I’m an extravert, I’m driven to connect with others not only because I enjoy their company but because I need it in order to re-energise myself. So when the pandemic came, I thought I would really struggle with the lock-down and the social isolation. I knew the only way to get through this pandemic was through reconnecting with the most important person in my life, the person that I’ve been too distracted to nurture because I’ve been more interested in connecting with others. The person who is by my side the most, day in and day out no matter what, that person was myself.
I don’t think we are really taught how to connect with ourselves. There is so much emphasis on connecting with those around us, that it can be hard to find yourself behind all the thoughts and distractions. I imagine that for introverts this may seem more natural and I’ve always envied my introverted friends for their ability to shut off from the world outside, so that they can re-energise themselves. For me as an extravert, this required extending a lot of curiosity for self-discovery and deliberate practice of self-compassion.
The only way I knew how to get started, was by putting as much interest and curiosity into learning about myself, that I usually put into those around me. I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t easy to start with, but I’ve tipped my toes into this type of experience a couple of years ago post a breakup, so I knew where to get started. For me, the best place to tap into myself and spend time with me, is through flow and creativity. When I find my element in writing, I freeze all the narratives in my head that bring me down and find the stillness I need to meet my uncensored expressive self. I also find that tapping into my body through yoga and meditation allows me to align my body, mind and soul in a more balanced way. These practices enable me to hold space for my thoughts, feelings and experiences without judgement and criticism, therefore, meeting my real self with open arms and unconditional love. When you meet yourself, you realise how complex and dynamic you really are. There is so much to explore, meet and love.
Of course, I still stay social by connecting with friends and family. It’s important to stay in touch with people that bring joy and positivity into your life, no matter what the circumstance is. But reconnecting with myself has given me the opportunity to tap into an unlimited and vast source of love and joy. It has enabled me to heal so many unconscious narratives and wounds that I had not paid attention to. It has also given me the space and time to rewrite some beliefs that I had outgrown and to plant some new seeds for the type of person that I want to grow into.
This surprise reconnection has helped me thrive during a period that I thought I would sink. It’s given me new tools and perspectives on how I see myself, how I interpret my experiences and how I care for those around me. It’s been such a pleasant surprise and I hope it will be a habit that I will take with me out of this pandemic.
We all have so much depth to us, if we take the time to explore and reconnect with ourselves, we will find all the parts of us that are waiting to be discovered and loved.