We live in a society that has become accustomed to detachment. Detachment from each other, from ourselves and the world around us. Floating from one thing to another always running on empty. How often do we find ourselves or the ones around us saying, “I don’t have time to think, or eat or sleep?” Sadly this has become the “norm.” Chasing something we never really catch up to. Always behind at work, school, home life, never slowing down enough to rest, to reconnect. We are so busy running we lack the time to ask ourselves, “What am I feeling? What do I need? What is it I want?” Asking those questions and having the time and space to explore the answers can seem far from possible most days.
I know this feeling of disconnection all too well. It was last year when I hit “rock bottom” that I finally gave myself permission to stop and sit with what I was feeling and experiencing. It was during this time I began therapy. It was by far one of the best things I ever did for myself. It was in those first few sessions I faced some hard truths. There I was sitting in my third session when my therapy asked me what seemed to be a simple question, ” What is it that you want? What is it that makes YOU happy?” For the first time ever in my life I didn’t know what to say. I was completely speechless. How could I possibly not know who I was and what I wanted? How could I be so disconnected?
So how can we reconnect to ourselves and our authentic truth? How do we find the time in this busy world to explore the answers to these very important questions, so we can begin to create the life we truly want and desire? Here are some ways that helped me strengthen that bond to myself and find that deeper understand to my truth.
- Take 5 minutes a day to journal: This is something everyone has the time to do. It is best to do this in the morning before you start your day. Take a moment to ask yourself these questions and write down the answers in your daily journal. Ask yourself, “How am I feeling today physically, mentally and emotionally?” And then ask yourself, “What is it I need to do to help myself feel better today?” The answers can be simple, but make them as detailed as you can. Make your goals reasonable and attainable, so you feel like you are making steps forward in the right direction. Remember to take a few minutes at the end of the day to look back on what you wrote and see how your physical, emotional, and mental states have changed throughout the day.
- Get out in nature: This can be as simple as going for a ten minute walk or it can be as elaborate as taking a day trip to the mountains and going on a hiking adventure. Whatever you chose to do, go somewhere that you love, that’s quiet and away from the buzzing of the outside world. Wherever you find yourself take time to allow your thoughts to slow down so you can turn inward and connect with who you are outside of all the labels and pressures of the world. Not only does going in nature helps us reconnect to ourselves but it helps to strengthen the relationship we have to the world around us, to something much bigger.
- Take 5-10mins to meditate: Doing a meditations on connections can help to bring your focus inward. Find a guided meditation that really speaks to you and take a few moments to reconnect to your body, mind and breath.
- Practice yoga: You don’t have to be able to twist into a pretzel to be able to practice yoga. There are many different types of yoga and many modifications for people from all walks of life with physical limitations and different body types, making yoga accessible to all. Taking time on your mat allows you the safe space to explore how your body feels as you move from one posture to the other. It also allows for a supported place for emotions to be released.
- Practice mindfulness: Slow down enough to become mindful of what you are doing throughout the day. Take time to really tune into this human experience. Noticing the little things like the saltiness of the celery in your salad or the warmths of the hot shower. Reconnect to all your senses.
- Lastly, always find love and compassion for where you are at in this moment: Reconnecting to yourself can bring up some uncomfortable feelings and emotions. As difficult as this can be it is necessary for healing and personal growth. Give yourself permission to feel and experiences these emotions and thoughts with love and compassion for yourself, fully accepting yourself as you are.
These are a few key practices that helped me to reconnect to myself during my recovery. It was when I started to facilitate these daily practices I could begin to explore who I was in more depth, and discover the kind of life I truly wanted to live.
I believe healing this world needs to start with healing ourselves first. When we understand ourselves more deeply and find acceptance and love for this human experience we can begin to find compassion and understanding for those around us more easily. This is when we can begin to show up for the world in the most loving way.