For so long I was disconnected from myself. My REAL self, my deeply rooted, at the core of everything, self. I often found myself looking to others for the answers. Answers on how to dress, what was OK behavior for a "good girl" and even what were acceptable things to want or dream of. I am not upset at myself for this. After all, I grew up in a society coveting beauty and very heavily dictating what being a woman should look like. I wasn't encouraged to think for myself or find the answer within myself. Instead I tried to follow the pack, I learned to distrust myself, dislike myself and aim for perfection... Although my teens and early 20's were mostly about losing myself... I am so happy to have re-found myself. I want to encourage you as you read this, to remember that you already have the right answers inside of you. You may benefit from working with an accountability partner, a counselor, a coach, or a friend, but the truth of it, is that if they are the right fit for you, they will help you hear what's really inside of you and not give you their answer.
So Who is the REAL You?
Some people refer to it as your inner voice, your inner goddess, your inner wisdom, your gut, etc. It's what you crave and need (without all the external influences). It is the choice that would serve you most wholly and authentically. I like to say it's the voice of epiphany. So many times I have been stuck about what to do, what to say, or what it all means... I had talked to countless friends, cried to my mom, and searched on the internet for some form of motivation... and it wasn't until I was alone with my thoughts (usually while running or doing yoga) that I got my ah-ha moment, there it was, the insight I was seeking. The answer that felt most right, some-what obvious and wildly exciting! That right there is the REAL you.
**Beware the critic in you**
If you are anything at all like me... or a normal human being, for that matter, there have been times that the thoughts you hear when you are alone with yourself are critical, doubting and perhaps down right freaking mean. That voice, that tells you that you are not smart enough, not qualified enough, stupid, ugly, too old, too young, unloveable, fat, too tall, too short... the voice that for me used to tear me down; that voice is NOT the real you. That voice may come from your scared self, or your overprotective mother, or perhaps that bitch from high school who tormented you for purely evil reasons. But what that voice is NOT, is the real you. So please, when one of these voices pop up, mentally hug "her", tell "her" that you don't need her input currently and wish her well.
How to Hear the REAL You:
The real me is strong, brave, kind, thoughtful, calm and self assured. How, after all of these years did I find her and separate out her voice from all the other influences on my choices/thoughts? Well it took practice, stillness and forgiveness.
Here are my suggestions to better hear the REAL YOU.
Step 1: Create stillness. Part of why it can be hard to hear ourselves is how busy we are. We are constantly on the go, bombarded by signs, lights, noises and others' input. The best way to hear yourself, is to give yourself the space to breathe. For this I recommend meditation. Whatever this means to you. Whether it's the repetition of knitting, running, walking alone in nature, or sitting with your legs crossed, hands on knees, eyes closed while repeating a mantra... find quiet space and just be.
Step 2: Write it all down. It can be so eye-opening to write free flowing thoughts in a journal. Lately I write every morning and I can not recommend this practice enough. For me, there is magic in writing, things have a way of being clear when I give myself the chance to just let my thoughts flow through my hand on to paper. Plus, feeling like having a diary, like I had back in middle school, just feels comforting and encouraging to get my deepest most horrifying thoughts out.
Step 3: Exercise. It the height of my anxiety, I often felt like I was a brain trapped in a body. I felt so disjointed, uncomfortable and desperate. I have learned that in order to feel my best, all parts of me have to be connected and in alignment. My favorite ways of reconnecting my physical and emotional self are walking in nature, going for a run or getting on my yoga mat for a quick practice.
Step 4: Trust your gut. I spent so much time denying my gut reactions. I dated guys that gave me a bad feeling, I sublet my apartment to some who I felt instantly was going to flake on me, I said yes when I really meant no... ultimately I brought a heap of trouble into my life, simply because I denied how I felt about things, because I wanted to be "chill", I wanted to be accepting and I certainly did not want to be a bitch. STOP NEGLECTING YOUR GUT REACTION, it holds the truth of how you REALLY feel.
Step 5: Take care of yourself. The truth of it is, if we don't take care of ourselves, if we aren't getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, eating nourishing foods, participating in things that make us happy, and avoiding the things that make us feel bad; how can we expect ourselves to be in the right shape to make solid, good choices? (I'm referring to mental, physical and emotional shape, here.)
So the next time you feel like you are in a panic or you don't know what to do, take some time to implement or incorporate these steps. Remember, you have the answer inside of you already. Give yourself the space, love and encouragement to let out your truth.
Until next time- CHASE YOUR DREAMS AND EAT SOME GREENS.
Next week I will be sharing a new YouTube video on SELF LOVE and how I am incorporating it in my life now. Did you see my last YouTube video on why I think it's harmful to both you and the person you call "perfect", so STOP doing it.