It’s not intentional of course.

Life is really, really busy so we find ourselves hypnotized into a state of chaotic survival. Daily, we are perpetually running at full speed, desperate to catch the moving train so can finally hop aboard. We imagine that once aboard, we can pour that tall cool one, lay our head back and simply take in the beautiful scenery as it passes by.

But herein lies the problem: in our wild chase, we gradually lose touch with ourselves. Our dreams of a quiet journey aboard are like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow – intangible and out of our grasp. What we don’t realize is that the train doesn’t stop – if anything, it only moves faster.

Good intentions, dreams, and high hopes for a better tomorrow are fruitless. What keeps us running is the search for something…anything…to make us feel alive. We tell ourselves things will slow down. There will be time to play…after this. Our relationships will improve once we get through next challenge. The money will come in easier if we can just we stop spending so much. We’ll exercise more once the snow melts. And that gooey, sugary goodness that we crave: oh yes, that needs to be devoured right now and we’ll make up for it…well, later.

Before you get down on yourself and think that a scenic train ride and sugary goodness are out of the question, let’s talk about what REALLY makes us run so fast to begin with.

When we’re constantly searching outside of ourselves for the next best thing and striving to make things better by forever chasing, we are likely out of sync with ourselves and what it is we actually need or want. Running on the hamster wheel of life is about as ineffective as it is exhausting. And as long as we’re searching externally, the inside remains ignored and untouched.

It’s time to get the hell off and check in with ourselves on a deeper level:

  • How am I doing?
  • What do I need right now in this moment?
  • Why am I running so fast?
  • What are my expectations and are they in line with reality?
  • Am I being authentic?
  • Am I being the best possible version of myself right now?
  • What can I do to improve from the inside out?

However, waking up and paying attention isn’t necessarily easy.

Bréne Brown captures this perfectly when she says, “It’s like those moving walkways at the airport — you’ve got to really pay attention when you get off them, because it’s disorienting. And when you’re standing still, you become very acutely aware of how you feel and what’s going on in your surroundings. A lot of our lives are getting away from us while we’re on that walkway”.

Until you get off the walkway and take the time to breathe and reflect, your life will continue to zip past leaving a path of destruction: regret, missed opportunities, destroyed relationships, loss and so much more.

When was the last time you stopped to check in with yourself? Like exercise, we benefit most by doing this daily. Forgetting to nurture ourselves is to rob ourselves everything that makes life worthwhile: meaning, purpose, joy, satisfaction, creativity, love, grace, confidence…it all stems from within you.

See, it’s really not about train rides and sugary goodness. Those are external things that are meant to compliment the good feelings we need from the inside.

How do you nurture yourself from the inside-out? What tools or resources would you recommend to others to help them in the process? What have you noticed about your life as you’ve learned to embrace a budding relationship with yourself?

Happiness is an INSIDE job. Wake the hell up!