Connecting with yourself
One of the most difficult things in the world to do is connect with yourself at a deep level.
Even with years of practice and study, it is very easy to become disconnected, to become swept up in the thousands (if not millions) of distractions that we humans have created for ourselves over time.
There are a million things to distract you if you let them; e-mails, television, social engagements, bills, promotion. There are also a thousand different scripts running in your head that may be causing you to behave in a way that is not true to who you really are. Finally, there are hundreds of external scripts, you might want to call them pressures from society, family pressures, expectations of friends, expectations from your job. All these things can prevent you from having a valuable connection with yourself if you let them.
The thing is that for a little while now, we have acknowledged the external pressures. A large number of people have more choice and freedom in the world than they did a few decades ago. Globally we have a long way to go with this but we have made a start on eradicating the pressures that society puts on us.
The distractions of day-to-day life can be combatted with discipline. Meditation is a great way to do this and walks in nature are another. Make the decision to switch off any electrical devices for an hour everyday to talk with your family for example. The conclusion is that it is possible to extract yourself from these daily distractions if you make the choice to.
So what about those internal scripts? What are we doing to eradicate those?
Those internal scripts are incredibly powerful and form part of the reason that it is so difficult to connect with yourself at a deep level. One example of this is the internal script around love. Those who have been denied love in their childhood are prone to developing an internal script that tells them they don’t deserve love. This can be carried into adulthood and might cause dysfunctional relationships or a lack of loving relationships in their life. However, love is something that is true for each and every human being. The challenge therefore is to connect with yourself at a level that is deeper than the script that says love isn’t true in your life.
Connect with yourself at a level that is deeper than the scripts that you have inherited.
It takes great courage to access that deep level of connection. It is unknown and it is uncertain for anyone who isn’t familiar with connecting with themselves. During childhood, particularly from the age of 0-7 years we are most naturally connected to our true selves. What tends to happen as we get older is that we lose that connection as a result of the scripts of those around us.
So as well as having numerous distractions that might prevent a connection, it is made even more difficult to connect with yourself at a deep level when it is something that most people are taught not to do in their most formative years.
However it is not impossible. Here are a few quotes that have inspired me recently:
“The future depends on what we do in the present”
“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.”
Vincent Van Gogh
“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway”
Unknown author sourced from Goggle Momentum
The best way to pursue a connection with yourself at a deep level is to commit to the connection and practice it. Colin and I created The Human Leaders manifesto to help others achieve this connection. A really beautiful bi-product of us doing so is that we both now speak of a connection with ourselves that we have never achieved at such a deep level before. This brings about a sense of fulfilment, happiness, calm and motivation.
Here is an exercise to help start this journey. The exercise will take as long as you want it to take but as a guideline, allow yourself a clear 10 minutes to complete it. Before you start, here are a few pointers:
- Try to read the steps one at a time as you do the exercise if possible (rather than reading all the steps before you start).
- You will need a copy of The Human Leaders manifesto in front of you before you start.
- As you go through each step, remember to breathe deeply, sit comfortable (ideally with your feet grounded on the floor) and turn off any distractions before you start.
- To start with, sit comfortably and breath deeply without any distractions. When you feel calm and ready to, move to step two. This might be after one or two breaths or it might be after 10 minutes or more. Take as long or as little as you wish then move to step two.
- Next, look at The Human Leaders manifesto and let your eyes explore the words and phrases. You don’t need to read every word, but you can if you want. Scan the manifesto, let your eyes move around the words freely for as long as you want.
- When you are ready, allow your eyes to settle on one of the attributes. You don’t need to think too much about which one you are choosing or why; just let your eyes settle on the one that they wish to.
- Once you’ve chosen your attribute, spend some time thinking about what it means for you and what it feels like. Then think of all the ways that you have truly lived this attribute in your life. You might be very connected to the word and feel you live it all the time. You might think of situations in your life where this attribute was prominent for you. Think about how this attribute applies in your life. When you are ready, move on to step five.
- Now think of a recent time of stress or disagreement in your life. It might be as simple as having a cross word with your partner over who does the washing up or it might be a disagreement with a colleague at work about the best way to complete a task. Don’t forget to keep breathing slowly and deeply.
- Imagine how the situation might have been different if you had applied an extraordinary amount of the attribute to your behaviour during the situation. Think about how you might have thought differently, responded differently, behaved differently. How might the attribute have changed the outcome? How might it have changed how you reached the outcome? How do you feel about the situation now?
- Sit with your thoughts for as long as you wish and keep breathing. When you are ready, the exercise is now finished.
To conclude my thoughts in this article I’d like to re-phrase my opening statement:
Whilst it is challenging to do for a number of reasons, it is the most important thing in the world today to connect with yourself at a deep level. It is the foundation for how we connect with each other and our connections with each other are a fundamental part of what makes us human.
The Human Leaders would love you to join us in conversation about this article. Which attribute did you choose? How did the attribute affect the situation that you were thinking about? How do you feel having completed the exercise?
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