For years I lived on autopilot, pushing through my days. I walked a path I thought I was supposed to walk rather than checking within to see if it was the right one for me. I had lost my sense of self and was walking in circles through fog.
It took me 20 years to find and recognize my inner voice and consciously step onto a path of my own choosing. Because of that long and challenging journey, my voice and perspective are important to me.
This past summer, though, the fog crept in and I lost that sense of connection with myself. I started pushing through my days again. I stopped living in the moment and practicing gratitude, figuring I’d “get to it a bit later.” I forgot to look up and notice the beauty around me. I didn’t feel like myself. For the most part, I stopped writing, since my writing is introspective.
This went on for months. It was disheartening and scary. I got so frustrated with myself – how could I let this precious connection fade?
I still don’t know how it happened, exactly. I guess I got more and more caught up in the activities and busyness of the day-to-day and forgot to go within. When I did take time to meditate, my thoughts were swirling around feverishly – so I just stopped doing it.
I’ve since plugged back into my life – into me – and I’m so grateful. And I’m slowly inviting joy again.
There was an important lesson in this for me. Conscious living is a practice. Staying connected to my inner voice is a practice. Gratitude – deep, heartfelt gratitude – is too. They aren’t givens for me and I can’t take them for granted.
Though it felt awful to feel so disconnected again, I’m glad for the lesson in it, and glad I found my way out of the haze.
What about you? Have you gone through periods where you can’t hear your inner voice? Where you’re living on autopilot?
If you’re ever lost in the distractions of a busy world, here are some things you can do to reconnect with yourself:
Unplug from external noise – With the world at our fingertips, we’re inundated with others’ input – the internet, media, and people in our lives – and sometimes we lose touch with our own thoughts. Taking a few minutes each day to unplug from all of that will give your mind a rest and allow you to know what your thoughts are.
Slow down, get quiet, and go within – If we don’t slow down and get quiet, our inner voice will become so faint it’ll be hard to hear. Spend time each day – even five minutes – in quiet reflection. Breathe deeply, meditate, or whatever feels most comfortable to you. Don’t put pressure on yourself to “not think”. Just try to relax into the quiet.
Go outside – Nature is so restorative. Whenever you can, go for a walk or simply spend time in nature, allowing yourself to be fully present. Notice the sights, sounds, and scents around you.
Express yourself – When you’re ready to reconnect with your inner voice, start by expressing yourself in small ways. Do this just for you. Write a few sentences about anything without censoring yourself. Or sing a song to yourself. Or yell. The key is to consciously express yourself daily. As you do that, your inner voice will become stronger and louder, and that’s a beautiful thing.
Cut yourself some slack – We’re all growing and changing. There may be times when you’re going through so much change that you can’t process it all at once and need a break from deep reflection. That’s okay! Be gentle with yourself. Everything happens in divine right timing.
We all have a beautiful inner voice worth hearing. Though it’s always there, it gets quiet when we don’t tune in, really listen, and honour what it has to say. When we do tune in and align our lives with our inner voice – pure magic!