Living in a fast-paced world full of technology makes it easy to become distracted from what drives us. For those of us that work in careers where we help others live better lives, it is easy to start to disconnect from our own authenticity.
We usually do this as we grow tired, become overworked and sometimes feel undervalued. When this happens, the energy we have to offer to everyone around us, including ourselves, is not coming from an aligned and centered place. So the more time we spend teaching and caring for others, the more important I feel it is to reconnect with ourselves.
Here are my 10 steps to prevent you from feeling disconnected and inauthentic:
1. Know yourself.
We all know ourselves to a certain degree. Some of us tune out what we don’t want to hear. If we don’t know ourselves enough to understand what is important to us, then it’s time to dig deeper. Grab a pen and start making lists of what is meaningful in your life.
Here is a writing idea: If you could fill your life with anything you wanted regardless of time or money constraints what would those things be? Now, take a look at the list and find at least one thing that you can do to help you become happier and feel more fulfilled.
2. Identify your crutches and then get rid of them.
I know caffeine is a crutch in my life. I know I would feel better, sleep better, think more clearly and probably even look better if I stopped drinking it. So, why am I still drinking it? Wouldn’t it be nice to feel better and be more in control? So, what is it you use as a crutch and how can you stop? What would it feel like to stop using that crutch?
3. Listen to your thoughts.
When you have a quiet moment, where does your mind go? Learn to notice the patterns of where your thoughts go time and time again. This is a clue into you, the deep down authentic you. Turn off the distractions, like the TV or music that play in the background as you go about your day. Be in the present and be with yourself as you move through your daily activities, and notice what comes up when your mind is not being distracted.
4. Help someone else.
Seva or service is a central part of my yoga practice and business. I believe that helping others should be a part of how we better understand our role in this world and this life. I feel full and aligned with my purpose when I help and give.
Rather than participate in an organization that you hear your friends, family and/or clients talk about, do some research and find a group that is deeply meaningful to you. If you feel a connection, then see how you can help in some way.
5. Do things you love.
We make a lot of excuses about why we can’t make the time for things we love. Let’s agree to stop that right now. If you love reading, go read a book. I know that I get in a place where I feel that there isn’t time for light reading – that if I have time to read, it should be to study something.
We need to give ourselves a break. If you want to skip out on doing things around the house and go out to go get a massage, make it happen and don’t beat yourself up about it.
6. Spend time outside.
Many of us spend so much time indoors, in artificial air and lighting, in spaces devoid of nature. We need to connect back into the cycles of nature; the moon, the sun, the seasons, the sound of birds, etc. Get up early one day and enjoy a sunrise yoga practice. Spend some quiet time in a garden. Meditate outdoors if you can. Let your body soak up some sunlight. Sometimes we just need to be reminded of how connected to nature we truly are.
We’ve all heard the importance of disconnecting from technology. But, really — are you doing this? (I know this has been a hard one for me). If you aren’t, you may not realize how much it detracts from you connecting to your spirit. 24/7 technology distractions can disrupt relationships, sleep, meditation, and connectedness to life that is happening all around us. So, find a time of day and commit to unplugging 100%.
8. Recognize where you don’t have strong boundaries.
Regardless of how much soul searching you have done, there is a good chance you don’t have boundaries in all of the places you should. Most of us can easily identify somewhere in our life we are lacking boundaries. Sit down and look at where your energetic leaks are. Get real with yourself on this one. Do you let others ask too much of you? Do you always give when asked to give? Do you say yes to everything?
9. Create boundaries.
Once you find your energetic leaks, figure out how to put boundaries in place. Maybe you need to set clear boundaries at work, or to stop taking work home with you. This has gotten me in trouble more times than I would like to admit, especially when it comes to energetic leaks with my clients and students. I give way more than I should and end up paying the price in fatigue and burnout. Put into place boundaries that will help keep you connected to your purpose.
Meditation is such an incredible way to look into the nooks and the crannies of our minds. It helps us understand what is important to us and what is not, and to let go of what isn’t serving us. It creates space in our being for better overall health, positive lifestyle changes, deeper self-awareness, more empathy for ourselves and others, and helps create clarity.
Hopefully, working through these will help you remember your passion, and make decisions with this passion and happiness in mind. Caring for ourselves gives us a much greater capacity to give to those around us. Authenticity draws people to us, and allows us to have meaningful dialogues with ourselves and others.
Which of these steps have you done or are already doing? Let us know below!