"Does connection scare us?"
I hope you're having a terrific Monday.
I love walking.
Walking has always been my go to exercise when I need to get some energy flowing. But I also love walking just because it gets me into fresh air. The morning air is my favorite.
Something that I've been more aware of recently on these walks, is how very few people are making eye contact or connection.
And I'm wondering how something so natural, has become somehow too "intimate?" Many times it seems we go out of our way to avoid simple forms of connection. I know I've done it myself – have you?
So this morning, I made it a point to openly make eye contact and connect with a simple smile. And, when it felt right I decided I would also say "hello" to everyone I crossed paths with during my walk.
I had no intention to invade anyone's space – quite frankly I did not want to stop and chat, I wanted to keep my own walking pace. But, I was willing to take a moment – just one – to gently connect from the heart.
One woman I passed 2 times while walking. The first time she looked away and then during the second pass, as we were walking directly towards each other, I decided to smile brightly and say "hello." I think my enthusiasm was a little high, because she actually jumped slightly in surprise. She did gather a smile and say "Hey" back to me. I laughed (hopefully she didn't hear) because I honestly didn't mean to startle her.
But it really made me think – On my walk I counted 5 other people who actively looked away from me and would not engage at all. So, naturally I did not try to engage them either. I'm very big on personal space. But before my walk was over there were 2 people who did smile back warmly.
I live in beautiful Southern California – we are people who are often outdoors and active. We are for the most part, pretty cheerful and have a "relaxed and easy going" reputation. So it made me think, are we as a culture really moving further and further apart from simple connection?
Are we so self-absorbed that we can't take a moment to (at the very least) give a smile, a nod, or say a genuine "hello" as we pass each other on the street, in the market, at the bank, or to the person who takes our parking lot ticket money?
To be absolutely honest, I know I've been in places in my life when I was too self-absorbed in my own "stuff" to be able to show simple kindness to others.
So it brought up the age old question for me.
How are we really treating each other?
It matters because how we speak to, speak about and engage with others, is a direct extension of ourselves.
I have received emails recently and had client sessions with many topics related to the sadness, fear and frustrations that many are feeling right now with various events in our world…
Something I've been doing lately to keep myself on track, is ask myself this question…
"How do I want to personally extend my energy into this world today?"
One of the ways we keep our sense of compassion with each other, the animal kingdom, mother earth and all her gifts to us, is through our ability to connect with everything.
So, my question to you is…
Are we loosing perspective on the importance of these very small (but powerful) daily personal connections to each other?
And, if you feel we are, would you be willing to add one warm smile and hello during your day to another person? Without trying to gain anything, or impress anyone, or do a "good deed"… Simply to connect?
Is this something that you see the value in for all cultures?
Or, has it just become too uncomfortable, too intimate, or maybe just too inconvenient for us?
I welcome your thoughts…
Are your ready to fully align in who you truly are?