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.