I am really really really really practiced at turning toward others while turning away from myself.
I’m so good, if I’m not paying attention, it will happen on autopilot.
This means, I have to intentionally practice turning away from others and toward myself.
Prioritizing my needs and desires before tending to the outside world takes effort and regular practice.
The goal isn’t to do it perfectly.
The goal is to do it.
Again and again and again.
I’ve been thinking about the way in which I would move through my days if I were the most stable, energized version of me. (thanks for the question @alexandracovucci) If nothing changed about my work and personal commitments, how would this version of me be navigating my days? What would I be doing, thinking, feeling?
One of the things that creates this stabilized energy is meeting the day before the sun rises and spending time connecting with myself before plugging into the world around me. I do this by prioritizing the needs of my mind, body + spirit.
If I’m not mindful, I’ll wake up and automatically start looking for things or people that need my attention.
For example, I might start opening apps on my phone to check emails, read text messages, and look for notifications on social media. Or I might move through my house looking for things that need to be cleaned, straightened up, folded, put away, etc.
Once I become aware that something or someone “needs my attention”, I’ll immediately move into “take-care” mode. I tell myself I’ll just take care of this one thing and when I’m done, I’ll bring my attention to myself.
Even though my words sound believable when I say them, it rarely goes down that way.
Typically the one thing turns into another thing which leads to another thing and not-so-suddenly I’m hours into a path I didn’t want to go down before I’d connected with myself.
Ignoring my phone until I’m ready to engage with the world is one of the simple (not easy) things that helps me prioritize connecting with myself in the mornings.
When I go to bed, I set my phone face down + when I woke up this morning, I don’t pick it up.
Until I do.
Yesterday I picked up my phone to upload a story on Insta and since I was there, I mindlessly clicked on notifications and then I went to Facebook and did the same thing where I became aware of a couple of things that I hadn’t known needed my attention.
Until I did.
I set down my phone + remind myself that I’m already doing something and I’ll address the new things later.
So now, I’m sitting on my couch writing (like I promised myself I would) and my phone is face-down + off to the side.
Transformation isn’t a dramatic before-and-after pic.
It consists of the seemingly small, easily dismissed as insignificant, kinda mundane choices we make again and again and again each day.
We transform over many many moments, not in a single one.
Transformation asks for our commitment to show up again and again and again.
Each time I wander, I get to practice coming back to myself.
And each time I come back to myself, I strengthen the roots of my self-trust.
Wandering allows me the opportunity to come home.