First, it is important to know what is meant by “self” before one can work towards being self-connected. For the purpose of this discussion, self is a unique reflection of an individual’s consciousness. Self is autonomous and separate from others, it is how a person experience themselves.
In order to feel connected to others, it is important that we know how to connect with ourselves. Before one can be in a healthy relationship with another, one needs to be grounded in themselves and know who they are independent of another.
Learning about and connecting to ourselves allows us to know what is important and meaningful for our lives. Knowing ourselves in this way makes it easier to connect and put importance on regular self-care.
There are six types of self-care; emotional, physical, social, practical, mental, and spiritual.
- Emotional Self-Care is being aware of how you are feeling. Your body may provide queues, you may be able to name them, and you can work toward understanding what triggers your feelings. Connect, process, and honor the entire range of emotions.
- Practical Self-Care is taking care of the things that need to be done to keep your life in order and functioning in a positive way. This practical care can be things like paying your bills, saving for a rainy day, or doing the things that aren’t sexy or fun but need to be done.
- Physical Self-Care is making sure that you nourish your body, get enough exercise, fresh air, and live a healthy lifestyle.
- Mental Self-Care includes decluttering your mind of thoughts that don’t serve you. You might take up the practice of meditation and mindfulness.
- Social Self-Care is made up of quality relationships. Making sure that you surround yourself with people that support you in being and becoming your best self.
- Spiritual Self Care is connecting to what your higher power means to you. It could be nature, religion, or a community of likeminded people.
“The spiritual path is not a solo endeavor. In fact, the very notion of a self who is trying to free her/himself is a delusion. We are in it together and the company of spiritual friends helps us realize our interconnectedness”- Tara Brach
Five ways we can strengthen our connection to ourselves.
1. Become aware of your emotions and where in your body you are feeling them and holding that stress or where you feel joy. The mind body connection is real- your body responds to the way you think, feel, and act.
2. Become so in tune with your emotions that you are completely aware and able to name them in any given moment.
3. Connecting to yourself comes with honoring and accepting your emotions and feelings for what they are, without judgement.
4. Become your own best friend. Treat yourself as you would treat your best friend. Learn to enjoy and be comfortable with your own company.
5. Be compassionate with yourself by checking in with yourself in the moment throughout the day.
Connecting to self is shifting the focus from what is happening externally, to a connection within. The power of shifting the focus to self is the deep connection of self-love and acceptance. By connecting with self, you can learn to take loving care of yourself and share that joy and love with others.