So despite being an introvert, I’ve always been a social butterfly. Always keen to connect with others. But connect in a deep and meaningful way. Not just a ‘hows your day, hows the weather’ kind of way. I can do small talk but if you hang out with me you might notice my eyes glaze over if the niceties carry on too long :p I love connecting with people in a real authentic way.
But connection is SO much bigger than that. For me, the real magic shows up when I connect in four key areas; to others, to myself, to my environment and to my God.
Let’s break it down.
Connect with someone you love.
Do it mindfully. Do it in person (where possible) and watch the difference it will make to your life. I honestly think that we are made to connect with each other. Good stuff happens when we mindfully connect with others. And man, I’m so guilty of being mindless in this area. Especially when connecting with those other humans that I live with! I fall into the trap of thinking that I see them every day… so surely we know what’s going on for each other? When really, we become mere room mates, ships in the night, moving parts but unconnected. This even happens with my kids. The routines of life mean that real connection with them is sometimes stifled. There’s nothing wrong with routine, most kids thrive on it. But nothing beats shirking the after school chores to go sit down one on one over a hot chocolate.
Connect with nature.
Walk barefoot on the grass. Breathe fresh air. Hug a tree. Engage your senses. Your body and brain will love you for it! Did you know that being in nature can have a profound impact on our physiology? I shared an article on the weekend about blue space and the difference it can make to your mental health. That calm meditative state you feel laying on the beach is no coincidence. For me, the experience of being in a forest, surrounded by beautiful trees is pretty close to the indescribable feeling I had looking at my babies for the first time. I run in the forest as often as I can. There is something almost magical that happens when I’m in there, putting one foot in front of the other. It kinda feels like my heart is smiling. I leave feeling refreshed and full of gratitude after connecting with my beautiful world.
Connect with yourself.
Do you really know yourself? We are complex beings, so the task of getting to know yourself will continue to your deathbed. In my 20’s I couldn’t bear the thought of turning 40! But now with less than 2 years to go, I’m really looking forward to it. In fact, I can’t wait for my forties. Why? Because I know myself so much better now. I understand certain things about myself, like my introversion. I know what I need to do today, tomorrow and next week to keep propelling myself forward. Of course, I also know that I’m prone to self-sabotage at times! But I know myself so much better than 5 or 10 years ago, and it’s flippen powerful.
Connect with your God.
For me, spiritual connection comes in the form of connecting to the Jewish God, Jesus. For you, spiritual connection might look totally different. But however it looks I bet that if you connect your spirit and soul on a regular basis your life will begin to change for the better.
Make a commitment today to work on your connection… even in just one of these areas. I reckon you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the difference a bit of mindful connection can make. You may even find a little magic unraveling in your life.
I think the last word needs to go to Herman Melville, the author of Moby Dick.
We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads, and along those sympathetic fibers, our actions run as causes and return to us as results.