Having the Courage to Connect with yourself, others and life isn't always easy, particularly when the going gets tough and all you want to do is avoid, shut down and numb out, but it's imperative to your health and well being to do so

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When we truly connect, we transform our experience of life: we feel more alive, vital, impassioned and, without necessarily trying, we have a positive impact on others and in consequence our environment changes for the better.

As one of my teachers used to say, “Yes, but how?” You may be asking the same question. Well, that’s where courage comes in. Life is constantly giving us opportunities to connect or disconnect, but it’s not always easy or comfortable to stay connected. A lot of the time it’s far easier to numb out: drugs, alcohol, sex, shopping, eating, being busy with 16 projects on the go at any one time…the list of tactics for distracting and numbing out goes on. And yes, I’ve done my share.

But here’s the issue: if you disconnect from pain, because you’re too afraid to feel it, or you disconnect from others because you resent them, or you disconnect from life because you’re just plain fed up with the struggle of living it, then you disconnect from all the good stuff too! The joy, the vitality, the passion, the creativity, the amazing experience of living your life fully. And that’s a tragedy.

Next time, try this. To authentically connect with yourself, allow yourself to feel all your feelings, fully. That means a big sob, not just choking back your tears. Or a rant in the privacy of your own home, screaming into a pillow if you have to let it out.

To authentically connect with others, try being vulnerable with someone safe, instead of self-protecting - use your breath and mentally tell yourself it's safe to open up, even if just a little more than you usually would.

To authentically connect with life? Well, that's more difficult, as sometimes, life's just too hard! However, if you can say Yes to what life is offering, instead of a big fat No, by just accepting it, in this moment, as it is, you will feel differently. Lighter perhaps, just give up fighting how it is, even just for a moment and you may feel a little more serene.

Sahera Chohan

Author | Courage Coach | Blogger | Motivational Speaker , Courage To Connect

My mission is to help you to be your best self by helping you to authentically connect with yourself, others and life. Through some tough life experiences, I have been inspired to spend the last 30 years dedicated to helping others evolve, grow and overcome adversity, through what I have learned through my own challenges. Bottom line, if you are willing to have the courage to connect with the hard knocks life throws at you, instead of disconnecting through all the ways we have to numb out, food, sex, shopping, TV, ice-cream - I'm sure you can think of more - you will discover how amazing and resilient you truly are. If you have the courage and willingness to say YES to life, instead of NO, you will be amazed at the gifts when you open yourself up, rather than close yourself down. The good news is that you have the power and choice to do that. Working on spiritual, emotional, mental and physical levels, I help people become aware of the limited state of the ego, which essentially thrives on fear, and discover the courage to access and live out of one’s best self, which is essentially love. Simple really, but not easy. When my husband decided to take his own life a week before my 35th birthday, I walked a huge healing path, which inspired me to write my first book, 'Through the Grit To The Pearl', to show how even the most devastating of experiences can bring a richness of life you may not even suspect is available to you. Every single experience we have, whether we like it or not, is precisely designed for our learning, growth and evolution. When you really get this, you can begin to live your life from a state of power, vitality, and happiness. I also write a Blog and do Speaker Events on themes I write about in my Book. Previously I worked as a Presenter for the BBC, presenting a variety of network television and radio shows alongside running my own TV production company. My values and intentions are to to be loving, even when it’s hard to be. To walk in another’s shoes when I judge them. To listen well, to others and to that deep small voice within. To tell the truth, especially when I don’t want to. To take more risks, by increasing faith and decreasing fear, and to stretch out of what is familiar, safe and known by trusting more. And not take it all so seriously!