What contribution will you make to your world? Who will you touch while you have this gift of life? The answers to these questions are waiting to be discovered. They live within you, and your life begins to flow once you learn to tap into them.

This flow is engaged when you recognize and embrace the power and magnificence that exists in the core of your being. If you’re like most people, this core has been quiet, dormant perhaps. She won’t yell and scream to be heard. She won’t interrupt the frenzied activity in your life to get your attention. Rather, she quietly whispers and patiently waits for you to hear.

Your willingness to slow down, get still, and listen allows her to start communicating with you. She has answers to every question you can ask. She knows what your strengths are, and she wants to help you direct them. She understands what your weaknesses are, and she accepts you anyway. She knows, unquestionably, what you need to live a balanced, joyful, fulfilled life, and she will tell you, if you’ll only listen.
She is your guardian angel, your wisest guide, your heart’s song, your internal catalyst, the voice of your soul. She is you as your most authentic self, and she wants you to know that there is no one like you in the world. There never has been and there will never be another like you again. You are an original.

Your ability to successfully make and maintain a connection with the wise guide inside of you will catalyze you to tap, explore, and evolve your unique potential. You establish and nurture this connection by developing a relationship with yourself.

Date Yourself
Think back to the time when you began dating your last partner or the person you share your life with. Didn’t you move heaven and earth to make yourself available to this person? Didn’t you find yourself fascinated by them and giddy with enthusiasm about how wonderful they were? You couldn’t stop thinking about them, couldn’t stop talking about them, and wanted to spend every available moment of your spare time with them, didn’t you?
Stay in your memory for another moment. As you got to know this person, didn’t you forgive their idiosyncrasies – sometimes without a second thought? Instead of focusing on their shortcomings, didn’t you allow yourself to be enthralled by everything about them?

Now, what if you took a similar approach to developing a deeper level of intimacy and connection with yourself?

There are three steps involved in creating a high-quality relationship with your self.
• The first requires you to make time for yourself.
• The second involves establishing a set of rules that govern how you’ll interact with yourself.
• The third mandates that you follow through.

This means you must demonstrate to your self how valuable you are. You do this by making appointments to connect with yourself. You further validate your worth by spending this time gently and joyfully. And you build a repository of trust each time you show up when you said you would. Your commitment to these three steps will support you in developing a healthy, intimate connection with your authentic core.

One of the biggest obstacles you’ll have to overcome once you’ve decided to know yourself involves making time to invest in the process. Notice I said “making” time. It’s quite likely that you don’t have many spare moments available in your calendar. You must make this journey a priority and begin scheduling dates with yourself.

Once you start to invest that time, you will reconnect with the person you are. You’ll get reacquainted with the little things that bring you joy, the big things you dream of, the fears that hold you back, and the core beliefs that fuel you.

What you do while on your dates is much less important than your willingness to show up for them. As you get started, you may want to try some of the connection strategies I suggest to my clients when they embark on their own process of self-discovery.

Keep a Journal
Writing your thoughts on paper can be a profound experience. Keeping a journal can help you discover what you’re afraid of, what you’re passionate about, and what you aspire to.

Buy yourself a beautiful notebook and a pen you enjoy writing with. Find twenty quiet minutes in your day, and steal away to a comfortable place. Begin by writing as if you were talking with yourself or a trusted confidante. Write about how you’re feeling, what’s bothering or exciting you, or the day ahead of you. Or answer questions from books you’ve read or personal development programs you’ve undertaken.

Remember that your journal is for your eyes only. You aren’t going to share it with anyone, so it can be messy and illegible. It’s a safe place in which you can write down the things you dare not say out loud.

Be sure to keep your journal in a secure place, and enjoy the process of establishing a connection with yourself through the written word.

Meditation is not about attaining a state of emptiness while sitting in the lotus position. It’s about observing yourself in the present moment and clearing yourself of negative energy.

Find ten quiet moments in your day, and select a place where you can sit comfortably. Make sure you won’t be disturbed. Turn off the ringer on your telephone, and let your kids know they shouldn’t disturb you for a few moments. (I promise, they will live).

Focus on your breath. Allow any thoughts that enter your mind to be there. Acknowledge them, but don’t focus on understanding what they mean or solving any problems. Just let them be. Your goal should be to empty yourself of anxiety and worry, not to attain a state of free-floating awareness. Just clear your energy.

If you can get past the New Age feel of meditation, it can introduce enormous benefits into your life. It enhances your ability to establish and maintain focus; and the deep breathing oxygenates your entire system, infusing you with energy. Forget about the lotus position. Just sit comfortably, and clear your mind.

There are numerous studies documenting the physical and emotional benefits of moving your body. Exercise can be a meditation in and of itself. If you’re the type of person who has a really hard time slowing down, this may be a great way for you to begin committing to time with yourself.

Commit to spending twenty to thirty minutes each day engaging in some form of physical activity. You could join a gym and work on cardiovascular machines such as treadmills, stair climbers, and orbital trainers. You could participate in an exercise class such as step aerobics, kick-boxing, or yoga. Or you could hire a personal trainer and begin a weight-training program.

The activity you choose is not important. What matters is your commitment to invest time in your health and in the connection you have with yourself. If you choose to work this activity into your calendar, you’ll likely experience not only the benefits of getting reacquainted with yourself but also the joy of feeling healthy, fit, and strong.

