Updated: Aug 18, 2018
Always know that you are amazing, smart and incredible women.
You are loving, you are loved and you love.
In your hectic life, do you ever feel overwhelmed by all the activities and choices you should make, need to make and want to make? Do you feel pulled in so many directions your head is spinning? I think we have all felt that way at some point. The question is, do you know how to slow down? How do you quiet the voices – the ones coming at you from so many directions and the ones in your own head? We all have our electronic devices keeping us “connected” which is just another word for tethered. An electronic leash not letting us go.
How do you disconnect from all the rhetoric? How do you connect with yourself? To learn to trust your intuition? Can you even hear your true voice? Do you know what you want or how to figure that out? There are quite a few ways to do this. Writing, meditation, yoga and diaphragmatic breathing come to mind.
Writing: Journaling is one way to begin connecting with that inner voice. When I first tried writing in a journal many, many years ago, I just couldn’t get my mind around it. All those white pages with lines everywhere! Just the thought of all those pages waiting for words, and my mind went blank. I threw my hands up and said: “Nope, not for me”. However, during my Health Coaching studies, I learned about Morning Pages - this I can do.
Morning Pages: First thing in the morning when you wake up - before you check in with your phone or get ready for the day - pick up a notebook and write anything that comes into your head. It’s not a to do list. Keep that in mind. Try to write a paragraph or a page depending on how how much you have to say. Make sure to date each entry. Don’t go back and reread the previous entries right away. Save that for a few months down the road. Remember, you can write anything that comes to mind. You may be surprised about the things you discover about yourself.
Doing this every morning for a few months helped me decide on very significant changes in my life. I changed the trajectory of my career dramatically. I finally began to understand what I wanted and the steps I needed to take to get where I wanted to go. Morning Pages helped me map out my road to "here".
For more on the specifics, you can read: The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
Gratitude Journal: Each night before bed or first thing in the morning, write 3 things every day that you're grateful for. It can be something small or something huge that happened. Look at the words you've written on the page. How do the make you feel? Maybe you smile a little to yourself? Good.
Personal Check In: Sit or lie down and breathe. Ask yourself, “What makes me feel good?” Take a few minutes to write down all the things that are good in your life right now. This seems a little like the gratitude journal, I know, but it is a bit different. Next, ask yourself, “What do I want?” Really think about what you want - not what someone else wants or wants for you. What pops into your mind? What's that picture that just flashed? Write it down, describe the detail of it even if it is unrealistic, over the top or out of your reach. If you could do anything, go anywhere, become anything – what would it be? Write it down. Too extravagant? Unattainable? If you don’t reach for the things you truly want, even though they are just outside your grasp, how will you live the life you want? By doing one of these practices every day, you will learn to hear your own voice. She is pretty amazing! When you decide to write in a journal, it's important to use pen and paper. I know there are plenty of apps out there, but this is about disconnecting remember? Besides, you literally improve brain function when you write by hand.
Mindfulness: There are many forms of mindfulness. I enjoy guided meditation to help declutter my mind or help me sleep. Another mindfulness practice you can do for yourself, and is a great tool to have in your arsenal, involves visualization. I’ll share my personal visualization. I call it my sanctuary. When I am stressed or overwhelmed, I close my eyes and picture myself sitting on a blanket on the beach at either sunrise or sunset. These represent beginnings and endings for me. I hear the waves, see the dolphins play, feel the vital energy of nature all around me. I am the only person on the beach. I focus on the ebb and flow of the tide. Breathing deeply and enjoying the smell of the salty air. I imagine the rising sun bringing forth an amazing new day. I see the setting sun lowering into the far horizon and, and in my mind's eye, produce a vision of all the wonderful happenings that occurred that day - real or not. This gives me peace and calm in my busy life. For you it may be a walk in the woods or someplace you visited or want to visit. Figure out what works for you. Be specific. Adapt it so it speaks to you. Create this place that is for you and you alone. This is a location for you to be who you truly are. Feel what you are feeling in the very essence of you. Once you have this vision in your mind, name it. The name may change over time – that’s OK. I started with Center, but Sanctuary feels more true to me. Now I can think the word, and I am there in that space immediately. I shared my vision with you, but this is your place. You do not have to share it with anyone. I actually recommend that you don’t. This is where you are always safe, loved and free. Enjoy all that comes with that knowledge. You don’t have to spend a lot of time doing this; however, the more often you do, the easier it is to be present in the moment and in that place. Try to keep the “I should's and I have to's” limited. I should do this or have to do that. Concentrate on various aspects of your surroundings. Follow the butterfly or listen to the leaves rustle. If a thought comes to you, acknowledge it; and go back to the mountain or the stream. Over time it will be easier to tune out the to do list or the project you have to work on and eventually, your true voice will be heard. It may represent itself as something new or different in your vision. Pay attention, teach yourself to really see what is there. Embrace all the senses. Ask yourself: “How does this make me feel?”, “Does this bring me joy?”. You may even want to write down the questions and the answers that come to you.
Let’s start connecting with ourselves. Truly hear our wants, desires and dreams. By inviting them into our hearts, imagination and our lives, we can make them come true. Here is a prayer for you to adapt and use, or not. Divine Guide please put the next step in front of me that’s most aligned for me in
a way that I can see, understand and have the courage and willingness to take. By Christine Hassler