Posted on : 09-06-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Communication
Tags: connecting with others
Connecting schmanecting! What does “connecting with others” even mean?! In my world of “Lynn definitions” connecting with others means being authentic, being truthful about how I’m feeling and what I’m thinking and being curious and caring about the person(s) who I am in conversation. Connecting is the ying and yang process of communication. It’s listening with your ears, brain, eyes, heart and sixth sense as well as speaking from the Dan-Tian so that your voice vibration reflects the energy of your truth. You can “see” how many of us communicate with each other by observing people in action. Think of yourself as being Jane Goodall only you’re watching humans instead of apes (albeit distant relatives) and you’ll probably not be in the jungle!
Sometime when you have 5-10 minutes find a comfy place where you can sit back and listen to people talking. What is the mood of the conversations? What sounds do you hear the voices making? Can you tell where the sound of their words is coming from in their bodies? I do these exercises all the time and am fascinated by what I observe. I’m a very visual person so it helps me to translate the voices I hear into shapes that I can “see” and then understand. One vivid memory was of a timid woman speaking to a man who was at least a foot taller then her and about 100 pounds heavier. She seemed to have important information that she wanted to communicate to him but lacked the confidence to communicate it. When she spoke, the sound of her voice took on the shape of a crescent moon. It started out with a sharp constricted point on the bottom, opened up as she became more confident and finished the same way she began with sounding insecure and almost angry at the position she found herself in while trying to get information across that was being brushed aside.
But Lynn, you may be asking, what does all this have to do with connecting with others and how in the hell can it save my life?! There’s a lot of talk out there in the spheres about connecting with others and how important it is but very few of us really know or understand what that means much less how to do it. Then we end up in life or death situations that we haven’t a clue who and how to ask for help. A good friend shared a story with me this week about a conversation she had with one of her favorite sales associates. On a random drive-by shopping tour, my friend dropped by the store to check out the new styles and found herself in a very intimate conversation with this woman who she sees maybe four times a year. This friend of mine is a very good “connector” and is genuine when she asks others how they are doing so when she asked the woman how she was, in a very short time she learned that the woman had seriously contemplated suicide over the weekend and while she was going through the thought process of doing it, this woman realized that she had not one person she could call in her time of need. I’m betting that woman has friends and family in her life that would be there for her, but she may not have any experience with really connecting with any of them on a regular basis.
I’m a member of a 12-step program that encourages to call at least 3 people in the program every day! That can be for quick 5-10 minute check-in phone calls but because we tend to be a group of people who are prone to isolation when the crappola hits the fan, learning to call three people a day is our antidote. When I came into this program over eight years ago and heard the “suggestion” of calling at least three people a day, that was one of the tools of this program that was almost a deal breaker for me. I had been a recruiter for years when I joined and so was used to talking with many people everyday. I couldn’t imagine having to add 3 people of my list to call and in my own private time!!
What I soon realized over the course of months and years was that with the practice of talking with 3 people a day about how I was and what was going on with me for that day (and also being there for others and really listening to who and where they were in their lives), I was making deposits in my spiritual account for connecting so that when something really big happens to me in my life, picking up the phone and calling someone is such a habit that I can do it effortlessly. And sometimes I have that isolator commander in my head that starts negating everyone that I am thinking about calling before I pick up the phone, and I just tell it “thank you for sharing” and pick up the phone and dial a number. If nothing more happens than the possibility of being of service to someone else then that is great. At least I am making an attempt at connecting.
I think this is one of those Malcolm Gladwell Outlier moments when you have to put your energy and effort into something for 10,000 hours to become an expert. So to learn how to connect and to be able to connect at those moments when all we want to do is to hang this life up then making the effort today to connect with others could save your life tomorrow!
Who are you going to call today and really make a connection?