A lighthouse beacon is just a pointer. It is no substitute for navigation skills.
That means that nothing outside of me is directing me as I look for my truth.
Even the four questions and turnarounds are just pointers, pointing me back to myself, pointing me to look where I hadn’t thought of looking. The four questions and turnarounds are a huge help in self-inquiry.
But the moment I rely on them without thinking—without checking in with myself at each step—that is the moment when I am no longer doing self-inquiry.
Instead of seeing the turnaround as assistance in the process of self-inquiry, I am elevating the turnaround to the status of “teacher” or even “dictator.” Instead of checking with myself to see if what I’m finding is true for me, I’m back to the old way of “trying to do it right” and following “others” blindly, which is a million miles away from true self-inquiry.
If a turnaround points me towards something that seems off to me, or that makes me feel more stressed, my self-correction mechanism kicks in and I notice that it doesn’t feel right. This is when I stop and look more closely.
This feeling could be due to three different reasons:
1) The turnaround is off – sometimes they just are. In this case, my self-correction mechanism caught it. Hooray!
2) My understanding of the turnaround is off – I may just be interpreting the turnaround in a way that doesn’t feel right. Is there a different interpretation that fits both the turnaround and my experience?
3) I’m up against an entrenched belief I have about life – I will feel resistance if a turnaround stretches me out of my comfort zone. I usually have to sit with turnarounds before I can stretch enough to meet them completely. It is a process.
Do I honestly see the turnaround? Or am I faking it? Or am I rejecting the turnaround out of hand? All of these are possibilities. But the only way forward in self-inquiry is to keep landing on my honest experience.
If a turnaround stretches me and I honestly can find something bigger than what I had originally seen, then wonderful. But if my honest truth is that I don’t resonate with a turnaround, that’s fine too. I’d rather be honest about it, and maybe spend some more time considering it from different angles.
My only job is to stay true to myself as I do my work. When I do that, I can navigate anywhere, using turnarounds as clues while I find my own way.
For me, self-inquiry means there is a little question mark after everything—even after every turnaround. The question, “Is it true?” is sitting there after everything, inviting me to get in touch with my experience.
In self-inquiry, everything is up to me.
Go deeper in your work as a part of my Inquiry Circle community.