traditional form, recognising that success for me is fulfilling my purpose and being true to my values... and I’m actually already doing that.
It helped me turn down the volume of the outside world, of societal expectations, so I could finally listen to myself. I could take a breath and keep going, knowing that I’m going in the right direction.
Making this space for deeper introspection made me realise this is something I need to do more regularly. If you can relate, here are some ideas to help you make deep introspection a habit.
Decide how regularly you want to do a deep dive
Look at your current schedule and think about how often you could do this kind of introspection work. Try to find the balance between what you’d like in an ideal world and what is realistic with your circumstances. You might be able to make space once a week to do this, it might be every quarter. Experiment with regularity and remember the best way to keep up with a habit is to make it manageable.
Mark it in your calendar
Once you’ve decided when you’ll do your deep dive, make sure you mark it in your calendar. Imagine you’ve booked a place on an in-person retreat somewhere. You won’t be able to accept new invitations for that time, because you already have a commitment. It’s easy to think activities like this aren’t ‘important’, but this work is how we stay connected with ourselves, get clear on what we really want and ultimately feel more fulfilled. And that is important.
Communicate your plans
Be sure to tell those who need to know about your plans. This might involve, like me, asking someone you live with to give you a little space during this time or telling friends you’re busy that weekend when they ask to hang out. I know some people take things a step further by booking a short stay at a hotel to really feel those retreat vibes. This will all depend on what’s available to you, do what you can.
Set the scene
This is what can make the experience really special. Surround yourself with comfort, whatever that means to you. To me, it meant loungewear, scented candles, soft music, peppermint tea and dark chocolate. This work can be difficult, so it’s important to feel as safe as you can. Keeping your phone and any other digital distractions out of sight helps enormously too, try popping them in a box or in another room if possible (the kit I had came with its own box which I’m continuing to use!).
Something I loved about the introspection retreat I used was the prompt to go out and take a walk. Diving deep into what we want and exploring our inner landscape can be a lot, so taking time out now and then to just breathe and let what you’ve unearthed settle is so important. Schedule in breaks, make sure you’re eating and drinking enough, look after yourself - this may not seem like ‘work’ in the traditional sense, but it is a type of work.
Collate your findings
If you can, try to summarise what came up for you in a few bullet points. What did you realise when doing this work? What revealed itself? What do you need to remember moving forward? If you can, keep this list somewhere you’ll see it regularly as a constant reminder.
As the world seems to be reopening, it’s more important than ever to stay connected with yourself and to be intentional with your introspection. This means when storms come, you’ll have your anchor ready to secure you so you can check your map and get back on course.
If introspection alone isn’t quite cutting it or you’re finding it tough to make space for it, you may find it helpful to work with a coach. Each session offers a dedicated space to explore your needs and wants with the guidance and support of a professional. Learn more and find a coach at Life Coach Directory.