Regaining Connectedness: The Key to Living a Fulfilling Lifesam
by Lynda D’Amico
We are not human beings in search of a spiritual path here on earth. We are spiritual beings immersed in a human experience.
If you feel as if there’s something missing in your life, you are not alone. Living in a culture that places so much emphasis on external things such as material gain, independence, entertainment and productivity, we are encouraged to abandon our inner self—the place where love resides. Those external accomplishments may temporarily boost our ego or bring a shot of happiness, but they won’t give us what we need to feel loved and fulfilled in life.
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It’s easy to understand why so many of us feel such a disconnect from the deeper parts of our being. If you feel as if you have lost a part of yourself, it’s time to take a step back and reevaluate your life. Start by asking yourself some questions: Is life working for me? Does it reflect how I envision it? Am I feeling passionate, inspired? If the answers to these questions are “no,” it’s time for a change.
Losing Your Connectedness Hurts
We pay a steep price for focusing most of our time and attention on external goals: We lose sense of what’s truly important—the relationship we have with ourselves, our partners, family, friends, pets, nature and Spirit—the very things that help make us feel whole. This leaves us feeling separate from everyone and everything, ultimately leaving us lonely, restless and lost. Initially, we might not even realize what we’ve sacrificed and how lightly we live, skimming across the surface instead of diving into the rich engagement we long for.
As people continue to succumb to the pressure to earn more, buy more and look younger, some begin to sense that something is missing. Others may not awaken until an unexpected crisis shocks them into clarity. The fact that so many are feeling disconnected explains why we’re seeing such an insurgence of self-directed practices such as yoga, meditation, journaling or spending time in nature as we all seek clarity.
Everything Is Interconnected
One of the many benefits brought out by these practices is a quieting of the mind, leading to increased self-awareness. As you learn to observe without judgment, you may become aware of two selves: the one chattering away with ever-changing thoughts; the other, an unwavering deeper self.
Many spiritual practices such as the Vedic tradition teach that we are part of, and woven together in, one energy field or consciousness. Many physicists also believe that a field of energy exists in all things, connecting everything. This has been seen in what they call the holographic universe, where they have observed a complete pattern of the whole within the smallest stream of light.
In indigenous cultures, rituals play a dominant role in strengthening the bonds between individuals and the spiritual world. The vision quest, a Native American practice, helps young men transition into manhood by connecting them to the Great Spirit so they can gain insight into their higher purpose. Because our culture is lacking in such traditions, make it a priority to schedule time for introspection and for practices that help you nurture your inner self and connect to an infinite source of love.
Practice Our Nine Guides for Living
Below are . Practicing them faithfully will help you connect more with your deeper self, as well as remind you that your life is shaped by the thoughts and emotions you choose. To help put these guides into practice, use the exercises suggested, or have fun creating your own!
1. Self-Awareness — Develop the practice of observing your thoughts, emotions and actions without judgment. Doing this will help you gain insight into how you perceive and respond to life. When we become more self-aware, we create the opportunity to make adjustments that improve the way we relate to ourselves and others.
2. Inner Guide — Your inner guide (aka intuition) is a valuable resource. Learn to trust its voice—however it comes to you. If something feels wrong, it probably is. Give yourself quiet time every day to create the space for your inner voice to be heard.
3. Accountability — You are the author of your life: It’s what you do with what you’ve been given that counts. Write down and reflect upon where you may not be taking full responsibility in your life. Consider that you always have a choice, whether it’s having the power to change outside circumstances or your perception about them.
4. Acceptance — Life is unpredictable, filled with surprises and unexpected turns. Change is the normal state of life. Instead of resisting something you can’t alter, try surrendering to it. Sitting by a stream and observing nature can help remind us that everything is constantly moving, adjusting and transforming to accommodate the next phase of growth.
5. Gratitude — Make a conscious effort to feel grateful. It will help you develop the habit of looking at the bright side, leading to a life filled with more joy. One way to embrace this practice is to start a gratitude journal. Or, for families, each member can write down what they’re grateful for on pieces of paper, which are then collected in a jar. At week’s end, the family comes together to share what they’ve written.
6. Intention — Setting an internal intention for the day sends a message to your subconscious about how you want to be. Do you want to be less overwhelmed, centered, or patient? Give your intention more power by setting it in the morning and writing it down. Then place the note in different locations throughout your home or office to remind yourself throughout the day.
7. Forgiveness — Holding on to anger only leads to stale, pent-up energy. Releasing that anger is not only freeing but, ultimately, invigorating. Start with yourself. Is there something you need to forgive yourself for? Write a letter granting you permission to forgive yourself. Read it. Two weeks later, pick it up again or even mail it to yourself. When you reread it, do you feel different? Were you able to fully forgive yourself? Is there anyone else you need to forgive?
8. Letting Go — When you release what no longer serves you, you create space for new good things to come into your life. Make a list of what you want to let go of. Explore what the attachments are…. Is it fear? Guilt? When you’re ready to let go, create a ceremony where you take your list and burn it. You can do this alone or with others, so everyone shares in the experience.
9. Manifestation — Creation emanates from within. Pay close attention to your thoughts. What story are you telling yourself about who you are and what your life is all about? Your thoughts are like seeds. The emotions created by those thoughts are the fertilizer. Together they create the outer world of form. Master your mind, master your life.
Growing takes a lot of courage, patience, determination and kindness to yourself. To welcome more peace and joy into your life, we hope you do more of what’s essential to your well-being and let go of what’s not. You’re worth creating the space in order to reconnect with and deepen the relationship with your authentic self and expansive love. This is your journey. Enjoy it!
About the Author
Lynda D’Amico is an artist and healer. She is also co-founder of InnerGuide, a personal-development company that creates planning guides for success. Using self-directed coaching strategies, its tools help you deepen self-awareness, increase productivity and live with a greater sense of purpose. To learn more, visit www.inner-guide.com.