• Dr. Carolyn Frost

Finding Home Base, A Practice to Connect Inward



“Peace - It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.


Think of a time when you felt at ease in your own skin, regardless of how your body looked.


A time when you knew exactly how to handle a challenging situation, even though you had no experience dealing with it.


A time when you weren’t worried about how you looked dancing or singing or jogging, because you genuinely enjoyed being in the moment.


A time when you trusted yourself to make an important decision, without asking others for their opinion.


A time when you passed on the extra serving of food, not because you didn't want the ‘extra calories’, but because you were comfortably satisfied with what you had already eaten.


For many of us, moments like these are few and far between.


The reason?


We’ve lost trust in ourselves.


We know we’ve lost trust when we disregard our own thoughts and values, and look to external sources for approval, validation, and advice.


We go away from ourselves.

That might look like….


* Stepping on the scale first thing every morning to see how you’re going to feel/show up that day.


* Reaching for the diet book to see if you’re "allowed" to eat a particular food.


* Starving yourself all week so you can have your “cheat day dinner” on Saturday.


* Feeling insecure about your new haircut until your husband/mother/coworkers/friends give their opinion.


* Obsessively asking your friends, relatives and random people you meet how you should handle a challenging situation with your boss or your child.


* Doing a group meditation with one eye open to make sure you’re not doing something ‘wrong’.


* Binge-watching The Crown even though you should have gone to bed hours ago.


* Having that second/third/fifth glass of wine because it’s “just what you do” after the kids go to bed or when you get home from work.


We all get caught up in moments like this.


And we don’t even realize how detrimental they are to our health and well-being. It’s just part of how we live.


Often these moments are fear-based.


We’re afraid to be alone with our own thoughts.


We don’t want to be judged and criticized.


We’re afraid to look stupid, like we’re new at this, like we’ve been doing it for too long, like we’re too fat/old/young/ugly/poorly dressed to even try.


We’re even afraid to be too successful, funny, happy, involved, interesting, healthy, friendly and smart.


So we look outside to see how we should be.


How we should show up, parent, work, exercise, eat, love, drive, shop, dress and live.


So we can be accepted, admired, respected and loved.


But that never works.


We can’t get from external sources what we do not first give ourselves.


So then, the first step is to come back to yourself.


When there is internal awareness and presence, even just the seed of it, you can more readily take a step toward yourself, rather than away.


You can come back to Home Base.


From this place of honest inward reflection and understanding, you go forward in a very different way than you would from that space of fear, worry and anxiety.


Yes, it takes attention and practice. It takes patience and deep inner work.


But, this is the kind of work you have to do if you want to be comfortable in your own skin and with the choices you make.


This is the work that helps you grow and evolve.


Even if it’s uncomfortable, even if it’s a challenge.


You can do hard things.


You can welcome the positive AND the negative, in exchange for the profound knowing that you are creating more moments where:


* You feel confident in yourself, regardless of what the woman in front of you looks like.


* You don’t need the extra cocktail to stop feeling awkward at the party. Instead you cozy up and welcome all the gangly, bumbling bits.


* When you JUST KNOW you’ve made the right decision.


* When you ditch the crazy diet, and instead actually get quiet and listen to the messages your own body is giving you about how, when and what to eat.


* When you say the thing you mean to say without second guessing yourself.


* When despite weeks of inactivity, you get up and go for a walk because your body is calling for it - and you were not only quiet enough to hear it, but wise enough to act on it.


* When someone asks what you think about something, and you have an answer that rings true.


* When the kids are fighting and instead of joining in the chaos, you take a deep breath and handle it calmly.


* When you are faced with a challenging decision, and you sit down and trust that you will figure out the best way forward.


You can always come home to yourself.


 


A Simple Practice to Bring You Back Home


 

The purpose of this practice is to take you out of your thinking mind and back into your body.


Back to that place where you are at home in your own skin.


At home with yourself.


The good, the bad and the ugly. All of it.


Try this Home Base practice the next time you have some quiet time (even a single minute works). Right when you wake up, before bed, after a walk, before you log into your computer at work, when you park the car, before you eat dinner....


** PRO TIP!! Come back to this practice often - daily if possible - so that it’s established in quieter moments. Then you'll more easily be able to call on it in moments of challenge and unease.



STEP 1: Feel the ground below you.


In yoga classes, we call this Grounding Down.


There are many benefits to grounding down (including during a panic attack and moments of great worry or stress), but the main goal here is to sense the support underneath you, so you can more fully relax and settle down.


Feel the parts of your body that are connected to the ground below you. So, depending if you’re seated, standing, lying down, if you have a pillow or other props etc… this will be different.


Sink into that connection, feel a heaviness or a sense of letting go.


Take as long as you like here.



 

STEP 2: Breathe.


First notice the breath without doing anything to change it.


Is it slow and steady, or fast and jagged. Is it getting caught anywhere or is it smooth and even etc….


Then begin to breathe in and out of your nose (if possible) and lengthen out the exhale breath as it’s generally considered very calming.


Take a few (several!) rounds like that.


 

STEP 3: Notice what comes up.


Attention here rests IN your body. This is often easier with eyes closed, but see what works for you.


Check in with physical sensations like your breath, heart beating in your chest, or your blood pumping through your veins. Maybe there is a physical discomfort or a sense of ease in your body. Is there a tightness in your chest or tension in your neck - what emotion might that signify for you? Get curious to see what else you can notice.


Take time to sit with whatever comes up. Try to accept and even welcome it (all of it….) without judgment or criticism.



 

SUMMARY


 

We often seek approval, validation and advice from others because we have lost trust in ourselves and our ability to make decisions that support our well-being, health and happiness.


Unfortunately, this never works because you can't get from external sources what you do not first give yourself.


Work to create more internal awareness and presence so you take more steps toward yourself, rather than away.


You'll have more moments where you trust yourself to make the right decision, where you eat until you're comfortably satisfied, where you feel comfortable in your own skin.


Try the practice above regularly (daily!) to establish internal trust and to remind yourself that wisdom is already within.


You can always come back to your Home Base.










Please REACH OUT or comment below to let me know how it goes, I love to hear from you. Really ;)


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