When your usual mode of connection/connecting is suddenly removed…

Hello beautiful soul,

You continue to be in my heart during this time. I am here and I want you to know that I see you, even through this virtual container.💜

Here’s my latest musing for you. It’s what’s present in my heart and thoughts as we navigate new territory and new possibilities for connection—both with ourselves and with others.

Enjoy!


As we continue to shelter in place in California, I’ve been going out only for essentials and an occasional walk on the beach. One thing that has really struck me is that on these outings, most people I’m encountering are not only keeping their physical distance… they’re distant in other ways too. Heads bowed, no eye contact, masks covering mouths that don’t smile.

When I first noticed this, without judgement or making it wrong in any way, I quickly became aware that I was doing it too. I feel the words alone — “social distancing” — carry with them an element of fear, and it’s easy to make that phrase mean that shutting down all connection between us is what’s needed. That we need to fear one another as a “carrier” of something dangerous. That shutting down eye contact and even our smiles is the only way to keep ourselves safe right now.

And yet that automatic of shutting down reinforces that idea that we are separate and alone. It causes us to see each other as truly “other” rather than supporting us in experiencing our oneness.

What if there was another choice? Perhaps there is.

This entire experience has me thinking a lot about our automatics when it comes to connection and about what happens when we’re plunged into the unknown. When the usual mode of connection is suddenly removed, what else is there?

What I’m observing is that from an unconscious or unexamined place, we can go deeper into our automatic of contracting and withdrawing to keep ourselves safe. Or we can choose to go even deeper into conscious connection… with ourselves and with each other. In other words, I believe that who and how we choose to be right now can generate even more fear and disconnect or it can generate new depth of connection, even across greater physical distance.

Social distancing doesn’t have to mean social isolation. For me, it’s been supportive to reframe what’s going on as “physical distancing,” because now more than ever, it’s crucial that we generate new ways of connecting. What’s more, we’re deeply socialized to get that thing we’re longing for (touch, connection, compassion) from somewhere, some source, outside ourselves, so in this moment, we’ve been given a gift: the opportunity to be the source of that which we seek and of that which we long to give others. But we have to consciously choose it. 

While we get to be responsible for maintaining physical distance, there is no need to live in fear. We can actually foster connection in new ways beyond physical touch and remember how interconnected we truly are as humans. Coming together in love, rather than continuing to see each other as ‘the other.’

I invite you to spend a few moments investigating: How has social distancing been impacting my life? What might it look like to be in a moment of shifting the paradigm around what “connection” means right now? Where does connection come from? And how are my automatics showing up in ways that leave me feeling isolated and alone? What could I do differently?

If you’re feeling stuck, you might play with the prompt of, “What am I meant to learn about connection during this time?” And remember, you are not alone. I’m here, and if you’d like to share what you’re discovering with me, I’d love to receive your response to this email.

xo,

P.S.  In the next few weeks I plan to share with you a brand new offering that is super close to my heart, and something I’ve been looking forward to sharing with you for going on 3 years now. I was originally going to release it in March, yet with the shelter in place and the pandemic spreading I decided to hold off for a little bit. And as I feel into the timing of everything it feels ready for me to share now with you very soon. So be on the lookout as it is an offering to support you in creating new innovative ways to step even more deeply into your full expression and be all of who you are in the work you do in the world.

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