When my children were little, sometimes they hurt themselves in the course of their play. It usually was nothing very urgent or grave, but almost always, they came to show me their little wounds. Sometimes they needed water to clean it and almost invariably they got Reiki from me. But I learned, as I observed them, that they were seeking reassurance, and beyond that, connection with me.
A 2008 study (Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection, by John T. Cacioppo and William Patrick) concluded that acute loneliness is as stressful to people as being attacked by a stranger. Connection, on the other hand, is identified as one of the main causes of longevity.
We are wired to need one another on a very primal, simple level. We need interaction and connection.
Unfortunately, the way we live is not always set up for optimal connection. Full schedules might require pre-planning in order to meet, and when we run into people spontaneously, we can’t stop and chat as long as we like. Phones make in-person visits less necessary, and now, etiquette in this day and age is that texting is preferable to calling.
Being connected, then, requires intentionality.
Beyond mere interactions, though, is something more important, something that builds more meaning and power into any connection: that’s Presence. It’s bringing the whole of who we are to the moment and the person before us, without distraction. It means opening ourselves to receiving from that person, and giving our own focus, attention, and loving energy. It is truly seeing our interlocutor and listening deeply. Presence is what I bring to every session unconditionally, and what I attempt to bring to my daily interactions.
Do you recognize the experience of those interactions where you are feeling pulled in various directions, your thoughts all over the place? And the experience of the interactions where you are fully focused, or where you feel that the person you are speaking with is really listening? Outwardly, the two may look the same, but the experience is very different, and it is felt by both parties on every level: body, mind and spirit.
I invite you to ask yourself when was the last time you really connected with someone. What, about that interaction, felt meaningful and nourishing?
Take a moment to make clear your space and, holding the intention to learn about deepening connection, let yourself still your body and your mind, feeling the quiet as you breathe. When you feel the expansiveness of the stillness, sink even deeper into yourself, into the place of infinity within you. Ask, then, with curiosity and openness, about Presence and connection. How can you bring them to your Self, to the people you care most about, and to those you cross paths with? Hold connection and its nourishment, let them speak to you, teach you, spill through you. And enjoy this act of connecting with the depths of your being.
I am here, to connect with and to witness you ( if you wish, also to guide you). So tell me what connection means for you, what it feels like, how your relationship to it has changed.
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