Meditation to reconnect with yourself

By Tania | 9th March 2020
Lady meditating to reconnect with herself at La Crisalida Health and Wellbeing Retreats, Spain

Meditation to reconnect with yourself is an important part of our programme here at La Crisalida Retreats, as it provides some quiet time in which you can learn and practice being present. Before looking at how meditation can help us to reconnect with ourselves, I want to explore how we know we are disconnected. I then provide two great simple meditation techniques that we can try anytime to help us reconnect.

What is meditation?

There are many different definitions of what meditation is but put simply meditation has been described as a special state of being. Meditation often involves using specific techniques or practices to enhance our awareness in order to achieve a clear and calm emotional state. There are many benefits to meditation including:

  • Reducing anxiety
  • Helping the mind to focus
  • Getting to know yourself better (self-awareness)
  • Feeling calmer

To read more you might like this article by John: What is meditation and what happens?

How do we know when we feel disconnected from ourselves?

This article explores meditations to reconnect with yourself. However, we might ask ourselves what it means to be connected with ourselves, and conversely what does it mean to feel disconnected with ourselves?

Feeling disconnected from ourselves might manifest in a number of different ways. I mention some of these below, but you might also be aware of other ways you feel disconnected from yourself:

Not taking care of yourself

This might mean not looking after yourself, or not finding time for activities you enjoy.

Distracting yourself from you

You might notice that you are not wanting to spend time alone with yourself. You might find you become a workaholic, or numb yourself with too much alcohol or drugs, you might binge on food or TV. In fact, anything to take you away from your own thoughts or self.

Feeling low, or having frequent angry outbursts

On a regular basis experiencing irritation, anger and guilt. You might also find yourself lashing out at other people.

Feeling disempowered to make changes in your life, or stuck in a rut

You might feel friends or people around you are making positive changes in their lives but you feel that your life is not going anywhere. You may feel stuck in an unsatisfactory job or relationship.

Feeling disconnected from others

You may feel anxious in social settings and find it hard to make new friends or connect with other people. You might feel left out in social groups, or find it hard to connect with colleagues.

Poor health

You might feel like you frequently get sick, or have a lots of tension in the body. Generally, you might feel unwell in your body.

These are just some signs that you have lost connection with yourself.

How does meditation help us to reconnect?

There are many different ways that meditation helps us to reconnect with ourselves, including:

Connecting to the present moment

Often in life we spend a lot of time dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. When we meditate we connect to this very moment. This helps us to be more present and aware and helps us not to miss things in our lives.

Connecting to emotions and sensations

Meditation helps us to feel into our bodies and be more aware of our emotions and the sensations in our bodies. As we have seen above, when we feel disconnected we distract ourselves from ourselves. Meditation helps us to reverse this.

Connecting to our breath

Meditation can help us connect our whole self. However, one of the easiest ways to connect to ourselves is through connecting to the breath. The breath is always with us wherever we go, from the moment we are born to the time we die. It is a fascinating process as it happens automatically but we can also control the breath.

Connecting to nature

Meditation also can help us connect to nature, and relaxing in nature has a wide range of benefits.

Meditation to reconnect with yourself

In the following section, I provide two easy meditation practices that you can try at home. To do these practices find a comfortable place where you won’t be disturbed.

You might want to read through these practices first, then try to remember the steps as you go through them. Another technique is to record yourself a voice memo reading the instructions carefully and slowly, then listen to this a few times. After a while you will become familiar with the steps and be able to do it without the audio. Remember that the exact sequence of steps is not as important as the fact you are paying attention.

When practicing any meditation technique, we may have expectations or judgements about the ‘right’ way to do things. Try to let these go, sometimes the mind might be busy, other times it might be quiet. You may find the mind scattered or focused on one thing. This is all part of the process, just watch and observe.

Meditation for present moment awareness

This meditation practice brings in elements of a previous series of meditations we have shared on the La Crisalida Blog including on Mindfulness of Breathing. The idea is to stay present, watching things come and go, without focusing or getting caught up on any one emotion or sensation.

I suggest that you set aside 20 to 30 minutes for this meditation.

Firstly, get yourself in a comfortable position in a chair or sitting on a cushion or a bolster. Check that you will not be disturbed.

