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We all know that sinking feeling of being disconnected from ourselves.
It can feel like a chronic illness. We feel lethargic, bored, or on the other side of the spectrum—an overall level of anxiety while operating on adrenaline.
This can not only lead to burnout but also really do a number on our adrenal glands. We know that we need a vacation or a life change, but neither is possible at this moment in time, so maybe we use detractions to get us through the slump.
When we feel needy, it’s hard to really know what can actually fix us. Sometimes we use our vices or we think that things can fulfill us in some tangible way. These methods only push us further away from finding the true answer to what we need.
“One thing keeps leading to another, and instead of the simplicity and happiness we desire, we only feel more burdened by our lives. Instead of relaxing into the basic goodness that connects us with every other living being, we suffer the illness of separation, which is just a trick of our minds.” ~ Sakyong Mipham
What if perpetuating inner self-love was easier than we think?
What if we already have most—or even all—of what we need to shift our inner climate?
Here are three simple ways to fill our inner well with regenerative care and love:
1. Be still for a moment.
Put it in your Google calendar. Go outside and sit for a moment or 10. Focus on the breath.
If we plan this time as if it were the most important aspect of our day, we can make it habitual and once our neural pathways create new grooves like that of an old record, we have ourselves a dose of love every single day.
It is hard to believe that this small habit will really change us, but there is really only one way to find out.
I usually stop by the beach after I drop my kids at school to walk the dog. Today I sat on a piece of driftwood and looked out at the sea. I closed my eyes and felt my breath as I inhaled and exhaled. I noticed my brain’s natural tendency to want to “think,” and I let it do its thing while I waited to see if the thoughts would actually leave me the hell alone.
Well, they did.
I opened my eyes and took in the magical details of the waves curling into the shore and noticed the distant horizon and how it went on and on seemingly forever.
I looked up at Ember, my dog, and she was sitting crossed-legged right in front of me holding a feather in her mouth, as if to say, “I am right here with you, fully present and awake.”
2. Turn to nourishing resources.
These are healthy habits we can turn to on a regular basis to create balance within us. We can use practices such as yoga, music expression, reading inspiring books, or even hanging out with the right people.
Everything we take into our subconscious affects us on some level. We must be discerning as to what we allow in our internal world. If we fill our heads with negative garbage, well, when we lie down in our beds, we will get an awful replay of all that crap. And there is a lot of crap that can pull us in with its drama and urgency. Walk away. Even run, if you must.
I like to listen to songs that have beautiful love messages inside that make my heart happy. I like to reach out to a favorite book that will guide me into a positive way of looking at life.
Sometimes I get super fancy and make myself a colorful plate of food, just for me. I make the offering to my body and enjoy every bite. All the ways we connect to our choices have the ability to lift us or not. If we choose to let joyfulness visit, then once we get a few tastes, we will make more effort to set the tone for more experiences that are similar.
3. Go out and have an adventure.
This could be taken literally or metaphorically. We don’t often have to travel far off to see something in a new refreshing way. We could take a trip to a national park and hike a trail we have never yet set foot upon or we could go out to explore the neighboring town from our own and take a look around with fresh eyes.
When I lived in California, I would often visit this old-school health food store and observe all the bulk herbs in jars and then look them up for their medicinal and culinary uses. This little store had free tea for its patrons, so that alone was such a treat. My husband would make fun of me, often knowing that I would be gone for hours. I used to tell him some people go to bars to be social, I go to The Herb Room.
The list of ways we can spend our time on this planet is endless and we often know when we need some recharging. Once we have a few self-love habits in place, we will never understand why we spent so much empty time searching for something from behind a screen.
We will head out the door for something more fulfilling and centering.
And we won’t even think twice about leaving our phones at home, exactly where they belong.