Steps to Getting Intune
Step 3: Getting Intune: Staying Connected to your Awareness
Our Awareness is the part of us that notices what is going on around us. It’s the activation of the other senses that turn ON when we close our eyes. It’s the part of us that notices the subtle messages from our bodies, the voice outside our minds, the sounds beyond our hearing. THIS is our awareness.
Being connected to our awareness is essentially being present. Taking time to ground, breathe, and getting connected brings us into present time – the place where we can ‘see’ vital information and proceed with greater clarity and certainty.
Staying connected or being present is not always easy. There are multiple distractions every day that pulls us out of our alignment or connection. Typical distractions include stress, expectations, responsibilities, negative thoughts, how we see, or add meaning to our external world. It could be a tough conversation with a boss, a conflict at home, or someone cutting you off while driving. All of these things have the potential to throw us off-center. Can you name what throws you off?
We all fall out and lose connection. The key is rapid discovery, rapid recovery!
In Yoga, they refer to this as ‘falling out’ of a posture or losing balance. If you do, simply acknowledge it and come back into form.
Here are some ways to stay or get connected:
- PRACTICE: Establish a morning routine of stillness. Upon waking, create space and time for contemplative practice. This could be meditation, walking in nature, sitting alone in your backyard. Quality over quantity of time is most important.
- BREATHE: Connect to your breath with 6-4-6 breathing. Close your eyes. Breathe in for 6 seconds, Hold for 4 seconds, Exhale for 6 seconds. Do this 10 times in a row. You can do this first thing in the morning to get connected or to get reconnected.
- QUIET THE MIND: Close your eyes and with your mind’s eye, imagine a bright gold ball, the size of a golf ball in the center of your head. Feel this ball illuminating full of light. Now see the ball expand out slowly filling your entire head, even beyond your physical space. As this light ball expands, notice thoughts leaving your mind. Do this while doing the 6-4-6 breathing. Notice your mind clearing, thoughts softening, and the return of your connection.
- GROUND: Redwood trees are wonderful symbols of strength and growth. They are also amazing teachers for grounding and connection. To take in their enormous teaching, imagine that your back is resting against a redwood tree, your spine in full contact with its trunk. Feel the strength of the tree’s connection to the earth, grounded, while also stretching toward light. Now, match your own body’s grounding and connection to the Redwood Tree. Feel this length in your own body. Feel your dignity here. Breathe.
Notice how it feels for you to connect to your awareness. Keep a journal and jot down the situations that cause your connection to expand and when and where it gets diminished. Notice what practice above worked best for you.
Application @ Work:
- As a leader, how do you show up at work? Do you take time for yourself to ground, breathe, and get/stay connected? Often our teams take on whatever energy our leaders are putting off. They determine the tone or experience of everyone else. What are you creating?
- Before your next meeting, try this quick connection exercise. Go around the table or VC call, each person takes 2 minutes to say: 1) Proud/Happy Recent Experience 2) What is Top of Mind or Help Needed 3) What they want to feel after the meeting (name a feeling, like complete, motivated, inspired, etc.). 4) Conclude with “And With That…I AM IN!”
- Try using inquiry to surface information/insights from your team, and then simply listen! After this, reflect what you are hearing, offer guidance or scenario options they may not have surfaced.
- During stressful situations, deadlines, or service interruptions, try regrouping with one of the tools outlined above. A quick time-out to ground and regroup can do wonders to recover and address the situation.
- How can you use these connection tools to gain team/collective intelligence that might not otherwise be available?
What practices do you use to help keep you connected? If you need more inspiration or want to share insights or discoveries, we would love to hear from you!