I’m a pretty regular listener of Howard Stern’s radio show on Sirius – I don’t listen to every segment (I just don’t care a whole lot about the Wack Pack, I have to be honest), but I think his celebrity interviews are outstanding. He had Chris Martin from Coldplay on last week – what an absolutely lovely and charming man he is…I wonder how he endured Gwyneth all those years? 😉 Anyway…during his interview, Chris did a short bit from David Bowie’s “Life on Mars”, and it was glorious – give it a listen:
So beautiful, eh? I love that song anyway, even if I’m not always sure what it’s about….I think it’s beautiful. This is an idea that has been popping up a whole lot recently – how to make sense and be okay with things that don’t seem to make sense. I find myself in all sorts of situations that don’t make sense to me – let me explain what I mean by that. I am remarkably analytical for a person who is as creative and bonkers a thinker as I am…I like to have plans, I like to organize most things (except my fridge – that thing is a straight up shit hole that I need to do something about and pronto), I like to know where I stand with people, and I like to put labels on things. Classification and categorization are very important to me – and I have no idea why. So, when I find myself in situations with people that I can’t classify, that don’t fall neatly into a single category, I find it difficult to handle. I get mildly panicky, and probably behave like a jerk, trying to figure the whole thing out – instead of just leaning into it and enjoying the moment. I guess that’s really what the problem is, you know – I fear that I don’t really know how to enjoy a moment, as I’m always looking towards the next one that’s coming. That makes me sad….I need to stop that (or slow it down, at least), and really learn to live in the moments that are around me. But how?
Let’s give this article from MindBodyGreen a read, shall we?
Connection is one of the most important aspects of life. It’s important to remember that it all starts from within. We strive to feel connected and to belong. When this isn’t the case, feelings of isolation and separation come into play, and we’re immediately disconnected.
So here are 10 ways to deepen your connection to the present moment, whatever it may be:
1. Call a friend.
Just hearing the voice of another person has the ability to get us connected. We can practice empathy and compassion. We are taken out of ourselves and are able to truly listen and be there for another person. By doing this, we can get ourselves out of a place of feeling alone and isolated and deepen the connection within.
2. Listen to music.
Music is a great way to connect. It has the ability to get into our souls and bring about a sense of happiness and aliveness. This connects us with appreciation and brings about a sense of wholeness.
It’s just as simple as this: breathe. Take a deep inhale and a deep exhale. Ground yourself and enjoy the natural connection you have to life. Allow for the breath to connect you to how you’re really feeling. Maybe you are feeling sad, lonely, anxious, or joyful. Breathing allows you to connect to yourself and your emotions.
4. Notice and reflect on something in nature.
Do you ever stop and look at the trees? The flowers? The sky? By taking a moment to stop and reflect on the natural beauty that is so present in our lives, we can feel the gratitude, the happiness, and the sense of connection to our internal and external realities.
5. Step outside your current surroundings.
It can be easy to feel trapped and suffocated, especially at home or at the office. We can go to a place of frustration and judgment. Sometimes it just requires our stepping outside to change the perception to one of appreciation rather than one of disturbance and disconnection.
This is a staple for a deeper connection. By writing out how you’re feeling, clarity and alertness are immediately present. You’re able to dig within and understand how you are truly feeling and what is coming up for you. This gets you more in touch with your intuition and your truth.
7. Make eye contact.
Eye contact is a source of connection. Our eyes are windows to our souls, and when we feel more connected, we look into the eyes of another. Practice this today and notice how it brings about a sense of peace and serenity. We see ourselves in others, and others in ourselves.
8. Look at yourself in the mirror.
You are whole and complete just as you are. You are enough. You are beautiful. Notice this in yourself. Practice these affirmations in the mirror and connect with yourself!
9. Take a shower.
Showers are wonderful and soothing. Feel the water touching your skin. Notice the intensity of its contact on you. Feel the water temperature and get a sense of how your body reacts to it. How does it make you feel? What are you thinking about? Showers allow for us to be present.
10. Write a gratitude list.
When we’re in a place of disconnection, it can be easy to forget about all we have to be grateful for. Gratitude brings us back to the present moment so take a few minutes today and write down what you’re grateful for.
These are really good, simple ideas…things that we all should be able to do really easily – and if they make a difference, and help you to feel better, what’s the harm in trying, eh? Personally, I have been writing a gratitude list of sorts every day since last summer – I keep a paper calendar/agenda as well as the one I have on my phone/iPad (I can’t see myself ever giving up the paper agenda…the process of writing in it is thrilling to me), and each day I jot down three things that I am grateful for. Some days it’s pretty basic: sunshine, chai tea lattes, fuzzy slippers…other days, it’s more profound: compassion of caring friends, my health, the teachers that care for and love my daughter. Regardless of what it is, I make the time to write three things that I am glad that I have in my life – there are definitely days when I can barely find one thing I care about let alone three, but I persevere, and I believe that this simple activity has made a difference in my mind set. So much of how our life goes depends upon mind set, which is why it’s super important to have one that is positive. Gandhi said, “A man is but the product of his thoughts; what he thinks, he becomes.” Who wants to bog themselves down with crappy ideas? Not this girl! I’ve been working on this for ages – years, in fact – and here are the things that I am trying to apply: I try not to think destructive thoughts, but if I slip up and do, I just quit thinking about it and move on; constantly remind myself that I have zero interest in being a miserable cow so I have to get over things and be happy; I try to spend time with people who are positive – and, with the exception of family that I can’t get rid of, I only spend my days with those that I find to be positive and uplifting; I try to walk away from conversations that are negative – in a polite way, of course…nothing positive will ever come from that kind of talk; I’m learning to let go of the things that gnaw at me – this one will be a lifelong struggle as I can hold a grudge like it was my damn job, but….I’m trying!!!; I try to approach most things that I do with my heart and passion first – I lead with my heart, as I believe that is the best that I have to offer the world; and, finally, I work hard – I rarely rarely sit around doing nothing ever…my life is a series of mostly deliberate actions, and I move from one to the next – just keep swimming, just keep swimming.
Someone last week told me that they just wanted me to be happy. I responded that of course I was, but the look of skepticism indicated that they didn’t believe that even a little bit…which had me wondering. I think that I am a pretty happy person most of the time, but am I not projecting that image to the world? Does it matter if I project it? I think I need to spend some time this weekend chewing over this idea, and trying to figure out what I need to really feel truly happy, and hope that it will show on my face. There are few things as great in this world as a happy face. 🙂