Updated: Jun 25, 2019
Recently I’ve talked about finding out your life work, connecting that search to really knowing yourself and leaning on the work of your intuition to help you in the process. But what I haven’t done is give you tools that have been proven to help you in that process. In my doctoral research my project was titled, “Forming a New Bond with Oneself: Creating Space for the Heart to Speak.” Connection to oneself, God, and others is often a goal when I work with individuals in therapy. Individuals often operate detached from these sources without having any tools for bringing about a new connection.
It’s great to have a goal to really know yourself and hear your inner voice, but without tools it’s easy to get stuck. Here’s a list of tools I found to be helpful in the process of digging deeper:
Mindfulness: inviting an attitude of non-judgement, allowing thoughts and emotions to be what they are and living in the present moment. We get so caught up ruminating on past events, over-analyzing the future…mindfulness invites you into the present moment.
Self-compassion: treating yourself more like you would a best friend. Where did we learn to beat ourselves up? Somehow a lot of us think it’s noble to be self-critical and bully ourselves around, but this really isn’t helpful. This doesn’t mean we get self-absorbed and think we are good at everything or perfect and in no need of improvement, but it does mean we can be more gentle with ourselves in the areas that we are less-than-perfect. (Guess what, that’s pretty much every area. Hey, perfection is boring anyway)
Healing-arts: song, dance, painting, drawing, coloring= they can all get us to connect to a different part of ourselves. For me, the times I paint or draw have been the times I can shut down my racing mind the most. Try it! I think there’s a reason the adult coloring books have become more of a thing. Access a different part of the brain, or rather help shut down a part of it for a period of time if it's overactive. It’s always good to get a break from the monkey brain in order to have a fresh perspective.
Centering-prayer: This tool is attractive for those who come from the Christian tradition, but you don’t have to consider yourself a Christian to practice it. I like to describe it as the Christian way of meditating. The main difference is in meditation you don’t have God as a focus in your seeking process.
In my exploration, I looked at the topics of self-compassion, mindfulness, healing-arts, and centering prayer as pathways to bring a new connection to oneself, God, and others. The purpose of using the tools is to create a new view of self and others that changes the awareness with which one can live. They’ve been proven to help individuals slow down and tap into a deeper level of connection to oneself.
If you’re interested in further exploration of these topics, check out my online course!