I was surprised at what a jolly stream of enthusiastic, lively responses my most recent blog on ‘How to Feel Happier and more Connected [Part1]’ (published on June 2nd), brought in its wake.
People told me of the pleasure they experienced at re-connecting with neglected pursuits from knitting and pottery to walking and being in nature more consciously. They thanked me for the reminder…
And it was just that - a reminder! - because we already instinctively know that real connection allows us to draw on something internal (like a talent or skill) and to link that up to something outside of us.
We all know how satisfying that can feel and once you get going the stream continues to flow.
When it comes to our sense of connection to others, having lots of people around you, is not a guarantee for feeling connected.
Sinks and Radiators
My husband - half jokingly - divides people up into two categories; he either sees them as sinks or as radiators. Some people, he says, drain the lifeblood out of you, while others leave you feeling a bigger and better, more energised version of yourself.
However tongue-in-cheek, the truth is that we do affect each other all the time.
Our mind is, according to Dr Dan Siegel, ‘an embodied and relational process’.
We need each other to become ourselves.
So what can we draw on, to feel more attuned to others?
A lesson from my daughter
From a very young age my daughter knew how to make friends. She was liked by extroverts and introverts as well, by the strong and the vulnerable alike.
She taught me to suspend opinion, judgement or the ‘I must fix-it’ mode, and she showed me how to listen whole-heartedly and in silence.
By giving another this quality of attention we can make them feel felt and heard, and we become connected.
At a recent workshop, I asked participants to notice what happened if they highlighted some noticeable qualities in others. Not only did it energise the recipients - to have a positive trait brought into the light by having it named; a trait that perhaps they took for granted - but it also left the giver of the compliment feeling better, as well as more interested in the other.
As always, I’d like to invite you to see for yourself. Discover the positive shift of energy and connection, when every now and then, you:
- listen whole-heartedly to some else;
- remind people about their kindness, moral fibre, courage, achievements and talents.
I'd love to hear how you get on - and what you do to connect more with others. Let me know in the comments below!