Come home to yourself
Have you ever put down a house deposit, got a promotion, lost a loved one or even gotten engaged, only to wonder how you even got to this point in your life?
Too often we go through life like this, in a perpetual state of auto-pilot. Life becomes Groundhog Day and starts to feel like something that just “happens” to us. We try to manage our health, relationships and careers in a world that offers more and demands more and we question when, if ever, we get off this hamster wheel.
Looking at our phones is an automatic response for many of us, It’s the FOMO that comes with social media, emails and the latest cat video. But our tendency to check our devices is habitual, even when we don’t need to, when we’re waiting 1.5 minutes for our coffee, when our minds wander during lunch, when a stressful thought enters our mind — we seek solace in disconnection. But it’s too easy to blame technology.
We have all spoken to someone at work, at home or during our day, who we know is mentally somewhere else. Not fully engaged in the conversation but there all the same. Maybe they’re thinking about what to eat for lunch or remembering the bills that they have to pay or perhaps they are working through their own emotions. But they’re not there and you know it, they probably do too. This person could even be you, from time to time.
The reality is we live in a world where innovation promises to keep us more up-to-date and connected, then why do so many of us feel the exact opposite? We experience life the same way we experience a drive to visit our parents, not knowing what we did and how we got there. But we’re there. Along the way missing moments of connection to the world around us, each other and ourselves. But we go got there, right?
When was the last time you had a truly deep and meaningful conversation? Or the last time you felt truly at ease waiting for your coffee by yourself?
Connection allows us to find more meaning in our day-to-day experiences, it allows moments of clear recognition which translate to seeing the singularity of our existence. We are not separate from life, we are alive.
Suppose I hold a leaf in my hand. What do you see?
A leaf is a leaf; it is not a flower. But in fact, when we look
deeply in to the leaf, we can see many things. We can see
the plant, we can see the sunshine, we can see the clouds,
we can see the earth. We’re not the same as, nor
are we separate from, other beings. We’re connected to
everything, and everything is alive.” Thich Nhat Hanh
When we pause on our daily walk and notice the sounds of the birds or the rustle of the flowers in the wind, we reconnect back to nature, our environment. When we realise that we make mistakes and hurt people we begin to realise that we are not so dissimilar to the people that hurt us, we connect to each other.
And when we realise our minds have drifted to a memory of a painful experience or towards anxiety of something to come, and compassionately bring ourselves back to the here and now, we connect to the present moment. And the present moment is where all the magic happens.
It’s this space where we realise that we don’t need to add anything or take anything out of this moment to feel whole. We come home, to life and to ourselves.
I invite you to take the time today to pause. Notice where you are, the sounds that touch your ear, without clouding this moment with judgement or ideas, simply notice. The sounds, the smells, the feelings. Remind yourself that you are part of all of this. That you are present and connected, here — now.