It doesn't take much, it just takes consistency. You already know everything you need to know. You already have everything you need. There are no classes, gurus, books, or plans to follow. You've already heard some of this before, it's not new. But will you do it?
How much time do you spend alone, with yourself, just being present? You need time to think and feel on your own without influence. Time to listen to yourself without judgement of what comes to the surface. A safe place with time to just be...be you.
Here are 3 simple and easy ways to connect to yourself, all you need to do is make the investment in yourself to reap the rewards. Mindfulness, Automatic Writing, and Morning Ritual. I'll give you an idea of each, but you can tailor these as needed to suit your needs.
Mindfulness is just as it sounds. Give yourself just a few minutes each day to be present. This does not have to be the traditional form of meditation you think of with legs crossed and silencing your mind (although that is a great way if you can practice it). You can focus on your breath, birds chirping, the wind, the feel of grass under your bare feet, the sound of water nearby, how music makes you feel, your tea as you sip it, notice all the colors and textures of your food before you eat and appreciate each texture and taste as you eat, or recite affirmations in your mind and see how it makes your body feel. Walking meditations are a new favorite (where you slowly take each step heal to toe). Mindfulness can be done at any time. Options include before you get out of bed or go to sleep, in your car before you go into work or your home (not while driving), standing in line, on the bus, or while walking. Do a body scan starting from the top of your head and down to your toes paying attention to any tension or pain you feel. When you do this regularly, you will be in tune with what you are thinking and how you are feeling. Then all you have to do is listen.
Automatic writing is another great way to connect with yourself. Without expectations just write whatever comes to your mind. You will be surprised at all the random stuff that comes up as part of this exercise. Other times you might try to focus your writing by asking questions such as: How do I feel about ___?, What makes me happy?, If I could do anything I would___?. Do not try to spell correctly or use punctuation. Do not think about what you're writing down, just write! Set a timer if you need to and don't stop writing until it goes off. By doing this and just letting whatever wants to come out, come out, you will release stress, tension, pain, thoughts, feelings, and be able to reflect back on them later. You will gain insight and be able to reach root causes to why you think and feel the way you do. Maybe you will uncover creative ideas to act on. Perhaps you will address issues that are long overdue. Either way, just give yourself time to purge with pen and paper.
Morning Ritual is another great way to connect to your self and my favorite of the 3 I'm sharing. This is a time you set aside for yourself as part of a self care routine. This can include anything you want (including the above listed items), so long as it's grounding and focuses on you. I start mine with giving gratitude for 10 things from the day before and for waking up today! Then I enjoy a cup of tea outside on my patio (I go bare foot to connect with the earth). Affirmations with my eyes closed to visualize is a favorite and partially a meditation as I breathe. Then just being present with nature and enjoying the elements. Then I'm off and starting my day- but I'm coming from a place of love. I'm centered and calm.
**Update- This set me up for a much deeper practice. After just a few months, I am now doing the follow morning routine. Gratitude, Prayer, Exercise, Stretching, Meditation, Journaling, Affirmations, Mindful eating, and setting intentions for the day!
Whatever you choose, or if you choose all 3, do so with rigid flexibility. Allow yourself to explore and tweak as you find what works best for you. Then commit to doing something. Daily is best and consistency is key. You don't need huge chunks of time, but you will realize the benefits are worth it. Once I got going, getting up earlier or prepping things the night before to give myself more time in the morning were well worth it. You will soon reap the rewards and feel more connected to yourself. You deserve this treatment. Start today.