In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s easy to lose sight of our own desires and aspirations as women. We’re often so focused on meeting the needs of others that we forget to listen to the voice within us.  The art of tuning in is about reconnecting with your thoughts, feelings and desires.

“Quieting the outside noise and tuning in is key to knowing yourself.” Me-in my first book, Explicit Parenting.

I have a long history of hosting retreats for women and I always thing there is some magic in them. When we gathered for Wonder Weekends or Reinvention Retreats (I love a good alliterative title.) they were with a group of women looking to create space for themselves to focus on their own healing and self-care.

It was my favorite part of my business, running these retreats. I loved the energy that comes from gathering women in community to break through patterns and start to view themselves anew.

One of the elements I always include is what I like to think of as “meditation for regular people”. Since usually the women that come to these retreats were not life-long meditators, I introduce it slowly and with guidance, providing suggestions for how to incorporate the quiet and calm into real life.

I call what I do Tuning In. Really, it is just a phrase that I use to help me remember why I meditate at all. Tuning in reminds me that I am making time to turn inward with my gaze, pay attention to what my body is saying, notice any repeating thoughts and then send empathy and love to the parts of me that are asking for attention.

Often, retreats are the first time women ever take this time to intentionally listen to their own body and mind.

It is the first time they really pay attention to their own needs, especially in a manner that is accepting and not critical in any way. It is time to be curious, not judgmental. Remember? 😊

Retreats are wonderful, but they aren’t accessible every day (wouldn’t that be grand?). But, even if you don’t take time to meditate regularly, you can benefit from the premise of tuning in.

Listening to our bodies, noticing our thoughts without judgement and having empathy for ourselves are the elements that help us make more calm and mindful decisions, choices and movement throughout our lives.

One of the most fun parts of the retreats for me is that women start the day looking at me like I’m crazy when I ask them, “what do you really want and how would that feel?.

It seems like a simple question, but my experience is that women are often disconnected from this notion. When we begin our time together, not only do women start out not knowing the answer to these questions, they realize that they’ve rarely even given themselves permission to ask. By the end of the weekend, after focused reflection and tuning in to their minds and bodies, they not only know how to answer, they also feel entitled to not wait so long to ask it ever again.

You are entitled to ask yourself, “what do I really want to feel?”. Tuning in to your own desires isn’t selfish or self-centered. Tuning in to your desires is the first step toward coming out of the chaos and into the freedom that brings great joy.

As women, we often put ourselves last and rarely take time to examine our needs. Let me challenge you to try this very practice going forward. You don’t need to set aside a bunch of time for purposeful meditation. (Although I’d never discourage this!) Just make a vow to yourself that you’ll take at least a minute every day to tune in. Notice how you are feeling when things are going well. Understand that your body is trying to send a message and offer love and compassion to yourself for those needs.

Sometimes, just the simple act of paying attention can make us feel differently. If you’re used to feeling a bit disconnected as you run this way and that throughout the day, just tuning in for a minute while you brush your teeth, or before you turn off the bedside light at night can help to begin to know what you need to feel good.

So, what do you really want to feel? I can’t wait to hear! Let me know in the comment or reach out to me at my contact page.

~ Cristie XOXO