If you’re feeling scattered, like you’re going in a million directions or just plain exhausted, it’s hard to know what to do. Here’s how I know you’re not alone in feeling this way:
We are going into year 5 of an ongoing pandemic we have been told to dismiss. Countries are at war. Disinformation is spreading so rampantly it’s hard to find the facts. The world’s largest iceberg just broke off to go for a swim after a summer of record wildfires in Canada. The amount of things that weren’t on your (2020, 2021, 2022, 2023) bingo card keeps growing and life right now for many of us is… a LOT.
We humans are not infallible. We are incredibly resilient but we have our limits. Most of us are doing the best we can with our personal circumstances and the resources we can access.
The reason I’m saying all this is to remind you that it’s not just you, and there are reasons you feel scattered, as well as ways to move out of that state.
I’ve got some tips for you that come from a lifetime of trauma, grief and spiritual connection… and from Nature, Spirit and Science.
You know those rare moments of awe and inspiration, when time seems to be standing still just so you can take it all in?
What if those moments could lead you to some simple clues that will help you to improve your life and feel less scattered starting now?
Take a belly breath. Open your mind and heart. Let yourself connect.
Honestly, those 3 steps alone will also help you feel less scattered, but I really just want you to slow down and be present for the rest of the tips.
The past few days have begun with a thick fog covering our whole city, kind of like the pervasive fog that has come over humanity in the past few years, or the brain fog I and countless others have from collective or complicated grief, Long COVID, trauma or chronic pain.
There is nothing rare about a foggy morning but this fog brought me right back to an incredible otherworldly experience, brimming with teachings, that I will never forget.
Here’s what made me go from feeling scattered to feeling wonder and joy, even in the midst of chronic pain, Long Covid, grief and trauma:
About a year ago was another foggy day. I was invited to sing at a harvest gathering at a sacred Indigenous site here in Ontario.
All day we had what I can only describe as an amazing rain-mist. A light rain was falling off and on and the entire space was covered in mist. Once I noticed it, I was mesmerized by it. It transported me into what felt like another world.
It was like all I could see was the tiniest little rain-mist drops dancing in all directions and suspended in the air. Can you imagine? The trees softly danced behind it in the breeze. I felt like I was in some sort of time bubble and like it was all a dream. I felt no pain (I have 24/7 chronic pain). I felt completely whole, connected and focused.
Nature, Spirit and Science have made me feel less scattered, both in this pandemic and that day outside.
I know that physics explains how these little water drops are suspended in the air but even then, have you ever spent time immersed in it and witnessing it at the same time? It feels like a miracle. I grew up around fog and mist but it never felt like that. Why? I wasn’t paying attention with all my senses. I was only looking with my eyes.
Daydreaming is a powerful way to stop feeling scattered.
Daydreaming took me into an immediate world of wonder where I could connect with Spirit and all the life within and around me. That happened every day for me as a child, but daydreaming was the key.that allowed me to see in a different way on that day in the rain-mist, and to open up all my senses. I let myself get lost in thought while gazing at Nature.
Giving yourself little moments of opening up your senses can help heal trauma and connect you with your body and spirit, but also with life itself.
Heads up: Go slowly. Most of us are not used to feeling our feelings or getting connected deeply with Nature, Spirit or the Universe. Some people can get overstimulated by opening up all their senses, so try one at a time and dial it down if you feel overstimulated. Also, if you carry trauma, it’s best to have support when you open your senses up. Let your body guide you and let your emotions tell you when you’ve had enough. Don’t push past your limits, which are there as safety measures.
It hit me that these rain-mist drops looked very much like the energy that connects us to each other. I’ve been able to see that energy all my life. My daughter can see it too.
Imagine tiny light forms dancing in the air all around you and the feeling of cool tiny little water drops touching your skin. That is what this rain-mist was like.
I could not stop staring and I had what I call Spirit tears. Tears of connection and gratitude. It’s almost like when you get goosebumps from a song or story.
That rain-mist was a reminder that we are all connected, and it was gifting us with the medicine of spiritual connection… but you had to be able to open more than just your eyes to take it all in.
Open up your other senses for small moments every now and then, and breathe down into your belly to ground yourself.
How to Open Up Your Senses:
Let’s take another belly breath. This was supposed to be a short article. If you’ve read this far, you’re already accessing your senses somewhat actively. If you want even more on opening up your senses, check out the 7 Gifts We All Carry.
If you’ve been feeling scattered, here’s a quick way to open up your senses in a way that focuses your thoughts and doesn’t overwhelm the senses. Pick up something you can eat or drink. Notice how it feels in your hand, smell it, turn it a few times and look at it. Say a few words about it, so you’re sounding your voice and also hearing yourself talk about it. Smell it. Taste it. Close your eyes and notice how you feel. That’s just one way to gently open up your senses.
Now do you understand why creative arts like painting or singing can put you “in the zone” so easily? it’s your senses and your imagination, which is connected to daydreaming.
We humans miss out on so much magic around us when we don’t pay attention to and with our senses.
When you notice something that brings you into a moment of wonder, take the time to be in that wonder and soak it up with all your senses.
For example, at first I noticed how the rain was falling through the mist, which was suspended and dancing in the air. Then when I softened my gaze even further, I could see the mist dancing. I could hear the breeze blowing in the trees. I could feel the coolness of the tiny water drops on my skin. I could smell the freshness of the forest surrounding me and my bare feet could feel the life underneath them. I could hear the very faint pitter-patter of the gentle rains.
Again, if soaking it up with all your senses puts you into sensory overload, then enjoy that wonder with one sense at a time and only as much as feels comfortable for you.
When is the last time you let yourself connect with your senses? Next time you notice something that makes you smile, bask in that feeling for a little longer than you normally would. See how that feels.
Our colonized lives have muted our connection to life. Let’s get reconnected.
Here’s a little secret…
I started writing this article, but now that I’ve re-opened my senses to that wonder, my inner 9-year-old is helping me tell you this story right now, along with my spirit. I am there with that rain-mist once again. I am unscattered, inspired and feeling wonder.
That’s why daydreaming and Nature are so powerful. It’s like after being unplugged from who you are, someone plugs you back into yourself for a moment of real connection. When you let yourself soak it up, rather than that dark heavy fog I talked about earlier, you will get to experience the wonder, possibility, openness and connection of the rain-mist.
What is YOUR rain-mist? What makes you feel alive and inspired?
Do you have a memory of something that put you in a state of wonder?
What are your favourite Nature sounds?
What happens when you let yourself daydream for a few minutes?
What makes your eyes open wide with wonder, joy or anticipation?
Tell us in the comments. You’ll put a smile of wonder on someone’s face while connecting with the aliveness of your senses.
If you want to engage your senses and feel less scattered and more grounded, join one of our virtual events.