Whether we enjoy being alone or live for being social, extended periods by ourselves can have lingering effects. We may feel disconnected from the world and even ourselves. Our personal world can shrink and the outer world can seem unreal.
At these times, although it may seem counterintuitive, I suggest turning within. Even when we’re alone, our focus can be outside ourselves. Whether or not people are around us, when we don’t have a strong inner connection, we can feel lonely or adrift. Though, when we look from the outside, our inner world may seem smaller than the outer one, the deeper inside that our awareness lingers, the more vast and connected we may feel.
Try this simple meditation to help your heart feel full, wide, and connected:
- Use your fingertips to tap around your chest, especially right in the center. As you tap, bring your awareness to the vibrations the tapping makes. Focusing on your feeling will help you bring your attention inside. Let your shoulders relax.
- Then add the vibration of your voice to the vibration of your tapping. With each exhale, make a chest-opening “Ah” sound while keeping your attention on the sound. Do this several times as you feel yourself gradually relaxing more and more.
- Next rub and clap your palms together to bring heat and blood to them.
- With your back straight and shoulders relaxed, face your palms toward each other at chest height about two inches apart.
- Gently close your eyes and focus on the feelings in your hands. You may feel heat on your palms, a tingling in your fingertips, an itching or crawling sensation between your fingers. That is the feeling of energy.
- Now spread your palms a little farther apart, breathing in, and then bring them close together again, breathing out. Repeat this motion, immersing yourself in the feelings in your hands. After some time, in addition to the sensation of energy in your hands, you may have a sense of opening and expansion in your chest.
- Turning your palms toward your chest, repeat the motion of bringing both palms toward and away from your chest without touching it.
- Focus on the feelings in the center of your chest. Speak what you are feeling aloud and listen to the words you say. Express and accept what you have inside.
- Then rest both hands on your heart and give yourself any messages you want, including gratitude, love, forgiveness, or sorrow. Give your heart energy and attention.
- Spend a couple of minutes simply feeling the breath that helps you stay alive. Through the act of feeling, you can always connect to yourself. You will never really be alone.