Do you recall last time you came home after one of those really tough days at work that don’t seem to have an end… I hope you don’t have too many of them, but they do happen for most of us…
And so, on a day like this as you enter your home do you feel happy again? Do you feel free at last? Probably not.
Because now is the time when the pressure from the day could come up to the surface and you would really want it too, you would want to rant and get all the frustration and anger and tears and words out of your system… but you don’t.
You don’t because there’s no one there to hold you while you’re having that much needed meltdown. There’s no one to make sure that you feel better afterwards.
You are on your own and even if you consider calling a friend you know everyone’s busy with their own life and their family. Even if they care about you, they don’t have time for you and you don’t want to bother them either. So you don’t call.
By the way, if you’d like to learn how to connect with people who will be there for you, who will love and support you when you need it, consider this.
Since there’s no one here to hold you now, you do your best to stop that flood before it gets too overwhelming in whatever way you can. Food, TV, sleep – anything goes. So that’s how you somehow get through that evening and hopefully things will look better tomorrow. But will they? And if they don’t what can you do about that?
These are the questions in the back of your mind, because the fact remains that nothing has changed and there’s no one here to help you. There’s no one here except you and loneliness. It feels like physical pain. So let’s talk about that.
Why is it that your body feels so lonely?
It looks like it’s because there’s no one there to hold you. It looks like it and I know how that feels. And, I want to help you with this – so here’s my secret! It may seem ridiculous at first but believe me, it’s not:
Your body doesn’t ache because there’s no one there to hold it and to touch it. Your body aches because you are not in touch with it.
Let me show you what I mean by that:
Do you recall one of those other, those wonderful days where there wasn’t anyone else there either but you woke up in a good mood and spent the morning or the afternoon doing things you enjoy… Maybe you went for a lovely walk or listened to your favorite music and danced along…
There was no one there on that day either but –
You were there, you were present!
Whether you were aware of it or not, your body felt your presence. It felt accepted and alive and soft – because you did.
And it would have felt the same way even if you haven’t gone for a walk or danced but spent that day curled in your favorite chair journaling or reading, or maybe taking care of your garden. It doesn’t matter what you did – it matters that you were present.
You were connected with yourself, including your body and in that moment loneliness was gone and pain was gone.
Notice how it didn’t start with any physical activity – unless sleep is a physical activity which of course it is but still… It started with you being a particularly good mood for no particular reason. And because you were in that mood, you relaxed. Your muscles and your jaw relaxed, your joints, your skin and even your eyes and your smile relaxed…
In that state of simple relaxation, all the good feelings that you have inside you could flow freely through your body.
And perhaps, as you were in that nice state, perhaps you went out to get some groceries, and in that store someone gave you a warm smile for no particular reason, and that felt like a hug.
You enjoyed it because you were present, and your presence, you being connected with yourself from within somehow also created a connection with other people.
How can knowing that help you now?
How can knowing this help you through a different day, a tough day?
Is the solution just “don’t worry and be happy”? Well, the day may come when you have learned how not to worry and be happy at will, but until you’re there trying to might not be very helpful. Instead, I’d like to invite you to…
Get in touch
Get in touch with yourself and your body from within and you will see how it can change that difficult day into something else.
As you connect with yourself (and I’ll show you a few ways to do that in a moment) your body will react. It will feel accepted and even loved perhaps, it will feel nourished by your presence (even if you still worry and aren’t all that happy) and it will respond in ways (maybe subtle to begin with) that will make you feel even more connected.
When you’re connected from within, you can turn that downward spiral of conflict, tension, anger, loneliness, numbness, tiredness, emptiness… into a different spiral altogether, bringing acceptance, relaxations, connectedness, peace, vitality, joy.
And, let’s be realistic about that:
The day when things get really difficult is not the easiest time to start turning that spiral around. It will be so much easier for you if you start doing it before that. Start today, or tomorrow at the latest.
How exactly do you connect with yourself and your body?
The immediate thought might be: do something physical, stretch your muscles, exercise, join that yoga class… That might indeed be a great idea but it depends! It depends on how you do it and why you do it.
Because – and this is the ultimate key here (and hopefully we’re going to talk a lot more about that in the future):
All connection starts from within.
That is true for getting re-connected with your body too. It has to start from a good place within.
Just like you don’t want to be held and comforted by just anyone, regardless of what mood they’re in, but only by someone who in that moment really cares about you, in the same way you don’t want to connect with your body in any mechanical way. You want to approach your body – that miraculous part of yourself! – with loving care.
You will find your ways of doing it but just to get you started here are some practical, concrete ways of doing it. And here’s the fun paradox: Even if all these specific ways are actions, something you do on the outside, they are all designed to connect from within. So keep that in mind when picking any of them:
Your breath is such a miracle and it helps you with so many aspects of life, including pure survival of course but also way, way beyond that. In this case, let your breath help you connect with yourself from within.
Just spend some time where you sit still and notice your breath. Notice how it moves through your body. Know that it reaches every single cell. Sense how it connects you with all of your body. Feel all of your body. That’s what connection is: feeling it.
Start to move your body. Notice how it feels. Which movements bring you joy? Do more of those. Let your body move as it wants – and move with it. Feel your movements, sense them, enjoy them, surrender to them. That’s what connection is too.
Give yourself a wonderful soft bath or massage, or just hold yourself. Feel your body from within. Connect with it. Be with it. Be it.
Create a wonderful meal for yourself.
Create that meal from start to finish as you would do for your beloved (which you are, actually!). Prepare it with love, with care, making sure that your body gets what it truly needs and wants.
Not sure what that is? Take a few deep breaths to connect with your body, put your hand on your belly and ask: “What food and drink would be truly nourishing, energizing and pleasurable for me now?”. Don’t try to figure it out – let your body respond.
Once your meal is ready, take plenty of time to enjoy it – be connected with your body all the way through it.
Befriend a cat or a dog! Animals are obviously totally connected with their body. Actually, your body is a wonderful animal too. So in creating a close relationship with a pet and then playing with them, spending time with them, you have a chance to connect with yourself as animal too!
Play like a dog or like a cat or like a human – be present, be physical and open.
You are a natural being. You are not just the mind that reads these words on an electronic device.
Go spend some time in nature. Just be there, sense the nature around you and sense your body at the same time. Follow your impulses.When you connect this way you will discover you are part of nature, not just an observer
Stretching your muscles, exercising, yoga – these are all great way to connect with your body too, but only if you do it out of love and joy and dedication to connect with yourself! not just to “train your body” as if it was mechanical thing, something outside of yourself that is meant to perform a function.
Love your body.
Ask your body what you can do for it. Isn’t that a beautiful way to connect – to ask?Asking in itself is reaching out and connecting in a loving, unconditional way.
Ask and be willing to listen and to do what your body would like you to do.
As you connect with your body in open and loving ways and start listening to it…
Beautiful and surprising things can happen!
Here’s an example:
A friend of mine recently received a wonderful transformational massage which entire purpose was to help her reconnect with her body and listen to it deeper than she has done for decades. After the experience she (who has a habit of comforting herself with candy), much to her surprise noticed that her daily craving diminished, and even when she did have some candy, sugar didn’t taste as great as it used it. That’s how her body responded after just one massage because she connected with her body and its true needs, for pleasure too.
Last but not least:
The more you connect with yourself and your body, the easier it will be for you to also connect with another human being, intimately too, if that’s what you want.
It will be a more joyful connection because it will come less from dependency and lack and more from a place of joy, openness and love, towards yourself as much as towards another.