Are you one of the millions of us staring down a long term goal of (emotional or physical) strength or weight loss or healing? Or the daunting task of parenting or business ownership or walking through big things? How many times have you felt desperately alone in your journey? Yeah. I’m with you.
We are told to be self-sufficient. To be empowered and to stand in our brilliance. To accept ourselves or change ourselves or whatever the fuck we’re supposed to do with ourselves to finally HIT THE MARK …. but MAN… even when I’ve gotten there, I’ve felt trapped by a feeling of failure. Or fear of losing the success I just created. Or just being desperately lonely.
I see clients so often, and so heartbreakingly, can’t see their biggest mountain top moments of triumph as the glorious things they are. All too often, the sense of disconnection, comparison to others and lack of belonging sucks all the joy out of that moment.
We’ve been sold “HEALTH” as a solitary and private journey of test results. We’ve been sold “FITNESS” as a product of personal motivation and perseverance. We’ve been sold “HEALING” as a process of unearthing darkness only to paid professionals when the white noise machine is turned on…
Again… I’m gonna call bullshit.
We are not wired to do this alone!!! We are a species evolved for community. We – as humanoids – are alive and doing what we do because we have each other. From hunting mammoths to high tech think tanks: Big things only happen when we truly connect.
Let me rephrase this at the risk of repeating myself because I’m an over-talker anyway and this feels important:
We’ve gotten the message that we’re meant to be these super-producers on our own, posting our success on social media and buying whatever product will make us FINALLY good enough.
But we’re not supposed to do it alone! Food. Fitness. Raising a Family :
it’s a group effort! Living an energized life with enough strength to reach further than just getting through the day means asking for help and pausing to really connect with each other — just as much as it means working out and eating veggies.
If you’re ready to take the health of your heart, your body and your relationships to the next level : start with community.
How? Oh, I’m glad you asked.
5 Ways to Be in Community
1. EAT Together
Each day this week, pick one meal to sit down, look someone in the eyes that you need (or needs you) and eat together with out your phones in the room.
(Bonus: Your body will actually absorb nutrients more effectively when you feel less stressed and more in connection.)
2. MOVE Together
Once each week, take a class or go for a walk with someone. Sticking to a movement plan often comes down to accountability. AND your endorphins and dopamine (feel good hormones) will get a double dose if you make it a social event!
3. QUIT SCROLLING.
Next time you catch yourself scrolling through social media: text or call someone you care about and tell them you’re thinking about them. Just tell them one thing that makes you grateful they’re alive.
4. Make Eye Contact.
The barista at the coffee shop. The person bagging your groceries. Your spouse. Make eye contact and hold it for 2-3 seconds.
5. Ask other people how they’re doing… and MEAN IT.
Allowing someone the space to tell you how they really are creates connection, helps them feel at ease. It also gives us permission to let our guard down and just show up when someone asks us the same thing.
Despite spending the better part of my day in a room with other people, I’ve been feeling alone in my journey a lot lately. Some of the best steps I’ve taken toward change have been asking for help, calling friends when I’m feeling the most ashamed and seeking out safe places to have my heart in the same space as someone else’s. You’re not in this alone. We’re here.