What would possibly cause anyone to feel unsettled these days? We could spend all of today and tomorrow counting the many reasons and ways. But instead of ruminating over the current state of the world, it might be more helpful to turn the noise dial down – even if it’s just for a short while.
It’s one thing to keep informed, and quite another to stay plugged in. And hey, if you don’t find solace in dialing down, you can always return to your television, radio, computer or smart device, and be immediately saturated in news and noise again. There is no shortage of noise, and that is unlikely to change anytime soon.
In the meantime, if you find yourself longing for the comfort of feeling more like yourself again, try one of these 3 simple steps to reconnect to your inner happy place.
Step 1: Clear Clutter
It’s difficult to be light on our feet, when we feel weighed down by clutter. Clutter might consist of actual stuff in our physical space. But the more overlooked way clutter shows up in our lives, is in the baggage we lug around in our mind space and heart space. Our minds can quickly become busy with worries and thoughts and information overload. Add to that, the many stories we carry around about the past and the present. Some of these stories are of our own making, and some can be the result of being a dumping ground for other people’s stories and dramas. It’s easy to see how accessing ease of mind can feel daunting, if we leave no space for space.
If we want to free up space in our hearts and minds for more ease, we can start by intentionally not adding more to the pile. It’s like making a commitment to stop buying the same color and style of shirt, when your closet is already bursting at the seams with blue and white stripes, or gray fuzzy sweaters.
Your stopping place might mean keeping your phone out of your bedroom at night, to give your mind and spirit a break. Maybe it’s to make a commitment to start your day with anything but technology, and instead use that time to tune inward.
Being able to regularly access our inner happy place, requires that we let go of the connections, stories and stuff that anchor us to a perpetual feeling of overwhelm and disconnection.
When it comes to clearing clutter to create new space, this might mean setting healthy boundaries in relationships with others. Or letting go of unhealthy connections that have run their course. Maybe it looks like clearing your physical space of stuff you don’t need or use, and passing it along to others who would be happy to have it. De-cluttering old stories might resemble something like starting your day feeling connected and in alignment with your truth – instead of leading from a pessimistic outlook.
See what shifts when you let go of what weighs you down, to make room for more of what sets you free.
Step 2: Stillness
What comes to mind when you think of stillness? Do you picture a tranquil nature scene? Or do you think of a holistic meditation practice? What if stillness isn’t what we are led to believe? Maybe sitting quietly isn’t the only way to experience stillness. Perhaps it’s something we can access anytime we choose.
I view stillness as giving yourself the gift of softening into your being. It’s letting go of the battle to fill your moments searching. It’s allowing yourself to wander and wonder, instead of distracting and deflecting.
Stillness is a state that does involve action – even if it’s subtle. It requires you to be in the discomfort of awkward moments, without giving in to the knee-jerk reaction to comfort yourself, by distracting yourself. Stillness is not a yoga pose. Well, sure you can access your inner happy place in many poses. But you can also access your inner happy place by not reaching for your phone, by not turning on the television, and by choosing to not push through an uncomfortable emotion. Stillness is seeing what happens when you allow yourself to feel all of your emotions and see what they might be trying to teach you. Stillness is tuning inward to listen to the soft whisper of your truth, instead of always looking outward for the answers you can only find within.
When we are comfortable tuning inward, we become more familiar with the sound of our inner wisdom and truth. When we allow more stillness in our daily lives, it’s easier to guide our choices and actions from our truth. Our external world is only growing noisier. The demand for our attention is becoming louder. Stillness is our life raft we can float on, when we are out in the unpredictable sea of life.
Step 3: Regular Access
When we experience what it feels like to be connected to our inner happy place, it no longer feels good to be around what doesn’t feel good. It all sounds so simple – and it is! But remembering to regularly access our inner happy place – when we are in the throes of life – requires that we create some kind of invitation to turn the noise dial down and tune inward.
How do we create a compelling invitation? Well, like everything, that’s a personal preference.
What has worked well for me, is to have a weekly planning ritual. I use a weekly paper planner to map out my week. This practice consists of formulating much more than my daily to-do list. I use my planning ritual to tune inward and stake my weekly claim on what’s most important to me. I also set an intention for how I want to feel. I look at what’s happening in my natural environment and tune into the cycles of my body and energy. My planner has become my foundation and compelling invitation to approach my life from the inside out, rather than feeling perpetually lost in the sea of noise.
The idea behind creating a compelling invitation, is to have some kind of a practice, ritual or belief system, that becomes your gateway to regularly access your inner happy place. Maybe it’s a weekly planning ritual, or maybe it’s a consistent practice of prayer. Perhaps your invitation could be combined with your favorite exercise, or getting outdoors in nature. Be creative and have fun with this part. You want to make it something that feels right to you, so it will stand the test of time. The good news is, if at any time you veer off your path, you can always reconnect to your happy place.
How does it feel when you connect to your inner happy place?
Article originally published on emilymadill.com