Last year (2020) you might have felt a new level of connection or intention present in your life. Whether you were aware of it at the time or not, this connection is your heart, your truth, your internal wisdom directly communicating with you. Last year was a collective pause on a level we haven’t seen before. Around the world life as we knew it came to a halt and the suddenness of it all came as a shock to the system.
So much of the time we’re existing on auto-pilot and when we’re faced with big, unplanned shifts we become unhinged. At a moment's notice, we were each stuck in our own bubbles, for some that included roommates, family, pets, for others, there was not another human to connect with for what felt like an eternity. With no other options, we found ourselves sitting with all the discomfort that came to the surface, for the first time we had no other choice. Distraction was limited, outside stimuli were stripped away, all we had was ourselves.
Truthfully, at the end of any day, we are all we have anyway, and I mean that in the most beautiful way. What an honor to be eternally connected to this layer of wisdom that resides within us. This is the place that, when accessed, breathes life into our purpose.
As we move back into physical space and find this sense of emerging, how can we maintain our inner connection? While we move through a world that is so demanding of our energy and outward attention, there’s a need for continued access to what that collective pause brought to light.
The practice of living with intention and mindful awareness doesn’t exist in a monolith. Despite what seems to be popular belief, we don’t have to spend 30 minutes seated in meditation every day or spend six days a week in a rigid asana practice. The seat of awareness is in every action, small and large, every breath and every moment. The invitation is to explore some practices that you can bring into your daily life to remain aligned and connected:
The world around us demands so much of our attention. If we take time in our day to create a routine, even if it’s small, that becomes a point of grounding. With a solid foundation, there’s more opportunity to stay connected. Your routine might be a series of two things and that’s perfect. It’s the committed practice of carving out space for yourself that allows you to remain grounded. Maybe you make coffee or tea and read for 5 minutes each morning, take a few intentional breaths and journal, even taking three intentional deep breaths before getting out of bed. In these moments we’re telling ourselves that we are worthy of taking up space in our own schedule.
Use Daily Affirmations
When did you last tell yourself “I’m proud of you” or “you are doing an incredible job” even “I love you”? Language is energy expressed and what better way to use your energy than to nurture your heart and mind. Create an affirmation that you can return to throughout the day, speaking well to yourself is a transformational practice. After all, most of the conversations that you have in this life are with yourself.
Try using a dry erase marker and write your affirmation on your mirror, or put it on a sticky note somewhere that you will see every day. Your affirmation doesn’t have to change daily, it can remain the same until you no longer need its energy. When you are ready to invite in something new you can place it to the side and create a new one. Let these affirmations be intentions born from a place of the heart. Take a moment to tap into your truth and discover what it is you need most, let yourself be guided by that.
Find Your Breath
Your breath is one of the most powerful tools you have in creating a lasting connection. When we are anxious or sad the breath is often shortened and stuck in the chest, in times of frustration or fear we might not be breathing at all. Each moment, see if you can become aware of how the breath is manifesting in the body. In this brief time of tuning in notice where you can expand the breath and what you can release to create more space. Your breath is always communicating with you, take a few mindful moments to listen in.
Practice Allowing Discomfort
This might feel weird and still, it is a divine part of the experience of deep connection. We can’t possibly always have the answers, in fact, most of the time we don’t. Practice noticing discomfort when it rises and instead of pushing it away or trying to mold it into something more palatable, take time to sit with it. Discomfort coming to the surface brings a new awareness to an experience, it shows us something we weren’t aware of before and that’s an opportunity for connection. Holding space for all facets of your being gives you the ability to show up as your whole self in every moment.
Express Compassion Towards Yourself and Others
Remember to be gentle with yourself. As you explore the vulnerable, more tender layers of your being show yourself compassion. Every moment of this life is a practice and this practice, in particular, is very raw. We are all emerging in various ways every day and when you show yourself compassion, inevitably, it begins to radiate out onto those around you. Find time to breathe more compassion into your everyday life. Through this lens, your world will take on a new form.
The opportunity to pause in the way we had to last year isn’t something humans in Western culture offer ourselves very frequently. Most of the time the only rest we're actively taking happens when we lay our heads down at night to sleep. Intentional moments of pause, simply to fill our cup, help to realign us so that we can stay in a space of connection.
As we all reemerge into the world, use these practices to stay connected and aligned. Be reminded of that feeling of purpose, the one that saturates every cell of your being, and take all action from that place.
Embrace this new season with the ultimate well-being experience at the Chopra Health Retreat at CIVANA.