Ann Vanino
4 min readSep 15, 2021

During the pandemic, I have spent more time alone with myself than ever before. I was uncomfortable at first. Over time, I began to see more of the rich world that lies within me.


Years ago, the movie Fantastic Voyage took us on a science fiction adventure inside the human body. Our eyes were turned inward to the miracle of the body and new ways of seeing it. Also within us, lies an emotional and intuitive world waiting for us.

A voyage within usually begins with silence — quieting our minds and bodies so that we can encounter the world that lies within us. Once there, we see new dimensions of ourselves that can enhance our lives in immeasurable ways. We see the roots of our emotional feelings and upsets. We have time to examine them. We access the source of our imagination and can give it free reign.

Our intuition lies within. It is a great guide that we can rely on once we learn how to access it. Our inner bodies often manifest what is going on within us. It may be an ache or pain, rooted in upsetting emotions or occurances, trying to get our attention.


Many times, the openings we encounter exist outside of us. What about the openings that come from within? They may be a nudge that pushes us in a certain direction — an interest in something new, a feeling that a person we meet may have somewhere to lead us that is worth pursuing — or a feeling that something we are doing is not serving us.

Openings found within are of a different nature and texture. They are often quiet and they may, initially, be small both in their impact and their nature. It could take a lot to even see them. However, they run deep and have no less value than the openings found outside us. They reach a part of us that the outside world cannot.

Openings within wait for us to see them and to learn how to find them. They are not visible when we are in the midst of distraction, noise, denial, unbalanced emotions, fear, anger or stress. They ask us to seek them from a centered place, quietly and steadily. They offer us change of a lasting and powerful nature.


While openings from outside of us must be pursued, the seeds of openings within must be cultivated. They lie in our inner selves, not in our outside world. They may not be ready — right now — to manifest in our outer world. They may need us to adjust our inner energy, emotions or mind before they can grow. They may need just the right timing before they can manifest.

Once we recognize them, we can cultivate openings within with our attention and focus. We can use our emotions and minds to explore their meaning in our lives. We can nurture them by acknowledging their existence and identifying what they need to grow — perhaps developing a talent we have, delving deeper into a subject or healing something that is holding us back.

The cacophony of life easily distracts us from looking within, much less finding the openings that lie there. Making space in each day to go inside ourselves quietly increases our ability to find openings within. Balancing our lives aligns our inner and outer energies, making it easier to go within. Being in nature, for many of us, smoothly brings us within.


As we learn to cultivate what lies within, openings multiply. We have another place to search for them. As we learn to cultivate them, we can see them more clearly and know what needs to be done. This is a very personal and private experience, not subject to interference from what lies outside of us.

Openings from within are of a different nature. They may heal us, allow us to grow spiritually, calm and mature our emotions or allow us to access our higher selves. They may manifest in the outer world in the sense that we bring our new selves out into the world and their effects are felt there.

When openings bloom from within us, they are precious and powerful. They are to be treasured. And we are to be acknowledged for finding and cultivating them. Openings from within can lead to profound changes for ourselves and the world.

I have yet to search for openings within myself and I welcome this adventure. I see the difference in their nature and sense they can be transformational in my life.

photo: Stefan Keller,



Ann Vanino

Writer and career/new directions coach living in the High Mojave Desert of southern California. Author of Chrysalis: Personal Transformation From The Inside Out