Whether it is with a partner, lover, client, colleague or our children, we all want to have connected, communicative relationships with people who understand and appreciate us – that wonderful feeling of belonging, of being seen, heard and valued.
So how do we get better at it?
In my experience the best place to start is with yourself. Practice being connected and learning to listen and then act upon what you hear with kindness and compassion.
These are my top five ways to begin learning to trust yourself and others with your heart wisdom.
- Listen to your gut. Intuition:
Developing a trust and relationship with our intuitive self takes practice and a yoga practice is a great way to develop yours. This doesn’t need to be a full on vinyasa flow asana practice. My new love is Kundalini yoga. I find it’s technology really allows me to listen to my body, and gives me a way to act on what I hear. The gentle whisper of “move like this” or “Soften slightly” is there to be heard in every class, it’s present in each breath on your mat. Developing this sense will allow you to pick up the sensitivities in your every day life and in all your relationships. Whatever style of yoga you explore do so with a commitment to not compare, you to anyone else, but also day to day. Each new experience is a new chance to explore.
If a yoga practice isn’t for you, how about making a commitment to sit quietly and watch and listen to your breath. Again, just noticing the subtleties and not judging, just being with your feelings and your thoughts.
You may find it useful to journal, not paying attention necessarily to what comes up, but you may find your heart, or gut, or intuition starts to talk to you.
- Find a way to enjoy moving your body:
It kinda goes without saying that exercise is good for you. But finding something that is fun is so important!! Dance, yoga, lift, swim, run, walk, jiggle – I don’t care what it is that you do, but find some way of moving your body that makes you smile and practice breathing and moving regularly.
I’m a bit of an evangelist about this, but probably not for the reasons you think. Having a physical practice, increases your connection to self, enables embodiment, teaches respect and cultivates a relationship with your body that will impact on other areas of your life.
Feeling proud, confident and more able, impacts so heavily on how you feel about yourself and how you interact with others as a result.
If it’s not fun, stop.
Notice what happens when you move from a place of joy and not punishment.
Take some time each day, maybe just before you go to sleep to ask your heart how it is feeling. Listen. What does it tell you? What can you hear? Enter a dialogue with your heart, and ask it to speak to you.
I often ask my heart YES | NO answers, I have found that I can hear a distinct ‘yes’ and a less clear ‘no’ from my heart. I invite you to have a go, and let me know what you find.
- Allow yourself to be vulnerable:
Allowing yourself to be seen as you are, with all your imperfections, is truly inspiring and beautifully empowering! By being perfectly imperfect you are giving others permission to do so too.
Think about a time someone shared something with you that took vulnerability on their part, afterwards did you feel more, or less connected to them?
True connection usually happens when we are being completely honest and open about ourselves – and sharing your shadows. To truly accept is not just liberating for you, but it is also an incredibly attractive trait.
- Have compassion:
We are all just doing our best. The Dalai Lama says it best: “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”
This article first appeared on The Whole Daily