No matter who you work with as a guide, mentor or coach, no matter which courses you take or books you read that impact self-awareness, ultimately you are on a journey of self-discovery and progress at your own pace. Ponder these ten tips to deepen self-discovery with little or no money:
1) Look beyond traditional education. Whatever it is you think you wish to learn or do, be aware many ways exist to obtain some insight for free. Explore newsgroups, meet-ups, instructional Youtube videos. Interview people, attend public lectures by those who have done it. The avenues are endless.
2) Nurture a creative art. This is a way to unleash what cannot be said in words. This is not about expressing it to an audience or gaining approval. Its about translating inner knowing, revealing things and growing to trust yourself. Pottery, weaving, painting, design, dancing, knitting, or any combo of creative activities. Whatever gets the juices flowing. Do it.
3) Go on a group excursion in nature. This could be anything from a bus trip and picnic lunch in a local park to a hike, extended canoe trip, mountain climbing or more rigorous trekking. Join a regular birdwatching group or walking group. Stillness speaks. Interaction with new people can be suprising.
4) Research the mystical. This could include things like reading, watching films, going to an ashram, exploring meaning in night dreams, or taking up a spiritual internship with a mystic or shaman. Whatever it entails, ponder what enlightenment is and what it is to live life more fully.
5) Travel. Put yourself in situations where you need to act on your feet. You could volunteer for an organisation, find a job abroad, be a live-in nanny, hitchhike or take your motorbike through new territory. Whatever you choose, experiencing a different culture, learning a language, or fending for yourself in a foreign place allows you to see life from new vantage points.
6) Change your job or career. Step outside the familliar. Check out want-ads. Try out for community theatre. Identify transferrable skills, new priorities or an inner longing to do whatever you have been postponing. Now is the moment.
7) Face a fear. Whether its public speaking, sky diving, being more assertive or expressing yourself with more honesty to people in your life, take steps to show yourself that fear is an illusion that begins and ends in the mind.
8) Be entrepreneurial. You could start your own business, offer to be an apprentice or intern to test the waters or simply be more pro-active in different ways in your life. Consider Jon Bon Jovi who started a restaurant where you give back in time or effort to the place rather than pay for the meal. Imagine the possibilities. A limit only exists when you believe in it.
9) Take a break. Take a year off from what you regularly do or had planned to do. This could be a gap year from school, a sabbatical from paid work, time to yourself away from relationships, a multi-month hiking trip, or maybe you join a crew on a ship sailing to a foreign desination. See what unfolds as you trust the universe. Realize everything comes together.
10) Write. Be it a diary, journal, blog, newspaper editorials, an email newsletter, contribute posts to a Facebook or other community group. Discover what the power of words reveals.
11) Meditate. Explore different meditation practices and listen to the wisdom of silence more often. This is the way to rediscover what true listening is. Its a practice humans tend to be conditioned away from.
12) Be an 'initiate'. This hard-to-define term implies a person who, through intense inner work, achieves enlightenment, illumination, and selflessness to work wholly out of the spiritual world for the sake of the world and humanity.