How to Know Your True Needs and Make Decisions to Support Your Best Life

If you ever feel disconnected from yourself and what you truly need ...

Or if you ever get busy and overwhelmed, then snap back to yourself and realize a whole day or week or longer (sometimes years) went by and you weren’t connected to who you most truly are and what you’re alive on earth to do ...

You’re not alone. I see it in my practice with clients and students, and I remember that feeling from my own life: Nothing in life teaches us the value of or specifically how to connect to our deepest selves. And, if you’re a sensitive person, sometimes that issue gets compounded, because in feeling everything keenly, we get overwhelmed. 

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to have a way to connect with yourself, and know who you are and what you most truly need moment to moment? Not to have to write in your journal endlessly, or only feel connected when you’re meditating or in certain special moments? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be in touch with yourself, your needs, and all that you long to bring forward—right now, in the midst of your present life?

Once you’re that in touch, you become your own ally. You trust yourself. You make good decisions.  You know your needs so you can communicate what you need to others around you—and you can actually get your needs met. Being that in touch truly changes everything. The fact is, you can be that in touch with yourself and your needs moment to moment ... and you don’t need to go into a cave or withdraw from your life; you can do it anytime, anywhere.

The secret is to attune to yourself. This is a profound skill, yet it is quick and simple to learn, and it’s life-changing. It makes all the colors brighter. It makes you more present, more joyful, no matter what you’re going through.

When I invented this skill, my life began to change dramatically. I had been a highly sensitive, empathic person who would get overwhelmed and merge with people too easily. This would cause me to go along with what other people wanted even when those plans felt like they had nothing to do with me. It would show up in my professional life as overwhelm—being around people all day felt like I wasn’t being myself, and it was exhausting. In my romantic life, this tendency to be out of touch with myself made dating exhausting, too. I longed to be in a relationship with a wonderful, supportive man, and to be my full self, with all my diverse interests and intelligence, and I didn’t know how to do that.

As I began to attune to myself, I started to know, moment by moment, exactly what I wanted. It began to feel all right to want to be my full self and be in a relationship at the same time. I had a big aha moment and said to myself, “If I have to be alone forever, so be it. I have to be my full self or it’s not worth it to me to be in that relationship at all.” Within a month of making that declaration to myself, my husband, James, and I met. I was 43 at the time. He is supportive, loving, handsome, talented in so many areas—and we’re each truly ourselves while we’re together. I love being married to him and am glad I waited—being married this way is far better than I ever could’ve imagined for myself.  

Exercise: Go Inside and Attune

Attuning to yourself relies on a specific skill, called “tracking,” which is the ability to use one part of yourself and your awareness to notice whats happening in another part. It's like following the path of the footprints of an animal in the woods. You follow the clues of your body to connect to what is true for you.

The first few times you learn it, practice in a peaceful environment, so you can get good at it. Once youve gotten used to it, you can attune to yourself standing, sitting, or lying down, at work, or in the midst of almost any situation (but not while driving!). 

When you’re ready to begin, sit in a chair with your feet on the floor, your spine straight.

Envision a ball of light glowing above your head. If you know about the chakras, see and sense the ball of light above your crown chakra. (If you don’t know about chakras yet, just picture the ball of light above your head.)

Start with the physical ...

Allow the ball of light to enter your body through the top of your head. Endow that ball of light with senses: Allow it to see, feel, hear, taste, smell, and also know. Let it have conscious awareness.

Gently let the ball of light travel down through your body, sensing as it moves. Let it travel through your head, down through your throat, down through your shoulders, down through your arms, elbows, your forearms, wrists and hands, to your fingertips.

Let it travel down into your chest, through your heart between your breasts, down into your torso, your abdomen, your pelvis, your thighs, your knees, your calves and shins, your ankles, down into your feet and toes.

As you allow the ball of light to gently travel through your body with its conscious awareness, what does it sense, see, hear, or feel? Allow yourself to notice whatever you notice, with no demand for change.

You may notice a color, a sensation, a quality, an emotion. It could be literal or symbolic. Whatever you notice is fine. Theres no right or wrong answer, just observation.

It’s especially important, if you notice an area of tension or pain, not to try to release it or adjust it. Rather, just notice whatever you notice. See if you can just be with what your body is experiencing now with no need to “fix” anything.

Once youve scanned your whole body, go back to any area that draws you. Perhaps its an area where you feel pain or tension or openness. Again, theres no right or wrong answer. Go wherever you are drawn.

Now we’ll move into the emotional level ...

As you go into whatever area draws your conscious awareness, continue to notice what you notice. Are there any memories there? Does a scene start to unfold? If so, what do you remember? Does this remind you of anything else?

Is there a way that what youre sensing connects with any issue youre going through or currently working with in your life? Particularly if youre going through a health issue, or an emotional issue, this may reveal itself to you. If so, what do you perceive? Again, it could be concrete or symbolic. Both are okay.

With the knowledge or insight you come to, you may even want to write down or draw something. And if you’d like, you can stop here.  

Or you can go further. If you’d like, you can ask questions of this area of your body. And then invite your body to "tell” you or "share” the answer with you. 

If you sense answers, great! If not, ask questions of your body about why it doesn’t want  to communicate with you right now. Notice whatever you notice. For example, does your body need something from you before she or he feels safe enough and willing to talk with you? Start the conversation. Let your body know that even if you abandoned her or him in the past, you’re here now and willing to listen.

If your body wants something from you, see if you can give yourself that now. If not, see if you can tell your body why not, and set a time when you can give your body what she or he is letting you know she or he wants. For example, if your body says, “I don’t want to talk to you because you never listen! You always work so hard and you never stop and rest!” Then you might ask your body, “Okay, what would feel better? I know I work too hard.” Your body might say, “A nap!” Or, “Time to play!” or “I want to have dinner with a friend.” If you can’t give yourself what your body is letting you know she or he needs, see if you can tell your body why now isn’t the right time, but how you will give your body what she or he wants soon. And then schedule that in your calendar. In this example, you might say, I cant stop and play right now, but I promise Ill take half of this Saturday off. Would that feel like a good start? What would you like to do then?

You are creating an alliance between your body and the egoic, outer-directed self.

And this exercise can give you a wonderful glimpse into what you’re feeling and what you truly need and want— emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. It’s a powerful tool that allows you to know yourself and become your own ally, and it can help you get clear very quickly, even cutting through confusion or long-standing patterns of stuckness.

Everything really is energy, and once you know how to become aware of and work with your own, then align with the energy of the universe, you can use that awareness to recreate your unique, wonderful life—with deeper contact with yourself, more fulfilling relationships, high-level discernment so you can trust your decisions, and all that you need to step into your greatness.   

Find out about upcoming programs with Melanie Roche.