Back to School – Back to You
Around this time each year we’re bombarded with back to school madness. The free spirit of summer is wrangled up as we organize, prepare, and plan out the rest of the year. At this point in your life, you probably aren’t buying new binders and first day outfits, however there still is that “back to something” feel. What are you really getting back to?
It’s time to get back to YOU.
That’s right. It’s time to connect back to taking care of yourself, and getting to know you again. Over time, and over the course of a year our attention is scattered to millions of different things. Our jobs, families, friends, hobbies, and to-do lists shift our focus outward. We go from point A to point B, and often focus on the fastest and easiest way to get there. We take care of others, and do our best to share and give back. And somewhere along the way, we lose ourselves.
What really happens when you lose yourself?
You disconnect from your true identity or authentic nature. Or to put it simply, you stop being you. Instead we start being a bunch of labels that others, or we, have put on ourselves. We become a friend, a mom, and boss. We become a sister, a girlfriend, and a teacher. We connect our identity to what we do, or our relationships with others.
After that we start to shift and change into what we think people what us to be: more efficient, less emotional, someone who will fit in. We give up our passion in order to please. We give up ourselves to try and be perfect.
Then we start to believe the stories in our own heads. We listen to that little voice that says we aren’t enough. We believe the lies that others have told us, and we let them steer us as we move along in life. Running on auto-pilot becomes the norm, and we accept that as okay, because everyone else is doing it too.
Then something happens… we wake up and realize that we’re not living our own lives. And that’s really scary. If you’re not being you, then who are you being?
Right now it’s time to reconnect. Drop back down and into yourself. It feels like coming home inside your own skin. There’s a familiarity and an ease that you can’t fake. There’s a love and acceptance that envelopes everything else. How do you do it?
Answer these two questions:
Who are you? AND Who are you being?
Is there a difference between the two? If so, it’s time to change Back to School into Back to You Season. Disconnecting from who we are is what I see as the #1 reason we aren’t happy, fulfilled, and successful.
- Start by spending some time alone. Even one hour will do wonders. Summer spontaneity and activity often can leave you devoid of down time, at home alone. Use this time to re-charge, and choose to do less rather than more.
- Get your body moving. We spend a lot of time up in our heads, thinking and analyzing. Give yourself a break from always existing in the mental space, and drop down and into your body. Run, skip, dance, and play. Move in a way that allows you to feel. Let your heart run the show instead of your mind.
- Free up the part of you that has been locked up. We all have a side that at some point we stopped expressing. Usually it’s because we were hurt somehow by being that way. For example: if you are very trusting, and then someone took advantage of you, you probably don’t express your trusting nature very often anymore. Have you been super serious lately? Let out that playful side. Have you been planning your life down to the minute? There’s a spontaneous part of you waiting to go out and enjoy the present moment.
Most importantly remember that your authentic self is deeply loved and more than enough. It’s all the other things we try to be, outside of ourselves, that cause struggle and pain.
This fall ground yourself in the most powerful way possible: go back to being you. No Number 2 pencils and new wardrobe necessary.