Not a bad place to start, right? The basics…
Who are you?
Who were you before the world got its paws on you?
We consume so much these days, from TV, the internet and social media, our sense of self can get totally screwed up. We are told to be good girls, to behave, to not be too much, too loud, not to take up too much space, because god forbid we make someone else feel uncomfortable.
Now I am all for the needs of others, I am an A1 people pleaser from way back. I am the poster child for the accommodating woman, and most of the time I am totally okay with that. Lately I have been thinking a lot about how so many women I speak to feel the needs of others definitely come before their own and what it is that makes us feel that is acceptable.
How are we expected to follow through with what is important to us if we don’t feel connected to who we are?
Are we too afraid to acknowledge who we are and what is important to us for fear that it (and we) may not be accepted? How do we know who we are when we have pressure and influence to be/act a certain way coming from every which way? How? We need to get still.
We stop. Freeze. Stutter.We stall.
And then we realise, who we are is there, waiting patiently to be found (or really, rediscovered).
That the media can tell us so many things about who we are and who we should be, but that doesn’t mean that it’s true.
So how do we get still? How do we get back to ourselves? Without fuss, let’s make it easy.
Some of my favourite ways…
I don’t know about you but for me, music is a teleporter. It takes me right back to a place, a person, a time. It transforms me into my former self, even if it’s just for that 4 minute duration. It makes me feel connected, and ultimately, when I want to be reminded of who I am and how I feel, it is an instant salve (whether I realise it at the time or not). Put it on, sing your little heart out, dance your little ass off, forget about everything else and go where it takes you.
In The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron uses a technique that she calls morning pages. Essentially it is a brain dump, first thing, handwritten for a set period of time. Me? I don’t do well with more than 10 mins, but 10 minutes definitely helps. It brings clarity and just helps get all the shit out of your brain onto the page. You can then sift for the gold (because, trust me, some days, there will be gold). Now in the interest of transparency, I do not do this every day. Sometimes I don’t even do it once a month, but when I need to create space to get back to myself if helps.
Disconnect to reconnect? Say what.
Stop watching the news. Stop looking at Facebook. Stop asking for others opinions. Not forever. Just for the moment. Just while you get clear. Have a little faith in yourself and your ability to make decisions. Listen to your gut, it’s usually right. (This is one for me is an ongoing saga I gotta work on!)
Write, cook, make art, make babies, take pictures, sing. Just do something other than consume. Try it and see what comes up.
The beauty of all of these things is that they don’t have to take long.
They don’t take much commitment, music can be on while you brush your teeth if you are super short on time. Connecting with who you are shouldn’t be an arduous task, you just need to create a little space for it to happen. You are totally worth it.