Carlien never made a truly conscious decision about her life, until she was 30 years old. Instead she consulted the "Little Book of Expectations" for every choice. It determined what job she did, who she dated and even how she dressed. Everything was prescribed in that little - imaginary - book.
Once in a while Carlien feel a nagging in her gut that something wasn’t right, but she was an expert at ignoring it. Little did she know this nagging feeling was her intuition. And your intuition is something you can not ignore for long. One day, that same feeling started up again, a 100 times more intensely. Instead of a nagging it was now a roar. No way to escape it. Carlien was forced to close her laptop in the middle of a meeting and drove out to the seaside. She spent the rest of the day there, thinking about life and what she wanted out of it. By 4 AM she had found mental clarity about what was really right for her. It was Carlien's first day of introspection ever. Fastforward to today, Carlien has dedicated her life to helping people find mental clarity through introspection retreats.
Introspection vs Expectation
Introspection is the skill of taking the time to turn inwards to find out what is right for you. Unfortunately, most of us have been taught to rely on external opinions more than our own truth and so we make decisions based on our own Little Books of Expectations, that we carry around all the time. It's a heavy book that weighs us down until we feel as small as a raisin - and as shrivelled up, too.
Introspection helps to define how you want to live without the influence of other people. Just like any skill, it needs some practice, but once you get the hang of it, introspection will be the key to mental clarity for the rest of your life. It isn’t hard at all.
How does introspection work?
Doing introspection is simple. But it does require a bit of discipline and the courage to have an honest conversation with yourself.
- Carve out time alone, in silence. This is crucial. We recommend three days, without your phone.
- Let the superficial thoughts in your mind settle.
- Ask yourself deep questions and take the time to find the real answer.
- Accept your truth. Don't judge what comes up, even if it’s a surprise to you.
- Use those insights to redesign your life.
You are the only person who can really decide whether you live by the little look of expectations or walk your own path. I prefer to shape my own life. If you do too, start with making time for introspection.
Watch the interview with Clarity Kit co-founder Carlien here if you wonder why you should make time for introspection.
If you need guidance for your first introspection retreat, check out the Clarity Kit. It's the DIY introspection retreat you can do in your own space and at your own pace, with guidance based on years of experience with organising introspection retreats.