The greatest lesson I’ve learned over the years is that I need to replenish my cup in order to be of service to others (in a good way) and for my creative endeavors – like writing.
At first, there was a lot of resistance when I gave to myself. As a chronic people pleaser for years I would stop myself from going to a yoga class for some ridiculous excuses that I thought were 100% relevant. When in truth all of them were projections of possibilities that I feared.
Reconnecting to myself was 90% experimentation and 10% theory.
I bet you are thinking the same thing – easier said than done, yes! To reconnect to ourselves?
So let’s talk about this.
What does it even mean to reconnect with ourselves? If you can clearly answer the next question with ease and no hesitation, then you my friend have a heads up in this process. The big question – what do you like to do and love?
Because the number one thing I needed to replenish my energy was to find what I liked to do and do more of those things. There was a period of time when I had no clue what those things were – as I was lost deep in motherhood and had two kids under the age of three and was desperate for a little time to myself. But I had no clue how I was going to use that time??
It took a whole lot of trial and error to reconnect with who I am and I’m going to share some things you can do today to help you get to the bottom of what lights you up so you can bring more of that magic into your life.
First, let me share that most of my clients come to me with no idea who they are, they have a general sense that life can be better. But what they can’t answer is what lights them up, what makes them unique, or what they believe in – their truth.
Their answers are usually distorted. Years of conditioning, letting other people decide for them or they have kept themselves so busy they have forgotten who they really are.
So today, let’s reconnect you with your magic. The process is simple: we need to explore and reflect on past experiences in order to listen to our inner wisdom, distraction-free. Reconnecting to ourselves is a journey of relearning who we really are. It’s being able to articulate:
- Likes and dislikes
- Strengths and weakness
- Passions and fears
- What makes you unique
- Your beliefs and values
To find these answers we need to take time out to think, explore & experiment which can be a quick five minutes or an hour or two. The goal here is to ignite your curiosity and deepen your sense of awareness.
10 Ways to Reconnect with yourself Today!
#1 Time out in nature
Personally, this is my number one go-to for soul searching. There is something magical that happens when the earth holds my energy and I take in its beauty. The Japanese art of shinrin yoku is the practice of forest bathing – it’s proven that this simple practice of walking through a forest calms the nervous system. And when we calm our nervous system we relax and open up to new thoughts and possibilities. Being in nature can look like: going for a walk, a run, hiking a mountain, watching the sunset, rolling around a field after a picnic.
#2 Disconnect from your devices & apps
The majority of us are glued to our devices, we live in a modern world that is fast-paced. And when we take a closer look at how much time is spent consuming content, we might be a little surprised at what we might discover. The average person spends two and half hours on social media alone a day (source www.smartinsights.com)
When you are using social media, reading the news, or using apps – how does it make you feel? Are you addicted to your device?
When we change our consumption habits we can take back a whole lot of time that we thought we didn’t necessarily have due to endless scrolling. I would like to encourage you to be mindful of how you use your phone, iPad or your work laptop. Create some boundaries to support a healthy relationship with them to promote better mental health.
#3 Come back to the breath
Often we don’t even take notice of how we are feeling because we are so busy in the mind, overthinking the 1001 things we need to do that keep us busy. We flood our personal space with stuff and there is no room to even ask how we are. Connecting back to the breath is a great way to slow the mind in order to listen to its messages, feelings, and reflections.
I do a very simple technique that involves closing down my eyes, hands over my heart and taking three big belly breaths. In order to create a big belly breath we want to feel our breath as it moves down towards our abdomen – it should feel expanded (full). On the exhalation, let the air out slowly and relax your body allowing your belly to soften. I sometimes do this to a count of eight in and eight out, with three rounds.
This one is powerful if you are ready to see your feelings and thoughts on the paper. Through journaling, I have discovered some big home truths about myself. It helps me to express my big feelings and where they have come from. This usually then helps me to acknowledge some of life’s big questions – like what do I believe in, what do I value.
