Connecting with Myself – Building self worth, self care and self love

Dorset Campbell-RossToday I asked two participants who attended the ENCT retreat, Connecting With Myself – Building self worth, self care, and self love, last June, how their lives had changed as a result of attending the retreat. This is what they said:

“The course gave me invaluable practical experience in the moment-to-moment process of connecting deeply with myself. This allows me to approach everyone with greater compassion and empathy. When I lose connection with myself in the busy-ness of life, I have very effective tools to quickly get myself back on track.”
Anne O’Casey, ENCT participant, June 2013

“I started on this journey because I wanted to connect more with those closest to me, and I realised that I can only start when I connect with myself first. I realised I wanted an outcome that was not achievable until I connected with myself first. Since doing the ENCT retreat last June I definitely have more consciousness about my responses. I am prepared to go more sloooowly, and that was a big one for me, because I was always interrupting, talking loud, and forcing my point of view. So going slow, taking time, connecting with myself and expressing that what I truly want is connection, is what has changed my life. When I get that about myself, then I can connect with the other.”
Alan Kras, ENCT participant, June 2013

Why is connecting with myself the starting point for connecting with others?

  • Because, when I am angry or upset with another person, I am liable to stay up in my head blaming, judging and making them wrong, and if I express these thoughts, I am very unlikely to meet my need for connection.
  • Because, when I am angry, irritated or frustrated, I find it hard to express myself honestly and vulnerably without attacking the other in some way. Instead I make them wrong and push them away with my words and actions.
  • Because unless I self connect first, I cannot connect with the feelings and needs beneath my anger that I want so much to express, and that would allow me to be real and authentic, in a way that enhances connection.

Applying Self Connection
When I get strongly ‘triggered’ or stimulated by something I hear or see, I now remind myself I have a choice. I can do what I’ve always done and get the same results (pain and separation), or I can do something different (that leads to connection).
If I stick around, I will react like I have done a thousand times before with either defence or attack, things will escalate and get worse, and voila – we are fighting again, OR, I can choose to take time out to connect with myself, before I respond.

For intense stimulation (ie a big conflict) I take myself away for an hour or two to let my jackals go for a run, and then connect with my feelings and needs, and the feelings and needs under those feelings and needs, and finally, when I feel some relief from my self empathy, I guess at the feelings and needs of the other. Then I return, give them some empathy, and finally express myself.

For less intense stimulation I am able to just take out five minutes and go to the toilet to connect with myself.

For minor stimulation I can do it on the run, pausing the conversation just long enough to go within and connect with myself, before replying. At times like these I might say “I’m finding it hard to hear what you’re saying right now, without thinking I have done something wrong. Would you be willing to say that again in a different way?”

Next month, the ENCT retreat Connecting With Myself – Building self worth, self care, and self love, runs from June 10-15. If you are drawn to find out more please click here.

We look forward to seeing you there.

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