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Talk To Me Tuesday; Meaningful Connections

Hello friends! Talk to me, how are you connecting these days? Is it fulfilling? Meaningful connections are so vital to the human existence, as a matter of fact, the absence of connection is proven to be more deadly than smoking a pack of cigarettes a day! I don’t need to remind you how deadly smoking a pack of cigarettes each day is, do I? There is a lot of very intelligent research scientists that have their interpretations and theories, but I have a simplified theory. Humans need hope. When there is a lack of meaningful connections, we lose that spark of hope. In the absence of hope, we lose our purpose. Without hope and purpose, we lack meaning in our lives. If we feel our lives are meaningless, we self destruct. This self destruction varies from neglecting ourselves, to addiction, or even intentional self harm.

Yesterday’s Meaningful Monday talked about the 5 senses grounding technique. This technique provides us a connection to our own body and surroundings. Today, I want to open up the conversation to the connection to others. Right now connecting is really, really hard! The traditional ways that we have connected are largely unavailable. Not only that, but the stress has gone through the roof at the same time, leaving us with very little creative energy to rethink and reimagine ways of connecting. I am calling on all of you to help me generate a list of creative new ideas for us to try out. Please be a part of the conversation!

Go ahead and listen to my thoughts and ideas on it here

What Makes a Connection Meaningful?

Many people right now are filling the void of connection by going onto social media. Don’t get me wrong, social media serves a need and is an incredible tool in many ways, but MEANINGFUL connections are not one of them. Meaningful connections can’t happen with mindless scrolling, it happens with vulnerability and truly seeing and valuing another person.

  1. A meaningful connection can only happen when you are willing to have meaningful conversations. GO deeper than talking about the weather or your to-do list. Ask questions that allow another person to reveal something deeper about themselves
  2. Be vulnerable. Obviously there will be varying levels in which you will feel safe doing this depending on the person and how long you have known them. Meaningful relationships take time and effort to develop, allow for that. But also be willing to be vulnerable and share deep thoughts when appropriate. It will make the other person feel safe in doing the same.
  3. Show up when needed. Meaningful connections are maintained when you know a person has your back with unconditional love – even when you are at your worst. This doesn’t mean they don’t snap you back, quite the opposite actually. My most meaningful connections are with those that can lovingly redirect me when I get off track from being my best self. Show up for others in that same way.
  4. Keep the judgement out of the relationship. Society judges us for everything – what we wear, how we talk, the color of our skin, what we drive, etc… Don’t allow that in when you are forming a meaningful connection. Stay curious about others, know that we all have so many different life experiences that led us to where we are. Inquire about those experiences and listen with love in your heart. (Unless a person is speaking in hateful and/or harmful ways – then the best response is to hold them accountable for the harm they are inflicting)

How I am Connecting While Social Isolation Time

Here are some of the ways in which I am intentionally connecting with others during this time. I know, it is not ideal, but we have to stay diligent in our love for one another by walking the fine line of keeping each other physically healthy while also meeting our needs for social connections for our mental wellbeing!

In Person – because minimizing the time spent in the virtual world and maximizing face to face time is really important in building meaningful relationships!:

  1. Hiking/walking together. This is easily done with masks and maintaining 6ft distancing while outdoors! Studies show that conversations while engaging in physical activity increases bonding and allows for greater processing of negative emotions.
  2. Sitting together to talk in a yard, a park, etc. I keep a folding chair in my car for impromptu chats. masks on, chairs 6ft apart. These conversations are priceless!
  3. Bring food to someone. When I know someone is really struggling or I just want a quick way to say ” I love you”, I will bring food. (in a disposable container)
  4. I didn’t talk about this in the recording – but I have also been sending handwritten cards with little gifts recently. I love surprising loved ones and cards/letters are so meaningful – especially now in an online world!

Virtual Connections:

I get it – not everyone can do in person connecting due to distance, health, etc…So here are the ways that I am staying connected virtually

  1. Virtual yoga classes together. Nothing funnier than seeing me try to bend and twist – it is great for a good belly laugh together while also lowering stress through yoga.
  2. Dinner together online. Sit down to eat with a loved one at a specific time. Dinner conversations are some of the best conversations!
  3. Mystery dinner party. These are done online and are fun for friends/family to connect and interact in ways that would normally happen by going out to do.
  4. Online Book Club/discussions. These can be a great way to find a common connection with others that you don’t know as well. Reading and sharing meaningful conversations about a common topic is a great way to bond and connect. It allows a place to be vulnerable, to listen, learn, and to also be heard and valued.

I hope you listened and found some of my ideas helpful & I can’t wait to hear your ideas as well! Please share them with us – let’s see how many great ideas we can generate!!

With Love and Gratitude,

AnaAlicia

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