Making Space

Musings about authenticity and the subconscious layers protecting it.

Build a Strong Authenticity Muscle: Part II (Orienting)

authenticity grounding orienting self-awareness self-compassion self-knowledge self-trust Nov 16, 2021
person hugging a tree

The foundation of my work is teaching self-awareness tools to increase self-knowledge, self-compassion, and self-trust for a strong authenticity muscle.


Grounding and orienting are powerful exercises to get into that self-awareness state and to learn about yourself. 


You know: what you like, what you don't like, your triggers, your knee-jerk reactions, and how you wish you could respond, dreams, and desires.


Stuff we typically try to not think about, and/or stuff we haven't stopped to question, to understand, or to learn about ourselves.


Self-awareness and self-knowledge both go a long way in healing because I believe in the power of self-empowerment and getting out of the victim trap (comfortable, but doesn't really get you anywhere).


Increasing self-awareness and self-knowledge can bring in curiosity and self-compassion, and those can create a bond of trust in yourself.


Practicing orienting is:


✔️ accessible

✔️ done anytime/anywhere

✔️ done in as little as 60-120 seconds 



My definition of orienting

Pausing throughout the day to get present with your surroundings and your body. To get curious and notice - what is my body feeling? what is my breath doing? what hurts? what sensations am I noticing? what emotions?

Orienting activities are things like:

-walking outside (even if I have just 5 minutes)

-hugging trees

-walking barefoot in the grass

I live in a place where it can get down to -40 in the winter so when I can't walk around barefoot, I:

-touch house plants 

-hold an object that is meaningful to me

-wash my hands and really feel the water

-4-6 deep breaths into my heart space

-savor a scent

-move my body - stretch, yawn

-listen to my surroundings 

There's also the 5-4-3-2-1 method: working backwards from 5, use your senses to list what you notice around you. 5 things you hear, 4 things you see, 3 things you can touch, 2 things you can smell, 1 thing you can taste.

Orienting is a great way to notice your surroundings, notice your response to those surroundings, and learn about yourself.

If you overthink, catastrophize, focus on the past/present - orienting helps bring you to what's happening in this moment - usually a lot less scary than our imaginations.

If you feel you get stuck in fight/flight/freeze/fawn often - this helps you bring yourself back to the safety of each moment. It's so great for your nervous system, for your mind. 

Do what feels right for you - pick one or two things that you can do a couple of times a day for even just 60 seconds. 

And set your expectations. This isn't about "fixing" anything in you. It's the process of building a foundation where you take the time to get to know yourself beyond a surface level.

My physiotherapists gave me four exercises to do to help strengthen my glute mead so I don't get a stabbing pain in my right knee. These aren't exercises that I'll do until I'm "better". These are exercises (or a variation of) that I should continue the rest of my life.

I remind myself constantly I'm not trying to "get somewhere". This fictional place where I don't get anxiety, knee pain, I'm authentic, I don't people please, and I look at mistakes like opportunities. 😂😂😂

If you're like me, I hope that's a reminder for you too.

There's no where to "get" to.

You are not broken, don't need fixing, and you're perfect exactly as you are. Right now. Right now. And right now.

Your "imperfections" are part of what makes you worthy.

You're worthy simply because you exist.

So don't worry about trying to get anywhere. You are safe just to be here, now, exactly as you are.




I learned "orienting" from Irene Lyon






Listen to the Podcast

Making Space with Jen Pillipow

Themes: authenticity, goals, entrepreneurship, spirituality, self-awareness, empowerment, personal development and growth.


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