Checking Out or Checking In??

desertbreathBusy times are ahead!
Parties, lunches and special dinners.
Time with family, friends and co-workers.
Decorating, trying new recipes and resurrecting old standbys.
Home-made creations, shopping and ordering online.
Writing, wrapping and gifting.
Performances, movies, ice rinks and walks.
Countdowns.

Ahhh – just writing down this small list, I can feel the overwhelm starting to creep in…
You, too?

Why do we do this to ourselves???

It is so easy to get caught up in the busyness and the wish for perfection, the perceived obligations and longstanding traditions. Like with a lot of other things, sometimes we just slide into events and happenings without really paying attention to ourselves, our wishes and wants and our true feelings.

We are busy, and we “check out”. Being “checked out” means our essence or spirit is not connected with our physical body. Our attention is caught up in our thoughts and dreams, floating around the Universe.

How often do you “check out” during the day?

We all do and do so most of the time. Even more so when we are busy, preoccupied and overwhelmed. Life at that point is lived from the head: our thoughts, judgments, shoulds and have to’s. We compare, make lists, self-flagellate and become martyrs. We are frustrated, upset and fearful. We sleep less and keep looking for distractions from having to notice what is going on, just in case there is more discomfort to be found. And so the downward spiral continues.

So, imagine how life could be different if you “checked in” more often?

“Checking in” just means that you stop for a short while whatever you were doing and begin to consciously connect with yourself and come back into your body. The easiest way is just by closing your eyes and focusing on the next 3-5 breaths. As soon as you do this, you become aware of your physical body and move into the present. You cannot breathe in the past and you cannot breathe in the future. You can only breathe in this moment.

When you stop being pulled into the past and the future, your body begins to relax. You can start paying attention to what is going on in your physical body, notice your feelings and your energy. Thoughts will be moving through and you can allow them just to do that: move through without getting caught up in stories that may relate to the thought. You become aware of a depth of information about yourself that is just sitting there inside of you, waiting for you to tap into and bring forward into the light. Sometimes that can feel scary: not really knowing what is coming forward, feeling intense emotions arising or noticing your heart aching.

However uncomfortable a “check in“ may initially feel, this is your place of power. Here you discover what is real and important for you, connect with your wisdom and creativity. The more time you spend there, the more you connect with your own truth. This results in less stress. Life will feel richer, more enjoyable and more nourishing. Engaging regularly with your inner self will change your experience of your outer life.

Being at peace and being in joy are what we all strive for. Interestingly enough, we can only truly experience this when we are in the present moment, outside of the pull of our duality-driven lives.

Taking a few breaths consciously can be done anywhere and anytime. You can have your eyes open or closed. Nobody but you will notice. You can do it at the stoplight, when waiting in line-ups, in the shower, cooking, putting on your coat, hugging someone – there is no end to it.

Anytime you feel stress, “check in” – without judgment, just curiosity and acceptance.

Allow yourself to receive the presents that presence has for you – not just at this time of the year, but all year-round!

Wishing you endless breaths of joy and peace!

Amara's Tips & Reflections!

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