I know my graphic is straight-outta-Pinterest today, but the truth is I've been thinking a lot about connection, lately. How it comes easy for some people, and not so easy for others. That real-life connection is better than online connection . . . but virtual connection is better than none at all. And that without any, life can be really lonely and potentially dangerous.
I went to see Brené Brown speak a couple of weeks ago - about her new book Braving the Wilderness. <--- The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone. She was amazing (as always), and though I haven't finished the book yet, here is one piece of research (from Julianne Holt-Lunstad, Timothy B. Smith & J. Bradley Layton) that stopped me in my tracks. Which is:
Go ahead and take a moment to reflect on that . . . it is heavy stuff.
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I was having a conversation with a friend last week about our college age kids. After high-school graduation her son decided he was going to move across the country to Los Angeles - to follow his dreams of being a photographer. By all accounts he has totally killed it. He has driven trucks in the middle of the night, landed gigs and internships, had his work featured in a magazine - all by sheer hustle and determination. In fact he's just been offered a job at a photography agency. And? He's pressing pause, going home for a bit and looking at plan B. Why? Because in a city of almost four million people . . . he never found his tribe.
By contrast, my son is going to community college in the middle of nowhere, Colorado, where he says there are only seven cute girls on campus. Sterling has a population of 18,000 when school is in session - just to give you some "by the numbers" comparison. And while we did have a bumpy start to sophomore year, he has settled in and is doing great. He's getting better grades than ever, and playing the best baseball of his life. <--- and that I think is what's totally key here. He hasn't had to find his people . . . his community was basically handed to him on a silver platter - in the form of a baseball team.
So when baseball (or any sport) isn't your reality (raises hand!) - here are some ideas I've had about places to make connections should you feel isolated or lonely:
I am clear that sometimes it's just not as easy as it sounds to get out and be connected - especially if social anxiety or depression are part of your equation . . . I've been there. And hopefully if it's just a little nudge you needed - this list is handy.
The other part of my community conundrum this week was focused on how I show up for other people. And to be super transparent, I haven't figured that one out yet at all. One thing that has crossed my mind is to make a better connection with the guy who sits at the intersection of Fairview & Boren with a sign that reads "Black Sabbath Matters", who I see at least 4-5 times a week. Because that made me laugh - and I wonder what his story is. (To be clear I am in no way making light of or disrespecting the Black Lives Matter movement.) I think I have some fear around the homeless community, which might not make me the best connector - but these people are the ones who can really use some love. And with the right boundaries I think we could all make a difference.
What about you . . . where do you find connection in your life? Is it with your work-friends or a Book Group? Is your community within your kids' sports teams? I'd love to hear - since my experience is just a microcosm of what's out there . . . leave a comment or send me a note!
Love & Light,
p.s. Quote credit goes to Danielle Laporte - from one of her awesome TruthBombs.
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