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Melissa Portan MSW, MEd

Writer & Sexologist

Melissa is a 5th generation spiritual guide and healer who specializes in helping others find their own spiritual path. She is also a sex and relationship therapist practicing in NYC.

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What does “Look Within” mean?


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“Aferrado A Una Idea” by Andres Nieto Porras


What the (insert favorite expletive here) does look within mean? Often, this phrase comes across as cheesy, superficial, and something some stoner might say. Okay, so I’m not a stoner and maybe, I’ll admit, I can come across as cheesy sometimes. And to avoid being superficial, let’s look at what this phrase means because recently I’ve been saying this a lot (either through my answers to your questions or posts).When I first started my spiritual path I had no idea of looking within. All I wanted was to be a witch! Is that too much to ask? I wanted magic potions and maybe, just maybe, a flying broom. But as I studied more I realized that I couldn’t achieve anything without taking a look inside myself. Then I realized that I didn’t want to be a witch or a Wiccan. It wasn’t for me. And how did I discover this? I looked within!

Really what this fluffed up phrase means, and I say it is fluffed up because so many just throw it around haphazardly at any problem or situation as if it is a pan-answer, is awareness. Look within means being aware. I used to read articles or blogs with this phrase, get frustrated because the language was so confusing, referring to energy forms, spirits, astral levels, and so on. It is simple. It is not easy. Keep in mind that looking within, the idea of it, is simple, but it is not easy to do. For some, looking inside themselves comes more naturally, for others it is almost impossible.