In my post college life, I have found myself spending so much time consuming as much information as possible about literally anything, and I have seen so many people around me hustling to create their dream lives. All of this is amazing, but we are all forgetting to take time to check in with ourselves. My goal is to make time to do this every day, even if its just for a minute or two, but in reality sometimes it doesn’t happen. Sometimes, I go to meditate but I fall asleep and take a nap instead, because I had a long day, and sometimes, I drink too many before I remember that I wanted to do some soul-searching journaling. It happens, and it is nothing to be ashamed of. We all have our paths. Some people are really good at being spiritual every single day. I am not.
I am however, very good at listening to myself if I make the time to do so. It doesn’t have to be anything difficult and you can honestly do whatever the heck you want, as long as you are alone and it is quiet, you will hear and you will get to know yourself.
Ways to Listen
Meditate. Let me let you in on a little secret, YOU DO NOT NEED TO SIT STILL TO MEDITATE. And even better than that, YOU DON’T NEED TO FORCE YOURSELF NOT TO THINK. Meditation is simply doing anything with 100% of your focus. Sometimes I meditate in the shower. I pay attention to every single drop of water on my head, and I do all of my showering tasks slowly and purposely. This practice is great for self-worth, and body positivity. Every time that I catch myself saying something negative to myself, I notice it. Noticing it makes it go away. I don’t judge it. Sometimes if it keeps coming back up I will rationalize it, and then convince myself otherwise. Quick example: Right before my period every month, I tell myself that I am fat or that I have too much fat. Neither of these things are true. What I have done to stop this dialogue with myself is to realize that I am exactly the same size and weight that I was two days prior and I liked myself then, so what makes today different? It really is just my period making me feel like shit. After I realize that, I’m okay and the negativity stops. I also meditate while washing dishes. Mindful and productive. Just by focusing 100 percent of your attention on the task at hand you are being present and can take notice of the things that pop up in our mind. Then you let them pass without reacting. That is meditation. Just being quiet and noticing.
Take a Walk. This is my absolute favorite. I love mornings, and going for a morning walk when I can convince myself to, is the best thing I can do for my mental space. I’m not entirely sure what it is, but taking the time to be by myself and stretch myself out is magical. During this walk I do the same thing that I do in meditation. I pay attention to the thoughts and the feelings that come up and I let them go or pass through me. I don’t respond or judge, I just let them happen.
Sit Alone in Nature. I find this extra powerful if you sit somewhere with an overlook, or somewhere near water. While you’re here, surprise, you do the same thing as the previous activities. Just listen to yourself and what comes up for you. Then, let it go.
Journal. When I am feeling overwhelmed or too full of information, this is what I do. I take my journal to a quiet place and write down everything in my head. I write and write until I have nothing left to say. IF I want to reflect further, I’ll go back and read what I wrote but most of the time, I don’t need to. It is already out of me and I feel better.
Do Some Yin Yoga. Beware, because this shit is addicting. Yin Yoga is super slow, super peaceful, and super purposeful. You hold each pose for at least five breathes and then slowly transition to the next pose. It is meant to help release the tension in all your deep muscles and therefore, the emotions and tension that you have stored in those muscles. If the science of this interests you, look up metaphysical energies. Its some wild shit. What a dream though.
Talk to Yourself. A gal that I work with told me that she does this and I loved the idea of it. Everyone talks to themselves, let’s be honest. She sits in her car while she’s driving anywhere and just talks to herself about what is going on in her life. She just lets it flow. I think that it is so cool, and I can totally see how this would help. She not only is noticing all the thoughts that she is having but she’s hearing them too, and literally letting them go into the air. You might feel crazy, but as long as you feel better after, who the heck cares.
The important thing in all of these practices is that you are honest with yourself and interested in learning more about who you are internally. The rest will come naturally. Sometimes when I am listening to myself I find something that I need to cry about, so I will, and other times, I laugh at myself because that’s what I need. Just listen, and there is no need to be afraid of learning who you are. I was a little bit, but the truth is you will like what you find. You are meant to like your authentic self, its your ego that makes you think otherwise.
Just remember, there is no perfect practice. Just because some girl on Instagram is burning sage and hula hooping, doesn’t mean that that’s the way you have to do it. Good for her for being so good with a hula hoop, but some of us don’t have those moves! Find what works for you. You can learn about yourself without becoming a hippie free spirit, or you can jump head first into the wormhole. Completely up to you!
What are your favorite ways to sit in silence? What have you learned that you love about yourself?
Thanks for reading! Love you all!