Walking is a moving mediation. It allows you to slow down and notice what’s going on around you while focusing on the methodical process of putting one foot in front of the other. If you usually move a million miles per hour, walking can allow you to focus on being fully present while indulging in the movement you find so vital. Walking gives you an opportunity to mull over something that may be on your mind or to simply notice the beauty and bounty of your surroundings.

Venture out into the streets of your neighborhood or on a walking trail near your home. Go to a favorite park; drive to a wooded area or to a path near the water at a beach, lake, or riverfront. Focus on the fresh smells in the air, the beauty of the horizon, and the sounds of nature surrounding you.

For many people, the act of being in nature is truly spiritual. It connects them with their higher power, helps them to establish a level of clarity in their thinking, and provides them with the benefits of outdoor athletic activity. Set some time aside this week to give a walk a try.

Listen to Uplifting Music
Music has the power to inspire our emotions. The right song can bring us to laughter or tears. Listening closely to a favorite musical score can be incredibly uplifting. Depending on your mood, you can play a powerful classical piece, allowing your mind to move in time with the music. Or you can put an upbeat dance tune on, and get up and move.

You can listen to music in so many scenarios. For example, one of my most enjoyable meditative reveries involves putting a series of my favorite CDs in my car and driving. I love to lose myself in both the score and the scenery, and I’m always energized when I return home. If you’d rather not leave the comfort of your home, you could fill a bath with hot, scented water, turn on your favorite soundtrack, and indulge yourself in the pleasure of your senses.

Visit your local music store, and stock up on your favorite recordings. Fill your tape or CD changer with your new selections, and let yourself relax into the rhythm of the music. Doing so may support your engagement in a new rhythm for your life.

Take an Authentic Outing
A day spent wandering boutiques, a stolen hour in a bookstore, a mid-afternoon matinee, a journal-writing session in a coffee shop, or an afternoon being pampered at the spa. These are authentic outings, and indulging in activities like these is the epitome of dating yourself.

When you commit to embracing a special outing for yourself, by yourself, you send your core the message that you are inherently valuable. You have no purpose in mind other than sheer indulgence, and don’t you deserve it?

What are your favorite authentic outings? Do you love the theater? Could you buy yourself a ticket to a new show you’d love to see? Do you appreciate art? How about making a date to take in a new exhibit at your local museum? Love clothing or decorating? How about scheduling a date to go shopping?

Indulging the little girl (or boy) within you is a marvelous way to honor yourself. Select a favorite outing, and make a date with yourself to go play. You may be surprised at what great company you turn out to be.

Engage in Old Hobbies
What did you love to do when you were a small child? Did you make scrapbooks? Did you take dance classes, or write short stories? Perhaps you played make-believe games, or put on plays. The authenticity of childhood cannot be denied.

We are closest to our most passionate interests when we are children. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for our genuine affinity to be squelched as we take on the responsibilities of adult life. You can re-engage with your own sense of passion and play when you revisit the things you used to love to do as a child.

If you enjoyed putting on plays, perhaps you could start taking in afternoon showings, read the classics, or take a drama class. If you loved to dance, you can seek out a studio in your area and brush up on your skills. If you loved to participate in team sports, join a local athletics division, and start playing again.

You will be amazed at the passion resting within you, just waiting to be rediscovered and unleashed. Embrace your natural interests, and allow your enthusiasm to take flight.

Cultivate New Interests
Do you have a friend who spends her time in ways you envy or admire? Did you used to dream about being great at something that you’ve now given up on? Have you ever wished that your family had supported you in the pursuit of a special talent or interest? Give yourself permission to explore that interest now.

Investigate and research the things you find intriguing. If you admire the special dinners a friend serves, consider taking a cooking course. If you’ve always wondered about your musical ability, learn how to play an instrument. If you’re sure there’s an artist living within you, sign up for a painting or writing course. Who knows where your experimentation could lead?

You don’t have to embrace your new interest with any objective in mind other than discovery. I’ve seen so many people embark on a new path only to push themselves to “be the best” at their undertaking. Your commitment to take piano lessons does not mean you have to become a Mozart. Joining a tennis league does not require you to be the next Chris Evert Lloyd. Instead, decide you will simply have fun with your process.

Enjoy yourself as you experiment with the many new activities that can support you in learning about yourself. If you undertake something that turns out to be less fun than you thought it would be, give yourself permission to stop. Conversely, if you discover a new hobby you love, consider integrating it into your life. Above all, have fun, and continually explore.

Call to Action – Commit to Deepening Your Personal Intimacy
It’s time for you to develop a high-quality relationship with yourself. In this exercise, I challenge you to schedule at least one date with yourself each week for the next eight weeks. For each appointment, try one of the connection strategies I’ve outlined for you, or attempt one of your own design. Take out your calendar now, and schedule your weekly date.

As you grow accustomed to showing up for yourself, pay attention to the activities that give you a true sense of satisfaction and joy. Consider integrating these activities into your routine. Let go of those that don’t prove to be beneficial, and make room in your life for those that do!

Author's Bio: 

Life and business coach Kim Fulcher is an entrepreneur, executive, author, speaker, and accomplished professional coach. She has achieved national recognition in personal and professional development, and is a widely recognized expert in the field of professional coaching. Learn more about Kim, her community for women and her personal development network at www.mylifecompass.com.