View this post on Instagram
Like so many people, unfortunately, I spent a large part of my life being incredibly unkind to myself.
In the earlier part of my life, this was unconscious. And it manifested as being disembodied and quiet.
Looking back, I realize this came from a guardedness I carried with me. I was scared of letting people in, which stemmed from a fear that if people were truly welcomed into my aura, they wouldn’t like me, and, ultimately, they would abandon me.
And this fear was supported every day by unconscious, cruel thoughts. Like, You’re boring. And so it was easier to live outside of myself and with little to no attachment to others—I truly felt back then that friendship seemed like an unsustainable burden, and so I had only surface-level friends.
This isn’t a new story. This is the story of so many of us who move through this world with walls encrusted around our hearts, which is precisely why I share it. If you’re feeling as if you need defences to be safe in this world, you’re not alone.
But you also absolutely do not need to live the rest of this life carrying the weight of this self-imposed isolation. You can feel safe to have deep relationships that truly nourish you, versus deplete you. That is, provided you’re willing to cultivate a loving relationship with yourself.
See, until we become our own best friend, until we are willing to stand by our own side, and commit to loving the person we truly are deep down, it’s impossible to have relationships with others that carry even a crumb of substance.
Don’t worry. I’m not saying you have to go from unconsciously self-critical to consciously self-loving in a short skip. That’s unrealistic. Rather, this process begins with gentle curiosity.
Our work begins with making the unconscious conscious. That means we must open up to our inner voice and get crystal clear on the story we’ve been telling ourselves and, also, to our true essence beneath that. Until we are honest with ourselves, we will struggle to see any change in our lives.
Personally, it took a while for these thoughts to come to the forefront of my mind and see the light of day. I had to spiral down to rock bottom in order to make a change. But you don’t have to.
And if you are at rock bottom, crying on the bathroom floor, wondering what the meaning of life is—hey! I see you. I’ve been there. And, honestly, I view that time as sacred. It’s when I cracked open and the darkness actually began to seep out, while the light began to needle its way in.
Trust that that’s what this is for you too; that you’ve been brought to your knees for a reason; that you’re on the verge of a deeply beautiful, spiritual homecoming.
Here’s what you can do to begin your journey inward.
1. Start as many of your days as possible with three deep breaths.
2. When your feet touch the ground as you leave bed, get into the habit of asking yourself how you feel in the moment.
3. While making your coffee or tea, or brushing your teeth, ask yourself how you’d like to feel today. The point here isn’t to be hard on yourself if you find yourself in a different, undesired energy come, say, midafternoon. Instead, it’s to use your intention like we use the breath in meditation. When you notice yourself out of alignment with your intention, gently course correct by coming back to the desired energy you wish to be in. Breathwork is a powerful tool here; it can be used to achieve almost any desired state, from calm to focused to energized, and so on.
4. At the end of the day, when preparing for bed, take a minute to reflect on the day. One way to do this is by placing a hand on your stomach and breathing in as you ask yourself if there are any emotions that came up today that you didn’t have time to address that you ought to now, breathing in deeply to whatever arises.
That’s it. This entire practice of self-awareness should take no more than five, max ten, minutes, and can be incorporated into your existing routine, meaning you don’t need to even carve out extra time from your day.
If you commit to this daily check-in, you’ll come to know yourself intimately over time.
And the byproduct there is you will develop deep self-compassion for the true you that you’ve come home to.