Connecting to your heart, spirit, and Self
Some days are harder than others and some days are easy-peasy… which one will I have today? That was my question to myself this morning. As I contemplate my day and my present thoughts and feelings, I bring to mind my clients, my friends, my family, and my global community who all experience extremes in circumstances, thoughts, and feelings. I am not alone in my ups and downs. So, can we all be gentle with ourselves as we struggle?
Can you love yourself, even as you have irritable thoughts that float through your mind and critical words that spill out of your mouth? Can you care for yourself, even as you disbelieve your own value, worth, and purpose? Can you continue to show up for friends, family, and your community even when times are difficult?
This is as much a question to myself as it is a question to you. One that brings me back to myself and my own heart in times of doubt. And, when I settle in, turn inward, and bring attention to my heart, I hear the answer… yes. Yes, I can. Yes, I will. Will you?
What can you do to connect to your heart, your spirit, your Self?
There are many ways… here are just a few:
Art as a way
Gestalt art therapist Jayne Rhyne said “Art is a way to give yourself a gift and send yourself a message”. It can serve as a tool for relaxation or a portal to the unconscious.
Take crayons, chalk, markers, a pencil, paints, or anything at all that leaves a mark on a sheet of paper. Close your eyes, take a few gentle deep breaths, relax into the body, and start making marks. Try it with your nondominant hand so that you can relax into being perfectly imperfect rather than stressed about technique and outcome. Observe the process: how you feel as you make marks. What feelings, thoughts, or memories emerge as you relax into your art. What elements do you see: shapes, lines, texture, figure/ground, space. What words are evoked by the image? Do you have a name for this creation?
Movement as a way
As Martha Graham said…“Dance is the hidden language of the soul”
Give yourself 5 to 15 minutes to move, shake, dance, sing, yell, and jump. Ground yourself in your senses and let go of thought… feel the muscles, ligaments, skin, and organs stretch, flex, contract, and breathe. Let your awareness turn inward to connect with sensation and emotion. Play around with different types of movement (sharp, quick movements; slow, flowing gestures; rhythmic, vibrating movement) and tune in and see how the body feels compelled to move. Have fun with it!
Journaling as a way
“Writing is ninety percent listening. You listen so deeply to the space around you, that it fills you, and when you write, it pours out of you.” -- Natalie Goldberg from Writing Down the Bones. As Natalie recommends, “Keep your hand moving”… don’t judge, analyze, or pick through the words and thoughts. Just relax and let it flow through you and onto the paper.
My wish for you is to feel present in your body, opening yourself to a depth of aliveness and love, and to reconnect to your Yes!