This past weekend, as I prepared to send my youngest son off on a plane to Mexico for a spring break vacation with his friend’s family, I noticed I had this anxiousness and tightness in my body.
I wasn’t thinking about it much, but when I finally got home after a busy Monday at the office, I had to sit for a minute and ask: What is this feeling about?
It is his first international trip without me, and even though I consciously felt so excited for him, somewhere inside I was having a hard time letting go.
If you find it a challenge to control your thoughts and feelings some days, you are not alone.
These types of feelings, thoughts, or body messages offer us a lot of information when we pay attention. The problem is, often we don’t. Our days are busy, bustling, and full of to-dos that can easily disconnect us from our true inner experience – body, mind and spirit.
When we ignore our inner selves, we learn behaviors to repress the more intense thoughts and feelings. This often leads us down the road to numbing, checking out, over eating, and often self-medicating in a variety of ways.
When we practice TUNING IN, we can actually give ourselves the space to feel what is occurring, give it time to make sense and tend to ourselves in the ways we need in order to free ourselves from the common pattern of repressing our truest nature.
Connecting with ourselves more deeply helps us to connect with others more deeply.
Understanding ourselves – our wisdom and our intuition – helps us to honor the same in another.
Thoughts have information
Feelings have information
Bodies have information
We need a language to understand the insights that come through our body, mind and spirit. This is the language that gives us permission to listen to our subtle bodies, and then take action based on our highest good.
Cultivating a relationship with our WHOLE self is the best relationship on which we could ever spend our energy.
Our true self is our path to happiness, harmony, peace and deep understanding of our fullest selves.
5 ways to TUNE IN
- Find Stillness
As you know, our minds can get quite cluttered, full, and busy. We spend so much time exploring and experiencing our outer world, our work world, our family world, that we are rarely called to get to know the universe within us.
Can you sit with yourself without any distractions? If you’re like most people, it’s probably been quite some time. Find a quiet space to sit, pause, and breathe. What does it feel like to slow down, and find stillness? If you are uncomfortable, you are in the right place.
Practicing slowing down and finding stillness is often foreign to us, therefore we need some practice to feel more familiar and comfortable. Eventually stillness can become like an inner anchor that we can count on.
- Become A Witness
Living in this super busy world creates stress and overwhelm for almost everyone. It is not our fault. The ways we have lived through struggle, hardship, heartbreak, loneliness, or overwhelm are part of who we are, and the ways we have gotten stronger are assets gained from the past, that are applicable in the present moment. It is just taking time to witness them. No judgment, no shame, no blame. Our inner dialogue can give us information about the current state of our being.
What stories, phrases, and negative thoughts do you repeat to yourself constantly?
Where do you feel it in your body?
How do you want to treat yourself ?
It is a rich practice to become the witness to which internal conversations come up often.
- Name the Inner Experience
When we identify what we are experiencing, we give our inner landscape a voice and a space to move through us freely. Use a word that describes what you are experiencing. Do you feel afraid? Angry? Treated unfairly? Scared? Lonely? Bored? Give the feeling a name. Come up with a word that describes the current experience, positive or negative.
- Create Spaciousness
For centuries, many traditions, many teachings, many cultures far and wide have referred to creating spaciousness regarding the mind-body connection. Allowing our inner experience to move through us freely gives us a feeling of lightness and freedom.
Breathing is powerful and an effective vehicle to create spaciousness. Even just one conscious breath brings some spaciousness to the inner body. Following the breath with your attention is a simple, effective and easy practice to fit into even the busiest of days. You can do it while driving, while at work, or while in the midst of just about anything.
Simply pause and breathe.
- Ask a question
Once you identify what is occurring in your subtle inner bodies, you can then begin the process of self-care, spaciousness, and honoring what is.
Beginning with a question helps to initiate the process of taking care, tending to, and nurturing you.
- What is my hearts desire?
- What do I really want?
- How can I love and accept myself today?
- What do I need to be nurtured?