by Anjana Deshpande
“I am so happy when I am in my yard” my neighbor across the street yelled. She was in her element: dirt on her hands, saplings by her side, and the sun pouring all around her. She looked rooted, connected.
Connection tells us where we belong, where our place in the world is. Strong connections lead to strong roots. But the most profound connection is the one we have with our self. Not being in touch with who we are, changes our relationship to almost everything that we are trying to engage with. We may be surrounded by family, friends, work but still feel a sense being ungrounded, of not being rooted. Sometimes the disconnect with self is a way of numbing pain, of not dealing with something from our past, or sometimes it is simply a lack of access to our inner reserves. Not being connected to ourselves may lead to issues like depression, but when we try to numb our feelings, we also shut down a creative and joyful part of ourselves. Life becomes flat, boring and devoid of joy . As we constantly put ourselves on the back burner and cater to the world outside, we forget that we have a tremendous capacity to nurture ourselves.
How does one reconnect then? Many people instinctively take to writing to reflect on what is going on, to literally “hear themselves think”. The pages of a journal are a great way to recharge and reconnect.
If you don’t know where to begin, here is a simple exercise:
Tonight, write down a feeling or quality that you would like to experience: clarity, calm, excitement, love, friendship, peace. My suggestion would to be lean into a more positive frame of mind. Tomorrow evening, take some time to reflect on where you experienced this feeling or quality in your day. Write about it, and describe the situation/event/feeling in detail. As Kay Adams states, this becomes a fascinating exercise in creating your own reality and changing the focus of your thoughts.
You may even choose to create a” word bowl” of feelings that you would like to experience, and pick one a day, and pay attention to how it appears in your life. This pausing, this thoughtfulness and self-reflection is a small yet significant step towards reclaiming yourself.
Anjana Deshpande is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who specializes in working with Adolescents, Adults and Older Adults. Please contact Anjana Deshpande, LCSW at firstname.lastname@example.org or 267-422-2861