Pause: Give Yourself the Gift of Being Present.

Life is fast, it's busy, and there's always something that needs to get done. It's so easy to get swept up in the day to day and forget to check in with yourself. It's so easy to tune your feelings out in order to be more efficient. It's so easy to completely disconnect from your true or higher self.

I know this story so well because it's been my own, many times. I've found myself so far from my center that I've had to question who I truly am. But these experiences don't make me bad or ashamed, they make me human. And the truth is, no matter how much you work on yourself, no matter who you are, you will have moments where you feel totally overwhelmed and disconnected from yourself, but there is always a way back home, and the more you walk that path, the easier it gets to find it in times of struggle.

The value of finding and paving a path that leads to your center, to your higher self, is immeasurable. Because every time you lose your way, you know you can get back home. 

How do you know when you've become totally disconnected from your true self?

When you have no idea how you feel. When going beyond the words "good" or "not that great" is a challenge in describing how you are, that's usually a sign that you don't really know how you're doing.

When you feel like you're constantly reaching for things outside of you. You're tired so you grab a coffee, you're sad so you eat some chocolate, you're stressed so you watch a t.v. show. It's not that self-soothing with external tools isn't ok, it's just a problem when it's the only way you're coping with your stress. 

When you can't stand sitting in silence by yourself. I'm not saying you should be sitting alone in quiet all day like a weirdo, but just that you should be able to spend some time in silence by yourself without feeling anxious or the need to talk or listen to something. If you can't handle silence by yourself, there's probably a lot going on inside of you that you're trying to tune out. Even if it's subconscious, when you can't handle quiet that's usually a good sign that you could use some time to reflect.

How does reconnecting with your true or higher self improve your health?

Believe it or not, your higher self does not crave snickers bars, nor does she want to binge watch shows on Netflix. Your higher self wants what's best for you, what's truly best for you. When you connect in deeper with yourself it becomes easier to make positive choices, and to make them for the right reasons. There are also many health benefits to calm breathing and meditation but we'll save that for next time. Basically, feeling connected with yourself empowers you to be the version of yourself you really want to be... the kind, glowing, beautiful, confident you that's been dying to come out all your life. 

Here's a super simple visualization exercise that can put you in a meditative state and help you come home to yourself:

1. Sit comfortably with your legs crossed, or however feels best, as long as your spine is elongated and your head is pointing up towards the sky.

2. Place one hand on your heart and the other on your solar plexus (the soft space in the center of your torso, between your ribs,)

3. Close your eyes.

4. Begin to take longer, deeper  breaths and breathe in and out through your nose. Continue this breathing for the duration of the exercise.

5. With your eyes closed, one hand on your heart and one on your solar plexus, breathing in and out calmly through your nose, start to imagine a big, beautiful body of water. Allow yourself to see the colors, hear the sounds, and maybe even feel the gentle waves. Visualize a body of water that appeals to you. Maybe it's the ocean, maybe it's a river, maybe it's a tiny rain puddle with little drops of rain slowly plopping into it. It doesn't matter what you imagine as long as you really let yourself see the water in your mind's eye.

6. While you are visualizing the water and breathing deeply with your eyes closed, it's likely that thoughts will pop up in your mind and they might feel like distractions. Instead of judging the thoughts, simply let them pass by, like cars driving down the street.

7. Continue this exercise for as long as you can or until you start to feel very quiet in your mind. 

8. Open your eyes, and feel refreshed. 

You can do this exercise anywhere and at anytime during the day. Try to utilize it when you're feeling particularly overwhelmed or disconnected from yourself. Taking a few minutes to find quiet and go inwards can make a huge difference. 

When you feel overwhelmed, pause, and give yourself the gift of being present.