Then with your eyes closed (or downcast) become aware of any sensation in your body. You might like to start with where your body is touching the ground or a chair. Maybe take a moment to move a little forward and backwards, or side to side. As your weight shifts notice how the sensations change as the body shifts. Notice the sensations of the clothes touching the skin, the different temperatures of the air around the body. Spend some time here just observing different sensations in the body, try not to judge the sensations just watch them come and go. Allow your attention to move from sensation to sensation as they arise.

Next take your attention to the sounds around you. Notice sounds that are far away and those that are nearer. Try not to categorise sounds or label them as good or bad. Just listen to one sound and then move your attention onto the next sound, then the next.

Now move the attention further inwards and bring your mind to rest on the sound of your breath. There is no need to try to block out other sounds or thoughts. When you notice you have become distracted simply bring your attention back to the sound of your breath. Watch the breath for a few minutes, wherever you feel or notice it.

Next take your attention to your emotions. Watch the emotions come and go, see if you can try not to get attached to or repelled by emotions. Even if a strong emotion comes, see if you can be aware that it will pass again with time. If no emotion is present, return to your breath and as an emotion arises, notice it rise.

Next spend some time watching the mind and the thoughts that arise. Maybe your mind will be busy, maybe it is empty. Just watch the mind, letting things come and go. You might like to imagine the thoughts as clouds passing on a windy day.

When you are ready to come back, take the return journey slowly. Notice once again your physical body, aware of the sensations in your muscles, feel where you touch the earth and the sensations of the clothes on your skin. Notice the sounds around you. Then slowly bring some movements into the body, maybe have a yawn or a deep sigh. Then stretch out the legs and body, bringing gentle movement to your body.

Take a few minutes to reflect on the experience for you and how you feel.

On days that you meditate see if you can notice other effects throughout the day. When I meditate, I notice the trees and colours more than on days when I don´t.

Connection meditation

In this mediation practice we focus on connecting. There are many different ways we can connect and many different things we can connect to. This meditation also takes between 20 to 30 minutes, but you can take longer if you want to. I suggest that for each section spend about five minutes, taking time to focus, pause and connect.

Find yourself in a comfortable seat, where you won’t be disturbed.

First focus on connecting your body to the earth. Notice where the body is touching the ground, take a moment to connect. Feel the connection between your body and the earth, noticing all the points where they connect. If you feel yourself getting distracted return to this point.

Next focus on your breath and the connection of the breath to the air around you. Can you notice the breath going down the throat into the belly and how the belly expands? Can you notice the reverse movement? Is it possible to distinguish between when one breath starts and the other ends? Or where the breath becomes air? Allow thoughts, emotions and sensations to drop away as you focus and connect with your breath.

Now, listen to the sounds outside the body, being aware of the sounds that you can hear. Then notice the sounds inside the body. Notice how sounds can occur inside and outside the body.

Now spend some time focusing on the connection between the inner world and the outer world. The inner world of emotions that rise and fall, thoughts that come and go, and sensations that arise and pass. The outer world of sound, the movement of the air on your skin, the feel of your clothes on your skin, and the air all around you.

Now, notice how each part of you, each element of you, is connected.

When you are ready to come back, take the return journey slowly. Notice once again your physical body, aware of the sensations in your muscles, feel where you touch the earth and the sensations of the clothes on your skin. Notice the sounds around you. Then slowly bring some movements into the body, maybe have a yawn or a deep sigh. Then stretch out the legs and body, bringing gentle movement to your body.

Sit quietly for a few moments. Ask yourself, do you feel more connected with the whole of you, now, compared to how you felt before the meditation.

Learn meditation on a relax and rejuvenate retreat

Meditation to reconnect with yourself is a great tool for becoming present. Here at the retreat we offer daily meditation sessions for you to learn a new technique or go deeper into your meditation practice. There are lots more meditation articles on our health and wellbeing blog about mindfulness and other meditations you can practice at home. You might like to book onto our Relax and Rejuvenate retreats. Do let me know how you get on.

Health and wellbeing mentor at La Crisalida Retreats
Tania

Tania is one of our programme team, who loves teaching yoga, mindfulness and other programme activities.

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