How often do you stop and notice how your body feels? I mean really pause to notice where you physically feel tension or tightness, or to carve some timeout in your day to notice the rhythm of your breath? I too get lost in the rhythm of life, but that doesn’t stop me pondering how odd it is that we have these wonderful bodies and yet we are so preoccupied with how they look, and what others think of how they look that we spend little or no time going inwards, exploring how we feel and who we are!
Those who know me well, are well aware I have a deep appreciation for the literary texts, TEDtalks and general human studies research produced by author, Brené Brown. In her most recent book Braving the Wilderness; Brené proposes that human ‘connection’ is defined ‘as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard and valued…’
My question for you is how often do you feel seen? How often do you feel heard and valued? Do you feel these things are work, in your homes, in your relationships with others and most importantly, in your relationship with yourself?
I personally, only truly stared to see the beauty, value and joy in the connections I have, both with others and with myself, when I learnt to make time to pause ~ to take a few moments everyday to bring some awareness inwards and listen to my intuition and my heart. For me, getting on my mat gives me the space I need to move without judgement, to slow down, to cultivate feelings of worthiness and self-acceptance. It is my time of devotion that allows me to feel valued and worthy of love and being loved.
If we don’t pause, how do we learn who we are and how do we find the courage to share who we are with others ~ courage to love and be loved?
Yoga has given me tools to understand myself more and the ability to press pause daily. Every time I move or simply sit in meditation I leave my mat lighter and calmer than when I arrived. Sure, I’m no guru, I don’t pretend to be the queen of inversions and yes, I struggle with concentration and quietening my mind, but that is all part of my journey and in those moments when I do slow down, I learn to be patient and kind to myself.
In Braving the Wilderness, Brené further suggests that when we start to believe in our own worthiness, we engage with the world wholeheartedly. Meaning we move through our lives aware of the consequences and yet willing to be seen and willing to be vulnerable. Having the courage to experience love and human connections.
There are many ways we can pause and reconnect in our lives. We will all have our own little routines. For me, it’s yoga and meditation. For you it may be sitting quietly with a cuppa tea or curling up reading a good book. It may be taking five minutes every morning to breath or getting up early to walk the dog. Perhaps it’s five minutes you carve out on the bus to work, where you shut your eyes and simply let the world wash over you…. Whatever method works for you, do it! Allow yourself to have a little moment of stillness and embrace being present in the here and now.
In March, there is a wonderful event called JUST BREATHE taking place at the British Museum. Launched by Modern Meditator and Social Change Maker, Michael James Wong. Just Breathe is on a mindful mission to create calm in the city of London providing these mass workshops to allow us to slow down, connect and cultivate a community of people that want to do less.
I think we all need more of these types of experiences in our lives. More opportunities to slow down, be quiet and feel part of a bigger community.
My final words for you to consider are; we all need to make more time for the little things that make us pause and smile! Life isn’t a race, it’s a gift ~ we shouldn’t waste it on autopilot when there is so much for each of us to gain from feeling valued, heard and seen. And, who knows, maybe in spending more time looking after ourselves, we may even start to see the importance of connecting with others and being kind.
For further reading on Brené Brown go to ~ https://brenebrown.com and to learn more about the founders and aims of Just Breathe go to http://www.justbreatheproject.com