Here are the other 3 tips I use to take myself off autopilot, if you missed part 1 of this blog or want to revisit it, you can read it here.
4. When feeling heady or ungrounded I focus on my feet.
When walking I feel the ground under my feet. And when sitting or lying down I put all my awareness in my feet.
What is it like to really live in your feet?
Try it and see, it feels good and I love how quickly this grounds me into my body
5. When overwhelmed I focus on my center.
What I call my center is the 2nd chakra which is a few inches below the belly button. When I first started connecting to this area I could barely feel a difference, I wasn’t even sure I had a center. What’s this whole center thing people are talking about?
But I kept at it and slowly started to get it. What’s interesting is that friends that are strongly energetically sensitive would notice a huge difference when I first started shifting into this space, even though for me it felt very subtle at the time.
I’ve found a precious & spacious peacefulness in this area that continues to grow every time I put my awareness there.
6. I interrupt negative thought streams.
I do this by asking “Why am I thinking this way?”. The intention is to ask from a space of genuine openness, not out of a complaint or an accusing voice.
When I ask a question, it’s not even about getting an answer. Sometimes an answer shows up in an obvious way, but often it doesn’t. It doesn’t matter so much to me because asking questions like this opens me up. I’m no longer inside the thoughts, I’m bigger than them. I’m not on mental autopilot anymore.
I usually don’t try to change my negative thoughts to positive thoughts. It’s my experience that thoughts are an outer symptom of something deeper. And if I spend all my energy on the level of symptoms then I cannot retrieve the learning and gifts life is trying to bring me.
With that said there have been times where I’ve used my mind as a supportive tool and I consciously direct my thoughts. But this always comes from an intuitive nudge, not a strategy to control or oppress something I’m judging in myself.
More about negative thoughts:
Even though my inner work has lead to a much more flexible and positive mental state, I still see the mind as naturally leaning a bit towards the negative. I think this is just the way the mind is. It is built for survival. So it’s job is to protect us from perceived danger.
Genuine joy and vibrant aliveness comes from the presence of our innermost being. That's the stuff it's made of.
Thank you for reading and if you try any of these for the first time let me know how it goes.
Or do you have tips of your own? What helps you come off autopilot and into your body?
I would love to know, share them here in the blog comments.
It can be easy to get swept away and to disconnect from what really matters. I’ve found that it’s not so important to count the times of disconnect. Feeling bad about it, well it just feels bad. But we can focus on and feel good about coming back and reconnecting.
I treat the coming back as a triumph (because it is).
Each coming back builds courage, resilience, and teaches me self-compassion.
I’m sharing 6 personal practices that work for me, 3 here and 3 more in my next writing. These have endured for me in connecting to my being, my body, and grounding myself. I’m sharing these specifically because they only take a moment and can be done anywhere, even in the middle of the most hectic of days.
1. Breath awareness.
This is the most important one. It’s not new or fancy. It’s so simple that we can overlook it. I’m always checking in with how my breathing is.
I’ve gotten really quick to notice if I’m holding my breath or breathing shallow.
I take slow and deliberate deep breaths throughout my day. I watch the breath go down to the bottom of my belly. I watch the breath leave. Making this simple thing a habit I have noticed a change in my energy level (Suppression is draining).
I use this breath awareness with the rest of these tips and anything else i’m doing.
Not breathing fully is a way we numb ourselves. Holding our breath suppresses whatever is going on inside of us. Whatever discomfort is arising gets pushed down and stagnates our energy. When we breathe fully it allows our emotions and inner experience to be processed and lived. Then it doesn’t need to hang out so long.
2. I insert moments of silent presence in conversation.
While listening my intention is to be present and feel and sense. I notice when I’m thinking of what to say or mentally making conclusions or anything else happening within. No need to judge myself. Just notice. And if I do judge myself, I just notice that too.
Before responding to someone I give myself a moment of silence. I feel the words I’m saying. I explore how it feels in my body as I am speaking.
3. When feeling triggered or emotionally charged I silently ‘note it’ to myself.
I Keep the noting simple. It’s not about figuring anything out, it’s about accepting and allowing. Not denying, trying to change or pushing away what is happening in the moment.
When rooted in acceptance I can then feel my feelings. I also become alert and observe my inner state, emotions, and thoughts. My energy is freed up because I’m not fighting anything.
And from that place I can make a conscious choice, and take action if needed
There is this multi-faceted, ever-changing, colorful world within us, we just need to hold loving space for ourselves to know and appreciate it.
There are as many ways to deepen self-intimacy as there are people. Whatever you choose, I hope this encourages you to keep coming back.
It’s worth it.
Click here to read part 2 of this blog.
Leela Haris - Expanding Consciousness