For a big chunk of my life, I had a poor relationship with myself. I judged myself for what I was secretly thinking on the inside. I didn’t think I was a kind, good person because of these thoughts. Even if other people told me I was such a nice girl. I didn’t dare to share these thoughts with anyone because I was afraid that anyone would see this nasty side of me which I thought, at the time, was the true me. I didn’t care for my body much. I cared how it looked, but not how it was nourished, relaxed or loved.
Because of all the internal ‘rules’ I had picked up and created along the way, I disconnected from my needs, desires, my flow, my joy and was caught up in a web of critical thoughts and fear-based approval seeking and pleasing. I thought I was the only one with these uncomfortable feelings and they must mean something is wrong with me. It was exhausting.
How capable we are of change!
My self-connection these days is so super different. It is the foundation that everything else in my life is based on. My self-connection is a big priority to me. I now experience my self-connection as a place of wisdom, strength, guidance, joy and as the most reliable way of knowing how aligned I am living with myself and my core values. Isn’t it amazing that you can change you mess into your message? Because I’ve known the dark, I also know the light. I know it and I’m loving it. You can ab-so-lu-te-ly do the same and grow your self-connection into a rock solid foundation.
We can all choose to nurture our self-connection in a loving way and gain the benefits it has on all other aspects of our lives. Drawing our attention inwards, connecting with the deeper wisdom that is within every one of us, helps us build a strong, loving relationship with the most important person in our lives. You!
So here I am sharing 6 practices you can take on to deepen your self-connection:
1. Close the gap between how you think you should be and who you really are.
Get real. About everything. What do you REALLY want? What do you really feel? Just do you. A gap between what you think you should be like and what you really are is costing tons of energy. Be real, be yourself. You’ll find that you will trust yourself more and your connection to other people will deepen because you are real. Trust yourself enough to show your true colors.
2. Embrace your feelings.
Whatever you feel is the exact right feeling. Instead of getting frustrated because you feel insecure, send yourself some extra love when you do. Welcome every feeling as a messenger. Uncomfortable feelings bring you the message that you have disconnected from yourself. They are great reminders to return to yourself. When you feel sad, allow yourself to feel sad. All feelings pass eventually. When you feel happy, fully allow yourself to feel happy. Embrace whatever comes up for you.
3. Be still and listen.
Running around being busy is a sure way to lose self-connection. We all benefit greatly from some loving me-time. Get silent and listen to what is going on, on the inside. What are you feeling? What thoughts are returning. What’s going on with your body? What is your soul craving? What have you been ignoring and is asking for your attention? Meditation is a great way to get still, turn inwards and listen. I also love going on walks in nature by myself.
4. Follow your joy.
Do what makes you happy! Give in to your ‘little loves.’ Reading a magazine, dancing, laughing with friends, going to a show, painting, bathing with some delicious oils. What is it for you? What would make you happy work-wise? In your relationship? This isn’t something you need to think about. This is one of those beautiful thing you will feel immediately. Joy just is. Joy is a sure sign of being in deep connection with yourself because joy is our natural state of being. That’s why, again, any discomfort is an invitation to return to self-connection and return to joy. Joy is a great guide.
5. Know what you value most in life and live accordingly.
Find out what it is that is important to you. What are your values? Love? Success? Friendship? Beauty? Freedom? Security? Contribution? Connection? Family? Make a list of your top 5 values and really feel them from the heart. ‘Heady’ values do not guide you. The ones that you feel in your body do. Organise your life in such a way so you live according to your values. Base your decision on your values. Value-based action is a sure way to feel good and build self-connection.
6. Practice the F-word.
Practicing forgiveness is an amazing way to release negativity. Forgiving yourself means you are allowed to learn instead of needing to be perfect. It means it’s ok that you are human and make mistakes sometimes. It makes it easier to learn and harvest the wisdom that mistakes hold. It relaxes and gives way to move forward. At times it can be great to practice the other F-word too. F-it and just do it. Fear or not. Just go for it. Growing is in doing. Learning is in doing.