My childhood trauma, my angry parents, and our dissociated society in general taught me as a young child that life was easier if I could protect myself. For me, that meant learning how to emotionally, mentally, and spiritually detach myself from the people and places around me. I began dissociating, removing myself and my consciousness from the world around me. Of course, no one except the very smart healers could see that I was living away from my body and acting out my daily life as if my body were a puppet. I felt very far away from it all. It made me feel safe and helped me get through my daily life.
When I began to truly heal, I needed to learn how to invite myself back into my body and into the world around me. I needed to learn that I could be safe. This is a difficult concept because our physical world is never truly “safe,” and people of color, indigenous people, immigrants, LGBTQ+, women, and more, may never feel safe in their bodies in this world due to violence consistently perpetrated against these groups of people. This is something to be aware of as one heals. It is my true hope, however, that more people healing will mean a safer world for everyone.
Without further ado, some of my favorite techniques for staying present and awake in my body and in life include:
- Breathing and breathwork
- Tapping my fingers together (especially my thumb and index finger)
- Exercise (like yoga, pilates, or anything you enjoy doing in your body!)
- Feeling my feet on the floor anytime I’m sitting or standing
- Reiki and energy healing
- Walking barefoot outside (aka earthing) and spending time in nature
- Moving slowly and intentionally
- Noticing when I’m using my phone too much and consciously putting it away! (that’s a really tough one sometimes but it feels very freeing to do this)
Staying present is a journey that takes time. Being here and alive in one’s body can be a truly joyful experience. We are alive on earth to experience this world and to take in all that life has to offer. Being present in your life is a first step to being happy in your life.
We need you here.
Being a spiritual parent has been a major area of growth for me. Becoming a mother has taken away a lot of my private time and often left me exhausted, which has made it harder to connect to God/my heart in the way I was used to. Thankfully I’ve found a wealth of spirituality in being a mother that I’m learning to appreciate.
Meditation – When I lived alone, before marriage and family, I could spend hours meditating. I didn’t often do that, but I could if I wanted to. Now, I have to really pay attention and work out times when I can meditate. I will admit that I’m finally beginning to be able to find time to meditate, and I’m almost three years into being a parent. Normally this is after my child is in bed for a short time. It makes meditating much more valuable to me because of the amount of work and planning I have to put into it.
Being Present – I’ve had a lot more opportunities to practice being present since becoming a mom. At times when I used to zone out and be on my phone, I have a little child with me who wants my attention or just my presence. I’ve found these are great moments to practice being mindful and present in my body and voice. My little one needs it, and I do too!
Dreams – Dreams are one area that I’ve found has suffered in some ways for me. There were times in my life, before becoming a parent, when I had reams of precognitive dreams. It almost seemed that I couldn’t fall asleep without having a psychic dream. Now those dreams are happening less. They still happen, but I miss having them more often. Being woken up in sleep and the low-grade stress that comes with being a parent has probably affected it. Saying prayers before I fall asleep has helped.
Healing my throat – Speaking my truth with love has been a major part of my spiritual path. I’ve had five separate healers see blockages in my throat that I never told them about. I practice singing and speaking whenever I can to heal and release my throat chakra and speak with honesty. Luckily, we have a built-in nightly ritual with my daughter called Bedtime Stories that is a great way to practice speaking in my voice. When I read her stories, I practice centering in my throat and speaking in my true voice.
Being a parent has many blessings and I’m so grateful to be my daughter’s mom. It also requires a different approach to spirituality than I’ve been taught about. It’s the spirituality of being here, in this world, and living in love by being there for yourself and your family. I used to try to leave the world to connect to God, now I stay firmly in it. I connect to the divine through the mundane. The methods may be different, but God remains the same, and I’m grateful for it.