I love it when a theme comes together.
Over the past couple of weeks I become unconnected to the deeper parts of me. Or rather, I’m not fully connected. As with most things, this inner connection/centeredness is a continuum.
It has come to my attention because of what I’m not thinking. I haven’t been considering my feelings a whole lot, nor following up on troubling (or really any) thoughts that pass through. I also have not been journaling or reading- activities that often serve to tie me back into myself in helpful ways. Another clue has been what I am thinking. I’m spending a lot of time thinking about what my husband/co-worker/friends/neighbors aren’t doing and what I (in my infinite wisdom) think they should be doing. I’ve been putting off conversations that need to happen and tasks that would provide progress towards my goals. I’ve been trying to get through the day, rather than really living the day.
Now if you are like me, having a stretch of days where you are not analyzing your feelings or thoughts can be a huge, life-giving break. And I believe, even in this unconnectedness, there is value in not having the brain running on overdrive. So I’m not interested in swinging this pendulum too hard, too fast: I want slow and steady movements towards myself.
It turns out this is a good thing, because: Piece #1: I am a human being. A living, breathing being that grows and changes incrementally. Slowly. This is my nature. So if I am going to be true to how I am designed, I can’t expect myself to just suddenly have the skills and ability to remain centered and connected to myself in a life giving way all the time. Maybe when I’m 80….but probably not even then.
Which connects to Piece #2 (which technically occurred to me came first): It is to be expected that I will not always be as centered/focused/intentional as I would like. And even more beautiful: I noticed that I wasn’t quite connected. I listened. I was able to get my own attention. And even better still: I both wanted to adjust and I took fairly immediate action! For me this is a huge sign that I am growing. I am making progress.
I have to be honest that as I’ve looked at this gap between where I am and where I want to be, I have not known the path to connect the two. But I haven’t need to know the full picture, only to make one step at a time. So I got some library books and have read the past few nights. I took a moment this morning for some deep breaths as I kneaded lavender lotion into my hands, trying to catch of glimpse of that inner space before rushing off to work. I also recommitted to some daily yoga/strengthening exercises after a stomach bug finally passed, which honors my goals and provides space for connection. And it’s after these steps that I was handed these puzzle pieces.
Piece #3 came with Yoga tonight: the mantra “I am alive”. The phrase I worked this into is “I am alive, so act like it.”
I started down the path and it showed itself to me along the way.
I am a living, breathing human that slowly grows and changes.
I can expect to both succeed and struggle with the challenge of being centered…often within the same hour or minute.
I am alive.
This path towards inner connection– the path within — is a way paved with choosing to be alive. Breathing. Listening. Being honest. Savoring. Achieving. Resting.
What would it look like for you to not simply get through the day, but to actually live it. And in doing so, dare to become more connected, less distracted. Give it a try.
More on why this inner connection is important to me will come along soon.