How to build a relationship with yourself to live the life you love

Chandresh Bhardwaj Meditating - photo taken by Melly Lee

If you've been following me, you know that I emphasize the benefits of networking and cultivating authentic and strategic relationships with others. I know that every person we meet is an ocean of opportunities, knowledge and resources we can use to achieve our life and business goals, while sharing our own gifts with others. Communicating and cultivating relationships can be a joy and is key to a successful, fulfilled life. However, this would be hard to accomplish if we didn't cultivate an authentic relationship with ourselves first.

Life sometimes may drift us away from what is right for us and what really makes us happy, most likely when we are not aware of our inner authentic calling. Many people have to go through hard times to wake up one day and realize they are not in the right place, or are unhappy, and the thing that will really make their life fulfilled is a different path entirely.

Chandresh Bhardwaj can tell you about that firsthand. This man who came from a dynasty of Indian gurus decided he should live his life by Western norms: get a job in finances, own a company by the time he was 40, and live the "American dream."

After finishing his university studies and working on Wall Street for a few years, he realized he was not being true to himself. He decided to break free from the norms he was living by and quit his job to pursue his calling. Chandresh saw many people that were experiencing struggles similar to his, so he decided to start a revolution. His program, called "Break the Norms," teaches people how to connect to their inner self and live the life they were meant to live through the power of meditation.

In the past seven years, Chandresh has created a global community from India to Holland, the UK, New York, and L.A., where he teaches people how to meditate and build the most important connection of all- the connection to themselves. He even wrote a wonderful book about it, Break The Norms, with a forward written by the Dalai Lama himself.

Ways to listen to your inner self

Why cultivate a relationship with ourselves? Doing so will allow us to add more peace, confidence, joy and love to our daily lives and to every relationship we have with others. The best way to listen to ourselves is to meditate. It's so simple, yet takes practice. Chandresh was kind enough to provide me with a few tips to mediate effectively that I want to share with you;

1) Being a witness to your breath can change your life
When was the last time you breathed with awareness? Don't remember? Try this....
Focus on your breath- breathe deeply in and out, listen to the air blow, experience it. Does it feel a little better? A little calming?

Your breathing is your bridge to your higher self. Right, we all breathe all the time, but we do it unconsciously. We are not aware of it and we are not witnessing it. By witnessing the flow of your breath, you will start to connect with your inner peace that will further open the door for your true voices to reveal themselves. A daily practice of meditation starts with deep breathing and cultivating silence. Take a few moments every day to just be aware of your breathing. It can be done anywhere, and has an amazing effect on your well-being!

2) Tips to help you meditate daily
Build self-discipline to practice daily. Ideally, Chandresh suggests that you should meditate for 24 minutes a day - dedicating one minute for each hour. But you can even start with 10 minutes. A little bit of daily practice will add a great depth to your perspective on life.

● Have a clear intention.
A meditation without a clear intention won't take you anywhere. If you don't have a clear intention, it's okay. Just make a list of things that you want to do, want to be, and want to have. Out of this list, you can easily carve out your intention.

Be patient. Chandresh finds motivation in the results he gets out of meditating - he feels happier, joyful, and becomes clear on his goals. But he also points out that this is not an overnight discovery. It happens gradually, over time. Be okay with the process!

3) Tune in to the right state of mind when mediating
Every meditation is about going beyond the mind to uncover our real intelligence. When we are attached to our mind, we don't live our potential. In meditation, you must learn to witness your mind and the thoughts that come and go. Don't judge, don't label it, be non-reactive--don't get attached or analyze anything. Simply witness it and be compassionate for yourself. The way you allow yourself to feel when you meditate will reflect on the way you will ultimately treat others and see the world.

In the book Break the Norms Chandresh writes, "Meditation is the best way to cut through all of that BS. It helps us stop and look at what is right in front of us by shifting our attention from the chatter--from the cycles of reacting to what comes our way--to what is available in this moment. In the present moment, there is no struggle with time. In meditation, there are no time cycles. Time is almost irrelevant in moments of deep meditation. Many seekers sometimes sit for hours and feel as if only a few minutes have passed by. And sometimes they sit for minutes and feel an eternity has passed."

As I believe and Chandresh explains, meditation is a way to get closer to your true self and nourish your soul. This helps you to become a better person and ultimately connect better to other people, while living the life you love.

Do you meditate? What do you do to cultivate a better relationship with yourself? Please share your experiences in the comment section below.