For years I was looking for external validation from friends, boyfriends, colleagues, the media, anything apart from myself. I’d let other people’s opinions and viewpoints cloud my own, often feeling guilty if I couldn’t live up to their expectations, needs or demands.
I didn’t listen to that inner voice. That inner voice that was telling me I was too tired and needed rest over a night out, because I didn’t want to hurt someone else’s feelings, or because I didn’t want to be seen as weak or a bore. Or the inner voice that would say to not do xyz, which I’d ignore, and it later turned out to be something I wished I hadn’t done.
Even the time when I had debilitating stomach pains and diarrhoea for a prolonged period of time and I didn’t trust how I was feeling, self-medicating to numb the experience instead of dealing with it, when my body was clearly screaming at me there was a problem.
I always wanted to know how everyone else did things or dealt with things, rather than trusting myself. Whilst I still absolutely admire others, their viewpoints and takes on certain things and am inspired, learning to listen to myself has really helped me settle into ME and be the person I am here to be.
Ultimately you know what is best for you and nobody can tell you that. Of course, you can get support and be inspired by others, but deep down inside you really do know what you need. Giving yourself the time and space to connect to you regularly will strengthen this connection, meaning you feel fully supported from within.
Learning to listen to what my inner voice and body is telling me, to trust myself and act accordingly has been a huge part of my self-care journey.
I know we are all at different stages with this. Perhaps you may need a little reminder to get back to it. Or, you may be new to this and if that’s the case here is how I first started to connect with myself, which you might find helpful.
The first thing to do is to clear your head of all the thoughts that can be there. We all do this in different ways – do what works for you. It could be meditating, movement, getting into nature, writing everything down, doing something creative… etc. Then find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed and ask yourself ‘What do I need today?’ and see what comes up – you may want to just listen, or you may want to write the answers down. We all have this innate wisdom that we have moved away from. Coming back to it and learning to trust yourself is such a wonderful, powerful thing.
If you are writing the answers down, sometimes holding your pen in the hand you don’t normally use can help, so you don’t try to logically write down an answer, it allows it to just flow.
Also, and this is super important, allow yourself to trust what comes up. Sometimes what does come up may surprise you and you may be tempted to ignore it. But, in my experience it is never wrong and will always take you on a path that will lead to growth and magic.
Try and do this as often as you can, as the more often you connect to yourself the stronger the connection gets. It may also take time to build up this trust again. As you get into the practice more, you could even make up your own questions or ask yourself about something you have going on in your own life at the moment. Have fun doing it and if nothing comes up, that’s okay, you can try again another time and there are other ways to do this!
Rather than always seeking the answers from outside, I encourage you to look within.
This blog post is a snippet from my book, Embodied. You can get your own copy of Embodied here or anywhere you buy your books online.
Photo by Natalie Grainger on Unsplash.
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-analytics||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Analytics".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-functional||11 months||The cookie is set by GDPR cookie consent to record the user consent for the cookies in the category "Functional".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-necessary||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookies is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Necessary".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-others||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Other.|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-performance||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Performance".|