Finding crucial connection with yourself in a busy world.
There will always be too much to do. Between traffic jams, work assignments, packing lunches, school functions, dating, or keeping an existing relationship alive, it can feel difficult to take time to be still with ourselves. Even though checking in with our own hearts is crucial to our well-being, we often demote this activity to the bottom of the to-do list. The cost, however, of de-prioritizing our relationship with ourselves is harm to us and those around us. If we do not know how we are doing and what is going on with ourselves, we cannot differentiate when we are reacting out of a pain trigger, instinct, intuition, fear, or love.
The better we know ourselves (where we come from, what makes us laugh, what triggers our anger, our dream for the world) the easier it is to surround ourselves with nourishing connections, to weed out what does not serve us, to love ourselves in all of our successes and failures, and to take corrective action when we make a mistake. It is a trap to think that another person can do this for us. No one else can know our heart as intimately as we can. Friends, lovers, coworkers, and partners might love and support us, but nothing can replace the critical task of knowing ourselves.
If we desire to build a stronger connection to ourselves, which is the personal center from which we connect with life around us, we must create rituals of solitude in our lives. In order to create this ritual, you need: yourself, space from distractions and electronics, a designated time, a quiet location, a chosen form of connection (i.e. meditation, movement, journal, letter writing).
Examples of when you could practice this ritual:
- between departing from work and arriving home
- first thing in the morning
- the last ten minutes of your lunch break
- after the kids go to bed
- in your car before you walk into work
Examples of what this practice could look like are:
- using a mindfulness app to do guided meditation
- practicing five minutes of deep breathing and body awareness in the bathroom
before you make breakfast, leave for work, or take your children to school
- attending a yoga class
- asking your partner if you can have the bedroom to yourself for ten minutes
and writing in a journal
- checking your body sensations during a traffic jam (where do you feel tension
and emotion in your body?)
- taking a walk after you get home from work
If you are a woman in our current society, you may feel that you cannot possibly prioritize yourself in this way. If you are a man, perhaps you have internalized the message that it is feminine and weak to "check in with yourself." If you have an underrepresented gender identity, perhaps you are influenced by those who believe you have no worth. If you can be rebellious enough to commit to yourself above your social programming, this practice could unlock what you wish to achieve in your personal and professional life. If you know how you are doing, if you are aware of what is going on in your life and heart, you are less likely to react unconsciously in your life, which leads to better relationships, clearer communication, and greater authenticity.
This process of connecting with yourself becomes even more important during times of transition where it seems the hardest to find the time, such as recent loss, pregnancy, new parenthood, career transition, or relocation.
Are you willing to commit to yourself and those around you by seeking higher self-connection? Can you begin with five minutes a day? What can you identify as the greatest obstacle to this practice? What ritual can you design to give yourself the sacred space for solitude?
If being alone with yourself is intimidating, worrying, or you have strong negative thoughts or images any time you try, you could benefit from a safe space to explore and shift patterns of fear or anxiety. If you feel we could be a good fit, please contact me at 971-231-7421 or email email@example.com
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