It is exactly this connection to our most authentic self, our deep passionate core, that is the single most important connection we can cultivate in this lifetime. How else are we supposed to know what we want in life? How else are we supposed to leave our legacy for our children and show them how to be happy?
The problem is that we get busy. The problem is that it takes work. The problem is are complex human beings that evolve and transform, and it is hard to keep up!
For all these reasons, and more, we deny ourselves the attention and food we need to really thrive. When we thrive, we inspire others. By not connecting to our authentic self, we cannot reach our utmost potential.
But what can you do?
1- For starters, try taking time each day to "do nothing." Even five minutes. Just sit, or stand, and just breathe. Clear your head. Find a quiet moment, and just tune into yourself and listen. It is okay to hear nothing. Silence is good.
Go outside and breathe in fresh air.
Lock yourself in the bathroom stall at work, and be quiet for a moment. Stop thinking, and breathe.
With your kids safely preoccupied, lock yourself in your bathroom at home, and breathe.
Thoughts will come. Label thoughts as "thinking" and go back to your breath.
The key is to just do it. Just do nothing. And do it every single day.
2 - Through out the day, check into your body. Notice how your body is feeling. Where are you feeling more sensation? What does the area around your heart feel like? Try to become fully present in your body.
Do not judge or criticize. Just observe; take notice. Whatever you feel, allow yourself to connect with the sensation. Do not push it away or crave more of it. Just let it be what it is. Honor your body.
3 - Notice what brings you great joy. Perhaps there are things you do throughout the day that bring you joy. If there isn't anything that brings you joy though out your day, then seek out things that do. It could be as simple as burning a scented candle, or watching the birds out your window.
The key here is to find ways to incorporate these things into your life on a regular basis.
4- Try New Things. One sure fire way to get yourself out of a funk is to try new things. How else are you going to know all your like, loves or dislikes.
5- Visual Reminders. A great way to connect to your inner self is to find visual reminders of things that really "resonate" to you. Make a collage with these images, set up a corner in a room for them, or start a blog or a journal. The visuals can be of people that make you smile, words or quotes that you love, colors or symbols, images or trinkets.
6 - Indulge in your Passions. Need I say more?
I started this blog as a "visual and verbal" reminder to myself of the ways I am (or trying to) connecting to my own authentic self. It has helped me contemplate the ways I find joy and peace in my life, as well as helped me connect to my passion of writing. Already things are "falling into place" and I am able to see more clearly the paths I want to take in this life.
I made a deeper commitment to myself after my second child was born four months ago. I didn't want to wake up in a year or two and realize I lost myself in poopy diapers, patty cake, and an obsession for the best organic baby food. Instead, I wanted to be a living, breathing example of the passionate, sharp-minded, quick-witted, compassionate, loving and thoughtful woman that I knew I could be. I didn't just want to tell my children how they should live their lives. I wanted to show them.
To do this, I had to find a way to stay tuned into my true self. For me it meant yoga, meditation, and reconnecting to my joys and passions in life.
It has taken time and perserverence. Connecting to my inner-self is a daily effort that has required discipline. Some days I fail. Some days I am too busy teaching, or parenting, or uncluttering, or I am completely frazzled. But I always seem to pick myself up, and try again. Even if it is just simply plunking myself down on the living room floor, amongst the scattered toys and ignoring the dirty dishes long enough to get a few deep glorious breaths in.
After all, don't I owe it to myself? Don't I owe to it my husband and my children to be the best me I can be? Don't I owe it to my friends to be the best friend I can be? Yeah, I hope so!