By stepping to the right of our left brains, we can all uncover the feelings of well-being and peace ~ Jill Bolte Taylor
Different from intuition, which is about awareness from a ‘hunch’ or ‘gut-based’ knowing, the process of insight focuses on observation and inquiry in order to bring understanding and clarity to problems or situations in your life. (Why is it that every time I interact with this person, I feel exhausted?). The insight that resolves such a question can be experienced as a sudden moment (aha! experience) of clear understanding or can be a knowledge that reveals itself after a prolonged inquiry (I see that this person is draining my energy. No wonder I feel exhausted when I am around them!).
Insight also has a layered quality to it that reveals deeper and deeper levels of understanding as the inquiry becomes more in-depth.
3 Ways to Access Insight
Mindfulness – Mindfulness exercises such as spending quiet time observing nature, studying works of art, or reading can help hone observation skills and generate access to deeper levels of consciousness within you.
Meditation – Meditation offers the potential for a calm, clear and deeper view of a situation that is untouched by the complications of your personal stories. Developing the mind through meditation can build a space for insight to arise in response to a question.
Breathwork – The breath is the connection between your mind, body and spirit that carries your awareness deeply into the cellular memories and trauma held within your being. With each breath cycle, the breath takes you closer to heart, thoughts and memories, some of which are known to you and some that are forgotten. It is here that memories of life experiences or snippets of memories can generate ‘aha’ moments of insight that help connect the dots to issues that may have been unable to resolve or understand.
What blocks Insight and Prevents Breakthroughs?
- getting side-tracked by the process of the inquiry rather than keeping focused on the insight you seek
- rushing through the process expecting the answers to magically appear on command rather allowing the answers to unfold and not be forced.
- assuming that the insight is the end of the process when in fact it is the beginning of applying the understanding to actions in life. If, for example, you gained insight about the person who is draining your energy, you must follow through and take some action to set boundaries, end the relationship etc. You may choose to continue the relationship to learn how to be with such people in your life
7 Steps to Developing the Skill of Insight – Try them!
- Be an open, non-judgmental and patient observer of whatever you want insight on. It takes time and willingness to see something different in order for insight to be accessed.
- See the problem with ‘beginner’ eyes not as if you know it or assume you understand it already
- Continually inquire what you are seeing and feeling and what the meaning might be
- Consider that the resolution of the present situation requires access to the problem’s origins. (That energy vampire in your life may have been attracted by your lack of boundaries or your childhood belief that you were a victim)
- Look at the big picture of the issue – perspective and context can invite deeper insight and awareness. (Perhaps it is time for you to learn to say ‘no’ to those who ask too much of you; you might even teach others what you learned)
- Willingly let go of any assumptions about the situation in order to get to the deepest truth about it. (You might believe you are less than the person who exhausts you or that it is your duty to keep them in your life because you may feel responsible for them)
- Be open to the pieces of the puzzle suddenly coming together. Insight can work in a flash as well as through a consistent process of inquiry. (That draining person may say something that turns on the light of your insight – ah! They are draining my energy right now. They are so needy)
What’s in it for you?
In the end, honing your insight skills will diminish the stress of bumping into situations that harm you or that do not enhance your growth and well-being.
Being able to use your insight into all aspects of your life will change how you relate to others as well. With a greater understanding of yourself comes increased empathy and awareness of others’ issues too.
Insight is the seed for creative thinking and out-of-the-box problem-solving. Trusting that insight is available as a tool in all situations reduces stress and anxiety around dealing with problematic situations in life.
The ability to identify what truly matters and is important is a key outcome of developing insight. It is the means by which inner peace and high confidence can be reached.
Insight joins your conscious awareness with the deepest knowing of your soul and higher self and is the means by which you discern what truly matters and is important. It grows new perspectives, delivers confidence and promotes inner peace.