One of my biggest challenges over the past few years has been learning how to feel that where I am, who I am and what I have right now is enough. I can very easily get swept into always thinking I need more. The external world and all of it’s shiny objects entice me out of my connection with myself and into an endless seeking trap.
This pattern pulls me into a game of chasing. Chasing external love. Chasing results. Chasing the next destination. Chasing happiness.
Chasing anything that will fill the inner void and give me the next hit.
In these moments, I am completely disconnected. I forget to pause, slow down and re-calibrate my energy and instead feel an empty inner burn to work even harder to get what I ‘think’ I need from the world.
What disconnection looks like…
My attention drifts from myself and instead rests heavily on other people. Their opinions, reactions and perceptions begin to carry a lot more weight than my own.
I get pulled between the past and the future in my mind, either allowing previous hurts, events or feelings to taint my present moment experience, or I am dragged into the drama and worry of future-tripping.
And like many of us, comparison whips me into a state of fear, creating a sense of inadequacy or a rush to keep up so I don’t become invisible amongst the noise.
But now, when I deviate into that empty, external search where I always want more and never feel enough, my practise (like any fear-driven pattern) is to witness this inner chaos, catch it in it’s tracks and make a new choice.
I now have a toolkit of practices that shift me back into alignment. I now know how to bring myself back and how to fill myself up. I know how to re-connect and bring my mind back to love.
And today I am sharing them with you. I am calling them ‘solutions’ but I like to see them as the foundations of turning your search inwards and finding happiness within. These simple, yet transformative practices are Self-Connection, Presence, Appreciation, Acceptance and Inner Awareness.
Solution #1: Self- Connection
Your true essence is full, whole and complete, but unless you are connected to that essence you cannot experience lasting access to that feeling.
When you are not connected with yourself will feel the emptiness and lack which accompanies that disconnection. You will think something is missing and you will begin your search ‘out there’ for what you think you need in order to feel full.
Rather than recognising that the emptiness we feel is our indication that our connection with ourself needs to be re-strengthened, our mind will just take us further and further outwards.
Practise self-connection by: Anytime you feel disconnected, empty, unsatisfied or upset by the external world, take a moment to pause. If you can close your eyes, place both hands over your heart and take 5 deep breaths drawing your attention more deeply into yourself each time.
Solution #2: Presence
Presence enables you to find joy in the smallest and simplest moments of life.
It is only in the present, when you are here fully embodying the moment, being in your body, using your senses fully to experience the moment, that you can experience peace, contentment and true happiness.
Your mind will do whatever it can to avoid you being present. It will feed you stories, judgments and perceptions that create discomfort, negative emotional reactions and inner pain. It will create problems that need solving, future concerns that need to be worried about and past pains that it wants to re-live.
It will take you on a roller coaster where you whole sense of inner balance is constantly thrown off balance by what is happening around you.
Practise presence by: Using your gaze to focus on something still. When your mind is active your eyes will dart around, so to help slow your mind just gently rest your eyes on something in front of you and hold it there. Take 5 deep breaths and bring all of your attention into whatever is unfolding in the here and now and savour this moment fully.
Solution #3: Appreciation
Happiness is a state of being that can be accessed in any moment through presence and appreciation.
You can feel whole, complete and full now. Right now. Just be fully here and tune your eyes to notice what you love and appreciate about this moment – this is your doorway to every feeling you wish to feel. It all sits here, right at your fingertips.
There can be fullness in this moment through appreciation. Appreciating and seeing feeling the tiny details of every moment. When you cannot appreciate what you have, the gifts that life is bringing you, the magic that surrounds you and the beauty of this moment, you can never feel content.
Practise appreciation by: Wherever you are in this moment, stop and scan your environment. See what you can find appreciation for. What are you grateful for in this moment and what is surrounding you that you love? Extend your thoughts further and begin to appreciate and give thanks for everything you have in your life now that brings you happiness.
Solution #4: Acceptance
Our mind loves to judge and label things as bad and wrong, and fight with them, struggle through them and try to make them go away. But life is, just what it is. It is up to you whether struggle or flow with it.
Acceptance is allowing this moment to be just as it is. Opening up and fully experiencing all it contains. Not criticising, judging, or resisting, but loving and embracing what-is.
There is so much discomfort that arises when you are in resistance to the present moment. Acceptance doesn’t mean making it ‘right’, but it just means we drop the fight. We relax and let go and soften to life, trusting that everything is unfolding as it is meant to.
Practise acceptance by: Notice when you are struggling or fighting with something, and instead choose to just let it go. Just say out loud “let it go” and take a deep breath and just release the fight. See if you can just watch what is unfolding and let it be there. For this moment just allow it to happen without resisting it.
Solution #5: Inner Awareness
Inner awareness is a practise of bringing your attention inwards. Feeling, noticing and exploring what is unfolding in your inner world – the world of your thoughts, emotions and energy.
You will never find what you are looking for out there. It can only be found in this moment, by becoming fully aware and present to the abundance and beauty that surrounds you and choosing to look beyond the illusions of pain and struggle and focus your gaze only on what you desire to see and experience.
It is your inner work that creates the shifts and changes you want to see in your world. Trying to get ‘out there’ and fix the world or make your life better will only take you further down the endless path of external seeking.
Practise inner awareness by: Tuning inwards and asking yourself “How do I feel right now?” or “What is happening in my body right now?”. Do a little inner scan and jus notice if there is any tightness or tension, if your breath is deep or shallow or if there is any niggling emotion you have been ignoring.
Would you love some support to create happiness from the inside-out? In my 1:1 coaching programs you will work closely with me and receive practical and personalised guidance.