Connection as a Way of Practice
A common theme that I see in my practice, time and again, is how isolation from others deeply affects our sense of well-being. When I begin working with a client, I look at their connections to others and community and how they can integrate connection as practice. One may be suffering physically, seemingly out-of-the-blue, with symptoms they’ve never had before.
As we go deeper into reviewing their relationships, if there has been an event that severed their connection with others, leaving them isolated, this is often the underlying cause of physical and emotional disease. Humans need one another. At times, through various circumstances, we might become disconnected from others. A move to a new place, loss of a job, a divorce or break-up with a partner; these are some scenarios that can exacerbate feelings of aloneness.
“We often forget our human connectedness. Throughout my life, I have felt the greatest beauty lies in this connection. It has been in the deepest connections with others that I have experienced the greatest degree of learning, healing and transformation. This connection is a powerful thing, with the ability to transform lives, and ultimately transform human experience.”
~ Kristi Bowman
How Can We Heal this Part of Ourselves that is Alone and Suffering if We Are Unaware of it? Ask Yourself these Questions…
Do I belong to any communities or groups that meet regularly?
Am I able to pick up the phone and call a friend or family member when I need to talk?
Do I have an aversion to being with others, doing most of my activities alone?
Does the thought of planning an activity with others feel like a chore?
Ways One Can Begin to Cultivate a Deeper Connection
- Next time you are planning an activity you usually do alone (taking a walk, going shopping, taking your lunch break) ask someone to go along
- Get involved in a group activity that ignites your passion. This is a great way to meet like-minded folks. If you feel passionate about it, so do they!
- At least once a week, pick up the phone and call a friend or family member, just to talk
- When moving to a new place, look for local groups meeting regularly that share common interests
- Seek out organizations nearby your home and get involved in neighborhood projects
- If you live with others and find yourself in the habit of retreating by yourself, make plans to have an evening where you cook a meal together
- Share stories from your day as you dine
- If you become isolated through unemployment, take on a volunteer position
- At work or school, start a conversation with someone you’ve not talked with before – do this daily
“There are few things more powerful than people united. What they unite over is not what matters. … The most important aspect is remembering our existing connection, and, through that, allowing ourselves to feel at peace.”
~ Vironika Tugaleva
Awareness in Ourselves
We often fall into patterns of isolation because we feel that we are different. Isolation doesn’t mean living alone, it means viewing yourself as separate from others. By allowing ourselves to recognize how alike others we truly are, is a step toward healing this profound separateness. Begin re-connecting with others by connecting with yourself. Go out in public and observe ways in which you are similar to other humans. Take some time to reflect on this. Ask yourself what common needs and desires we all share? Through these insights, begin to accept that we are all one human family.
For many, re-integration into communities isn’t easy. There are numerous excuses we give ourselves as to why we shouldn’t reach out. Feelings of vulnerability are common and may be difficult to resolve.
Start slowly with what feels comfortable but also allow yourself to take appropriate risks. The more you practice being involved with others, the easier it becomes. Connecting on a human level begins to feel good. As you allow yourself to open to others, you begin to recognize what it was you were missing. A sense of belonging becomes a deeper sense of self.
Through the hearts and eyes of others, you begin to achieve growth and become more whole.