Growth and Development
Getting Connected in the New Year
Last year, instead of coming up with a New Year’s resolution, I chose a “word of the year.” My word was create, and 2011 was indeed full of new ideas and creations. When it came time to choose my word of the year for 2012, though, I felt myself longing to go deeper than “create.” I wanted a word that would serve as a touchstone, helping me during both low times and ordinary ones. I wanted this word to help me whenever I needed a boost in my daily activities. To my surprise, my word chose me: connect.
I’ve found that whenever I’m struggling—whether it’s a frazzled, way-too-much-to-do feeling or a sluggish not-wanting-to-face-the-world day—it’s because I’m disconnected. I’m not in touch with my inner strength and intuition or even the needs of my physical body. I’m not feeling the awe and wonder of the beautiful world around me.
Those are the times that I need to be reminded to connect. Even in the few short weeks since the year began, my word has been very helpful. I constantly return to it: just a thirty-second pause to get reconnected to my inner self is all I need. Whether I’m making a phone call or entering a meeting, reminding myself to connect makes a huge difference in my attitude. Getting connected gives me a new perspective on what I’m doing and also allows me to re-approach life with a positive outlook.
Here are five ways you can bring more connection into your daily life. Try them and see how they work for you.
- Connect with your body. As you move through your day, use transition times (arriving at work, heating up lunch, getting ready for bed) to check in with your body. Stop and listen: Are you thirsty? Tired? In need of some movement or stillness? Hungry? Rather than impose what your brain thinks your body should want, ask what it desires. Then take action. It doesn’t have to be dramatic. If your body craves sweets, grab a smoothie or a square of dark chocolate. You can be healthy and nurtured.
- Connect with uplifting friends. You know the ones. Your soul sisters, those who understand where you’re coming from. Get together and chat, or set up a time for a long phone call or IM session. Make some tea, and share your fears, joys, and hopes. Feel yourself being nourished by their caring attention.
- Connect with your intuition. Before making a decision, take time to explore how you feel about each of your options. Intuition shows up differently for each of us. It might be like a whispering voice, a gut feeling, or a warmth in your heart. Get to know your own intuitive guidance by allowing time for quiet contemplation. Recognize that you have your own inner wisdom. Use your “gut” to help you with things that matter.
- Connect with nature. This earth is an amazing place. Whether you love the deep woods, the park, or the city, it’s all a part of nature. Take a hike; go for a long walk with your dog; or maybe make a trip downtown to admire some architecture. Gaze at the moon. Absorb some sunshine or walk in the rain. Connect with the world you live in.
- Connect with the divine. No matter your religious or spiritual beliefs, you can connect with that which is bigger than you. Say a prayer, chant a mantra, or meditate. Relax and notice what is going on around and within you. Get in deeper touch with energy that powers the universe. When you tune into this force, your worries will fade into the background, and you’ll feel the love that surrounds you. Let it sustain you, and know that you can return to connection whenever you please.
For a related article on mind/body connection, visit here.