It’s time to check in with yourselves. Right now, my friends. Because when we can maintain connection to ourselves, especially when things get tough, when we can see people for who they are and have empathy for what they might need—that’s when we get the most out of this life. It doesn’t mean it’s easy—let’s just all agree that none of this is fucking easy.
Where we get stuck (and stay stuck), is accessing those abilities to stay connected to the people and things that matter most to us. But having a plan for when things go wrong – that’s helpful. The whole reconnection and relationship thing implies that it’s all about two people. I think, however, that the answer lies in how we create a world where we reconnect to ourselves, first. On purpose and with purpose.
Here are three strategies that are seemingly simple. Over the years, I’ve found they are the three cornerstones that help us stay centered and focused on the things that matter most.
- Reconnect to your people. It turns out, a select few get us through this life. Get the ones in your head who truly know your story. Those who have had the most access to your soul, underneath any hurt and trauma and pain that we all have gathered at some points in our story. Those are your people. Connect to one of them daily, if you’re able to. A text, a note, a prayer is simply all you need.
- Drop your shoulders. That mind-body reconnection is everything. Often when we get overwhelmed, we step out of our body and get stuck in our heads. We have the ability at any given moment to slow down our breathing and get back into the moment. If you’re able to, drop your shoulders and slow your breath, even be still for a few stolen moments. Regulate your body and you have access to your words, your memories, and your capacity for kindness and compassion. And finally, stepping back from time to time to take in the bigger picture.
- Remember your “why”. Sometimes when I’m struggling to make sense of why everyone is an asshole and I can’t slow down long enough to find the empathy, I am reminded of why I’m here: to do the next, best, right, kind thing in this human race. We’re all headed to the same place. None of us knows for sure just how many heartbeats we have left. Not missing the moments matters even more than getting it just right.
You are your best self, parent, partner, employee, leader when we look after you first. The richest parts of our lives live in the spaces where we are whole enough to see the best in others and to allow ourselves to be seen. Remember the practices that make you (and me) our first priority.