Many of us grow up thinking that if we can just get the perfect job, have the enviable home and purchase the just-right wardrobe, we will have so-called, made it.
And as we progress through our 30’s, 40’s or 50’s, we begin to see how untrue this really is. Yes, we know it can feel good to have success in our career or build the home that we’ve dreamed of. However, most of us at some point, realize that regardless of what we accumulate or the success we achieve, the way we feel about ourselves, remains. And happiness and true peace does not correlate with how much we own or the prestige of our job.
So what do we do when we come to this realization and haven’t found the true peace and happiness we’ve been searching for? The only thing we can do. We acknowledge that external things can’t bring us what we desire, and we journey inward.
Here are three ways to begin this powerful journey of insight, clarity and wisdom into true happiness and peace.
1. Acknowledge your desire to find a new way to unlock this place of peace and happiness within you.
It is important to acknowledge that we have this desire. And that, it is our right to feel happy and at peace with who we are and with what’s happening in our life. Many of us have a belief that “things have to be hard” or “we have to suffer” in order to achieve something worthwhile. And this just isn’t true.
If we can begin to see these as the outdated beliefs they are, and connect with and embrace our desire to enjoy our life, feel good and have fun on our journey, we can create a new way of being for ourselves.
This week begin to identify what outdated beliefs are holding you back from what you desire. Simply write down what you want to experience more of in your life and then begin to observe the beliefs you have in place, that are in opposition with what you want to create. For example, if you want more simplicity and peace in your daily experience, identify the beliefs you hold that aren’t congruent with that. The belief that, “everything in my life is complicated and takes hard work” is not aligned with you creating a sense of simplicity in your daily experiences, feeling good about yourself and being at peace with your life. Notice when this belief crops up this week and observe what is happening in your life at that moment. Maybe you are feeling overwhelmed or unable to complete the task in front of you and this belief inserts itself into your thoughts, as a way to stop you from feeling the overwhelm or disappointment. As you notice this, be gentle with yourself and affirm that you are working to make changes and are learning a new way of being.
2. Identify what has been keeping you from connecting with yourself in this deeper way.
Many of us were not raised to honor our feelings or to acknowledge what is truly happening within us. And because we aren’t used to this way of being, it can feel foreign or even, scary to do. However, connecting with yourself in this deep way, is your natural state of being. And even if you didn’t learn this as a child, you can learn it now. It can be such an amazingly fulfilling experience to truly honor yourself and what you are experiencing at a deep level.
Begin to bring your focus on what may be getting in the way of you connecting to yourself in a deeper way. For many of us, distractions are one way we stay disconnected from who we are and what we truly need to be happy and feel peaceful.
In our fast-paced society, it is so easy to distract ourselves 24 hours a day. And that is what many of us do to avoid what’s going on within us. We check our email, get on social media or even engage in somebody else’s problem, as a way to not focus on what is happening in our lives. However doing this, unfortunately, doesn’t give us the gift of true connection or the inner peace we desire.
Instead, this week, give yourself an assignment to take 10 minutes a day to focus on just you. And as you do this, close your eyes and give yourself permission to connect with how you are feeling in that very moment. That is all you have to do. Just simply close your eyes and give yourself time to honor how you are feeling. And then give that feeling a voice. If that feeling could communicate with you, what would the voice of that emotion be? For example, if you are feeling frustrated, the voice of that emotion may be: “I can’t do this” “I’m not good enough” or “I can’t have what I want.” Or if you’re feeling angry, the voice of your anger may be: “I can’t take this anymore” or “I’m not being heard”. Or even, “this has to stop, a boundary has been crossed and this needs to change.”
You can practice giving a “voice to your emotions” with any emotion you are feeling. Simple stop in that moment and connect with what that emotion is trying to communicate to you.
Just by honoring and acknowledging our emotions, we are building a deeper connection with ourselves.
3. Create a personal and unique structure to honor this inward journey on a daily basis.
This step is essential because the more we practice connecting with ourselves in this way, the more natural it will become. Feeling connected to ourselves and taking this inward journey doesn’t have to just be about meditation or deep breathing. Your inner journey can include anything that feels good to you and helps you feel connected to yourself.
Maybe you feel connected to yourself, when you are in nature and a long walk without music or your phone, will help you deepen this connection this week. Maybe music or dance is what will foster this connection for you. Whatever self-affirming activity feels good to you, is what will help you strengthen your inner connection. So for example, schedule 20 minutes every day for the next seven days to listen to music and dance in your living room, freely and with abandon.
Sometimes as an adult, it can be difficult to figure out ways to find this inner connection. If this is happening for you, think back to what you loved doing as a child. And recall what activity used to take you away to a place where time and space wasn’t present. And then simply integrate that activity or passion back into your life this week, in some small way.
Reconnecting with ourselves can be this easy. All it requires is conscious focus on ourself, on what feels good to us and makes us feel connected and at peace. Try it. This inward journey is one that gets better, every time you take it.