Recently I revisited my childhood neighborhood. It's the place where I used to play in the woods, explore the swamps to catch pollywogs, and swim in the lake with my siblings. It was a place where I connected to who I was, where time didn't matter, and where I felt free and experienced stillness.
Where is that place for you? Where were you when you last connected to who you are? When you felt free, without the burden of to-do lists and responsibilities?
We all live in a world full of information, expectations, and opinions that bombard us with endless options of who we should be and what to do every moment of every day. While this can be amazing, it can also create chaos and havoc in our inner lives.
Addiction, contention and confusion thrive when we are disconnected from ourselves! Sometimes, days, months and even years can go by without a single moment of stillness or time to connect to who we truly are. How do we change this?
How does stillness help us connect to who we are?
As you take the time to embrace stillness, you will discover what it feels like to you. For me, stillness is like a calm lake at dusk, where I can see my reflection in the water. As I focus on my breath, within a minute, I feel a gentle flow of energy expanding from deep within me, separate from my thoughts. This is who I am.
When we connect with who we are we distance ourselves from confusion, negative self-talk, and self-destructive behaviors. We are better able to choose consciously. Eckhart Tolle captures this idea by saying, "What a liberation to realize that the 'voice in my head' is not who I am. Who am I then? The one who sees that."
Choosing to live from "the one who sees that" means accessing qualities, attributes, and characteristics within ourselves that are unaffected by circumstances, opinions, and expectations.
By consciously taking the time to connect with our true selves, we experience stillness and freedom.
Try these, see what works for you...
Just breathe every morning: Practicing mindfulness every morning helps us reconnect with the present moment and be more aware of our thoughts, feelings, and sensations. (this is my favorite)
Experience nature: Spending time in nature, whether through hiking, walking on the beach, or simply sitting in a park, immerses us in the beauty and tranquility of the natural world. (my second favorite)
Engage in physical exercise: Activities like yoga, dancing, or jogging not only improve physical well-being but also help us reconnect with our bodies and be fully present.
Meditate: Taking a few minutes to focus on deep, conscious breathing calms the mind, increases self-awareness, and brings us back to the present.
Disconnect from technology: Taking breaks from screens and digital stimulation allows us to be more present and reconnect with who we are.
Write: Capturing our thoughts, feelings, and reflections in a journal provides a space for self-discovery and self-awareness, helping us better understand ourselves and be present in our lives.
Get lost in a hobby: Pursuing a hobby or passion that brings us joy, such as gardening, cooking, or playing a musical instrument, can ground us and bring us back to the present moment and back to ourselves.
Practice gratitude: Reflecting on and appreciating the good things in our lives cultivates gratitude, shifts our focus to the present moment, and enhances our sense of contentment and well-being.
Spend time serving others: Engaging in genuine service opportunities deepens our sense of connection and presence in the moment. In the present moment we are better able to connect to who we truly are.
If you would like more information or would like to have a conversation about any of these ideas please feel free to reach out. Remember, the activities that bring us back to "being the one who sees" vary from person to person. It's important to listen to ourselves and engage in activities that resonate personally with ourselves.