We live in a time that is so fast-paced, we practically have to run to keep up. And there are times throughout the day when I do run to keep up! This morning I dropped my three kids off at three different destinations, which meant that later on I had to pick up three kids at three different destinations! I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like when they start playing organized sports, which will probably be right around the corner at the pace time is flying these days.
Just thinking about how stressed out our society has become makes me think back to taking Toronto transit. If you want to see insanity, just try to take public transit during rush hour. People literally run from trains to buses at the end of the work day. It’s like watching a herd of humans in the wild – wait, that’s exactly what it is! They’re in a rush to get to work, in a rush to get through the work day, and in a rush to go home. When do they slow down? So what if you miss the train? Sit on a bench and just be present. I’m fairly certain herd behaviour isn’t there yet…
I never really understood it.
I’ve spent my entire life as a watcher, not knowing exactly where I fit into this insanity. I was always too aware of myself to really fit in and not aware enough to know who I really was. It wasn’t until I started connecting with spirit that I finally understood who I was; who I am. And do you know what made that possible? I sat on the bench.
I slowed down. I took time to get to know myself. I meditated, I wrote, and I simply existed as much in the present moment as my expansion allowed. I started questioning my actions, my reactions, my thoughts and my beliefs. I picked apart the answers to those questions and asked myself what I wanted instead. It wasn’t pretty, but the result is pretty ridiculously amazing. Now, instead of feeling like an Earthly outcast, I finally feel like I have built a home inside this body of mine.
One of the greatest lessons I have learned is to give myself permission to be self-ish. No, not narcissistic toddler selfish, just a little self-ish. I created the time I needed to be myself amongst the chaos. My modus operandus had been a highly stressed out state, and I had lived in that state for so long that I didn’t even recognize it as a stressed out state. You don’t know what you don’t know, right? So, if you’re not being self-ish now, I’m giving you permission to start. The next step? Meet me halfway, and give yourself permission as well.
Once I started scheduling regular time for myself; a long bath, a meditation, a walk in the forest, a trip to the gym, a workout at home while the kids crawled all over me, or even getting up at 5 am to write, my stress level came down and my happiness meter went way up. Once I started having a relationship with myself again, using my emotions as built-in guidance, I started to realize all the little things that made me tick. I started giving myself permission to let loose and have fun, something I had forgotten to do years before. I started clearly seeing the cause and effect of my thoughts and behaviours. I became my own science experiment. And the experiment is still going strong.
All relationships you have will be intimately affected by the relationship you have with yourself. So you may as well have a good one! And the best pathway I know how to manifest a healthy connection between you and you is through your emotions.
Any time you are feeling stressed out or down, and don’t seem to know the source of your troubles, or, are simply in denial that a problem exists, draw your attention to your emotions. Also known as “gut feelings,” your emotions are a continuous feedback loop, letting you know in real time when you’re on-course for joy, or horribly off the mark.
Start paying attention. Though it will be hard at first, the more you can be present with your emotions, the faster you will learn the Universal truth that you, and you alone are responsible for your happiness. The more you use your emotions as guidance, the more often you’ll be able to take charge – forming the beliefs and performing the actions that bring you the most joy.
It’s time to give yourself permission to slow down. Take some time to get to know that one person you have been neglecting lately, and start asking what it is they need, because only you can give it to them.