Our emotions are key here, when we feel a rise of emotion we should process this no matter if it’s good or bad. Why do feel this big pull and what does it mean for us?
Meditation is a great way to relax and calm the body. When we do this it helps our nervous system to repair allowing us to feel calmer. And when we feel calm we can focus on ourselves, we can think clearer and make better decisions.
Through meditation either guided, au-natural, or with music, we can change our frequency which allows us to explore our body, the emotions sitting there, and the tension – while acknowledging our thoughts. It’s a practice to heighten our awareness.
Now, not everyone can sit still for that long – so I use a form of moving meditation – this usually looks like me out for a walk where I simply just focus on my breath, and my steps while doing a body scan. Meditation doesn’t have to be seated – find your version – it’s about connecting with our breath, observation while allowing the mind to explore our bodies.
As a child, our lives were geared around play (for most of us). This is where we had no cares about stupid shit and focused our energy on having fun. Play looks different for everyone but the focus here is to do things that make you smile. Where you get lost in the fun with a big old smile on your face.
Play is spontaneous, it’s letting our imagination run a little wild, it’s about our ability to be carefree and make life fun. Having children has gifted me the ability to take myself less seriously and turn most things into a game, dropping into some dance moves while chatting to put smiles on their faces because I can. It brings me joy and it certainly makes the people around me happy when I play with them. Life is meant to be fun, so put a little fun into your day.
#7 Do something you love
My husband and I couldn’t be any more different at times but when it comes to doing what we love we both know that we need to prioritise these things. For him reading books, learning language, listening to and playing music fill his soul, while for me, I love being creative, doing yoga (yin style) and hiking.
When we do the things we love we bring joy to our lives. During these times we learn a greater sense of who we are, it cements our personality. If you have no clue what you love then start exploring – think back to when you were a kid, what did you love doing?
Were you the kid who was always drawing? Were you the kid who was socialising with all the kids – find ways to bring those things into your life – perhaps it’s a drawing class or even networking events so you can hang out with more people.
#8 Move your body
When we feel good in our bodies, we tend to feel good about ourselves. When we move it releases all kinds of stuff like tension, stored emotions and our mind funks. Moving is great for our bodies yes, but it is also good for our souls. Too often my clients feel stuck and stagnant and my first piece of homework for them is to incorporate movement into their lives. Being intentional about allocating some time to use their energy.
Now I don’t encourage everyone to take up running, we all move at our own pace, my husband loves to walk, it’s his medicine. Yet I like to climb mountains and dance like no one is watching. Sometimes I do a gentle yin yoga class to lengthen my limbs and other days I run for a minute walk for five. It’s about finding the way you like to move and connecting with your body. Perhaps you like group sports or fitness classes. Go for it. Find a way to love your body and learn what it needs.
#9 Be creative
#10 Surround Yourself with Beauty
Our environment has a huge impact on us. When our home supports us we feel a great sense of calm when we walk through the doors, yet when it’s a total shit show it leaves us feeling that way. Our homes are our sanctuary, so spend time playing around with what you need to surround you to make you feel like you – but also to make you feel safe, secure and at home. This doesn’t mean your whole house needs a makeover stat.
What I want you to consider is how the place makes you feel and what you could do to improve it – for example, we had a red wall in our old house, I hate it. It made me angry and frustrated, I wanted to avoid it all the time. So I spent $20 on a tin of paint and got rid of it. Yes, I owned my house but if I didn’t I would have filled that wall with artwork to cover it. Look at each room of the house and spend time loving it, get rid of anything that doesn’t bring you joy and find things that do.
Again, in doing this you will learn more about what you do and don’t like. Such a fun task – and remember it’s about creating a space that makes you come alive or asleep if you are working on your bedroom.
Those are 10 things you can do today to start reconnecting with yourself. I hope that you find them useful and if you have more to add to the list, share them below because I bet there are so many other ways we can reconnect back with ourselves – it’s about finding your own way, the one that works for you – the one that feels good!