I don’t know about you but when I get pangs of loneliness I get busy. Like, really busy. Like, so busy that I don’t have to think busy. The other day when a lil twinge of loneliness crept in, I thought, huh, that’s there, that’s interesting, I’m going to stay with this for a bit and see where it takes me. So instead of running away, I allowed myself to really feel this feeling in my body. I closed my eyes and searched for the place in me that knows, the place where my soul sits waiting for me to pay attention. There it was… in my heart. The heart is the place of connection. As I paid attention, my inner longing said to me “go be in relationship….”
It’s so easy to be by myself. I like it even. I don’t have to do anything or answer to anyone. I don’t have to be anything. I can just be. Which is fine. And necessary even. I need time to be with myself and to get to know my inner workings. And, I’m really present to an emerging duality: On one hand, there’s me being in the space to enjoy my company, to do deep inner work, to get real with myself, to be an observer of myself and of life, and on the other hand there’s the place where I isolate, where I sabotage efforts to see people, where I hide out. The former feels life affirming while the later feels flat and even as I write this I notice my breathing becomes shallow, almost catching itself. It’s life diminishing.
I’m in LA visiting my daughter and I decided to challenge myself to get out of my comfort zone and consciously invite people into my world. From engaging with the café owner in a heart centred conversation about life, travel and food, to the surprisingly deep chat with a cowboy (boots, hat and turquoise jewelry….no joke) at the dog park overlooking the Hollywood sign about what it means to be really present, to inviting the father of my daughter’s co-worker to join us at brunch, just because….I have felt really lit up on life. Being IN the experience of life feels really damn good. And on top of it, I’m experimenting with bringing my whole self to these exchanges– my joy, my curiosity, my intellect, my passion, my sexiness, my stillness, my power….all of me. I’m connecting all of me to all of you that I engage with. No hiding any part of me. I’m seeing that all of me is welcomed.
In a world that is increasingly disconnected, how do we find connection? We go out and FIND IT. Here I am in this sprawling city of LA, known for disconnection, and I realize it’s up to me to cultivate connection. If I wait for connection to come to me I might miss it completely. In order for connection to happen I have to first invite it in. I have to lean in at 100%. And then I have to trust the other person to do their own leaning in.
There is a simple truth. Human beings need other human beings for emotional well-being, connection and nurturing of our soul. We’re not meant to live in isolation. We’re meant to be in relationship to one another.
I’m going to keep engaging in this way. I’m going to make eye contact or speak with people I don’t know, I’ll smile at someone instead of looking away, I’ll invite others into my world. And most importantly, I’m not going to allow my discomfort to dissuade me from engaging. I’ll do it anyway because I know the benefits are enormous.
How about you? What are you doing to cultivate connection in your world? I’m curious to learn from you. Comment below!