I don't know about you, but I am craving connection. Even as an introvert, someone who loves their own space and relishes alone time, I still need a good balance of human connection to thrive. We all do! In fact, Dr. Emma Seppala at Stanford Medicine writes in her article: Connectedness & Health: The Science of Social Connection, how social connection is just as critical for our health and wellbeing as the food we eat and the exercise we take!
Yet, sometimes I kid myself into believing I don't need it, only for the truth to reveal itself in ways that do me no good at all.
Perhaps you can relate?
Eating sugary snacks
Numbing out on caffeine and alcohol
Creating overwhelming busyness
Wasting time doing mindless activities
Until I get to the point - like I did yesterday - where I feel ...
brain in a haze,
unable to see clearly,
fighting against the push of "doing" and the pull of "being"
It's only when I decide "this isn't normal" that I make a deeper inquiry with myself and realise this is all a DISTRACTION to avoid or fill the void the pain of how I truly feel - sad and lonely! And as I sit with those feelings and allow the emotion to flood my body, my soul whispers the truth: "I miss my Mum. I miss my sisters. I miss being in close proximity to people. I miss being hugged. I miss having random conversations with strangers. I miss sitting in a cafe and watching the world go by. I miss hearing kids in shopping malls having tantrums. I miss hearing other people's stories. I miss laughter with friends. I miss kisses with my niece. I miss the love and support of my network. Most of all, I miss feeling connected with myself." That's when I realise I have slipped into a state of dis-connection. It's easy done you know. Even someone like me, who is invested daily in her self-connection practises, can lose this connection in an instant, so don't fret. Let's use this as an opportunity to look at ways to bridge the gap and reinforce your self-connection moving forward.
Firstly, what does it mean to be connected? Being connected is about feeling part of something greater than yourself. For me it's about having an awareness of my body and mind, meeting my needs on every level - physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. It's also about a sense of community - the connections you have with other people in your life, at work and so on. When we are connected we are more present in daily life, feel a sense of groundedness and feel like a part of "the team", at one with ourselves and all that is.
What can we do to reinstate and maintain connection?
My first port of call is to inquire as to what it is you are really hungry for? We know it's not food. We know you don't want to feel sad and lonely. So what DO you want? Once you have a clear idea of how you want to feel you can then decide on the actions you can take to fill that hunger gap and strengthen your connection.
Here are a few ideas:
Relax and be still
Feel into your emotions
Listen to your inner guidance (writing in a journal is a great way to unearth your inner desires)
Call a friend
Dance or move your body
Consciously connect with each of your five senses through different actions
Stand bare foot on the grass (imagine your feet growing roots and grounding you into the earth below)
Gather with people who uplift you
Spark your inspiration by learning something new
Say hello to a stranger
Get creative with crafts or cooking
Go dig in the garden
Expand your network, either in-person or virtually, by attending events, workshops or by volunteering
Whilst it's important to re-connect with yourself, it's equally as important to expand that energy out, by that I mean connecting with others. When you make connections with others your energy feeds them and their energy feeds you back again. It’s a win-win! “Positive energy evokes more energy, more initiative, and more happiness.” Anonymous Making a conscious connection with yourself and with others, every day, is how you can stave off those hunger pangs and learn to live well. Much love, Julie
Find out more about Julie at https://www.juliegrint.com