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So How do I Look Inside Anyway?
You may have heard people tell you "look inside for your answers" or "all the answers lay inside you". You may be thinking that it would be great to look then, if only you knew how. I'm going to describe some basic ideas regarding looking inside yourself for the answers you seek, be that if you're an elf or another kind of otherkin, who you really are, what kind of otherkin you might be or whatever else.
The first thing is to really believe the idea that you can find answers about yourself by looking inside of yourself. There is a booming self-help book business, and many people turn to them for answers. But no book, no video, no other person really knows what's going on inside your head, your heart, your spirit. Only you know, because it's you. We are conditioned by society to look to other people for answers, we are told to listen to our teachers, our parents, our religion, a psychologist, doctors, and others. These sources are good for certain things, but they don't have all the answers, and don't know you as well as you know yourself. They can help you learn the tools you need to live your life, get your answers, help yourself and get things done.
The best way to get to know yourself is through observation and meditation. Observing one's self is simply noticing little things about one's self. You might want to keep a journal for this, so that you can see what you have learned over time. Things to pay attention to include:
Your likes and dislikes - color, music, texture. Do you like shiny things? Do you have a preference for wood, metal, or plastic? What foods do you like or dislike? Do you like animals, if so which ones? List anything that you have a preference for.
Things unique to yourself, physical traits, mental quirks, emotions etc.
What are you naturally drawn to? What do you naturally avoid?
What are your beliefs about things, religion, vegetarianism, spirituality, how the world works, people, etc.?
This is not a complete list, but a guide. The more you get to know yourself, the more you know what you're like, who else you're like and who you are not like. The object isn't to be like anyone else, but to see things that may give you a better picture about the nature of yourself, and your race.
Meditation is a very useful thing for this and for many other reasons, including stress reduction, clear thinking, and getting answers. It's one of those things that you won't know how useful it is until you've done it. Below is a sample meditation technique, and there are many books out there which have different techniques in them, as well as meditational tapes which have someone lead you through a meditative session. If anyone has recommendations, feel free to write me with them, and I'll list them on the FAQ's & Philosophy page.
There are two main meditative techniques that I know of, "no thought" and a guided meditation. A no-thought meditation is one where the goal is to clear the mind of all thoughts so that the inner voice can be heard. A guided meditation is one where we are directed through a scenario for varying purposes (such as going through a journey to Faery to meet the Fae). For those who have trouble meditating, I would say don't give up, it doesn't come to all on the first try. There are also books specifically for those who have trouble with this. Here is a simple no-thought meditation exercise.
First, pick a place where you will be comfortable and not be disturbed. Turn off the phones, pagers, and anything else which might distract you. You may want to play some quiet, even-volume music, there are many recordings available specifically for our purpose. Make sure it's not too hot or too cold. If you live with other people, ask them to please not disturb you during this time. Choose a position that you can comfortably hold for 20 - 30 minutes, be that lotus position, sitting in a chair, sitting on the floor or lying down. Some people fall asleep if they lie down to meditate (like I do), and this is good if you're meditating to try to relax and get to sleep, but is not preferable for this exercise.
Once you're comfortable, close your eyes. Get comfortable, work out any scratches or twitches you might have. Don't allow this to go on too long, the mind is skilled at trying to distract us and may create itches & wiggles for as long as we let it. Once you're settled, pay attention to your breathing, focus your attention on it. Focus on the air filling your lungs, enriching your blood, and then being exhaled. Pay attention to your heartbeat as you breathe. Start inhaling for 4 heartbeats, holding it for 2, exlaing for 4, and holding for 2. Repeat this until it becomes easy and natural. increase the amount of heartbeats, keeping the holding number half of the breathing in number. For instance, you can work up to breathing in for 8, holding for 4, out for 8 and holding for 4. Those who have years of experience can build up to 12, 6, and 12. Do whatever you feel comfortable with.
As you breathe in, imagine peace and serenity completely filling out. As you breathe out, imagine all stress and negativity leaving you. Once your breathing rythm becomes natural, let the thoughts in your mind gently out. When a new thought comes in, acknowledge the thought without thinking further about it, and gently push it out of your mind. If you like, focus on a simple mental image such as a flame or a sphere. You could also focus on music, if you have it playing. As your mind becomes more relaxed and still, no more thoughts will interfere. It is at this point that you can hear your inner voice, if you are quiet and just listen. Don't listen for anything in particular, if you are quiet you will hear.
At this point, you can choose to just listen for whatever your inner voice has to say or you can focus on a particular question. Try to ask open questions such as "what do I think about (topic)" or "what makes me happy". Try not to ask questions that only have yes or no answers like "am I an elf?" A better question would be "what do I have in common with elves?"
To summarize, the way to find out if you're otherkin, if you're elven, elenari, or anything else is to look within. Meditation and self-observations are good ways to find out more about yourself, and what you are. I hope this is helpful, and any suggestions on it are welcome.August 25, 2001
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