How to Explore Your Inner Self by Looking Outside

Writer: Farah Raafat

Editor: Khaled Mohamed

Have you ever considered looking for inspiration in the animal kingdom? Or in the clouds? What about a flowing river? I know it sounds ridiculous, but bear with me!

We were all created by the same hand, weren’t we? So, there must be an inborn connection between us and our surroundings. If you’ve ever read “The Alchemist” by the genius Paulo Coehlo, you probably still remember how he perfectly described the “immersion of the soul into the universal current of life”. That’s exactly what I am talking about. Our soul is basically inseparable from the “Soul of the Universe” in a supernatural and awe-inspiring manner. There’s a universal language that allows you to learn literal life lessons from a bare, uninhabited desert or a harmonious bird flock. And that is simply beautiful.

Now back to the topic: life coaches, poets, and motivational speakers preach about self-discovery all the time. Gottfried Benn, a German poet, even wrote a poem trying to defame traveling because “embarking on inner journeys is much more important”. But aren’t those nothing more than empty phrases? They are urging people to discover themselves without giving them a manual.

So, here’s a manual that worked for me: In order to discover your soul, learn about the Soul of the Universe first! Look for the metaphysical behind the physical. Look for a lesson you can learn from ants, or from a growing tree. You will without a doubt see yourself in so many things you initially thought were trivial.

There’s a great quote that says “Collect your metaphors and treasure them”. I came across it two years ago and held onto it to improve my writing skills. But the more I treasured it, the more I found a solid pattern. I cracked the code of how I interpret things. And trust me when I tell you there is no better feeling in the world!

You too need to crack your own code! Observe. Observe. Observe. And while doing so, ask yourself random questions that seem superficial, yet find deep answers to them. What’s your favorite color? Why? No, not because it matches your skin tone. The other rich, deep “Why”! When you look at the waves, what do you see? Because it’s definitely not just the waves! When you see kids jumping on a trampoline, what do they remind you of? What is an object that is an embodiment of fear for you? Which one of joy? If you were a plant, what would you be?  

So many questions just popped up in my head and so did many in yours! And in their answers, you will, I assure you, find yourself.