The idea of “mindful connecting” started about 2 weeks ago in class when we were talking about the feelings of belonging, and its opposite, loneliness.
We were asked, “who is on your 3 AM call list?”.
You know, that short list (or for some, long list) of friends and family who you can call at 3 AM if you are in need.
Take a moment, think about your 3 AM list. Do you have a few deep connections who you could reach out to if you were in a pickle? Yes, it is a great feeling to know we are never truly alone and we do have someone on our team even in the wee hours. However, to truly get to the essence of connection, I wonder, do you have people who would call you at 3 AM? If we are looking at what it means to fully belong and give of yourself as a friend, I think this is an equally important (if not more important) question and effective litmus test to determine deep connection and belonging.
What people in your life feel such a deep connection, trust, and support with you that they would reach out when the rest of their community is asleep? When we can serve this role for others, that is when I believe we truly have made an imprint on someone’s life and a bond that penetrates the surface exists. Yes, it takes work, effort, and time to be that person in someone’s life, but isn’t it worth it? After all, how great does it feel to know you have loads of people who you can reach for, but no one is reaching your way?
In what ways do you get to know others? How well are you listening to, supporting and engaging your friends around what is important to them? How much do you candidly share about yourself to deepen the level of intimacy and trust so they in turn will feel comfortable sharing with you?
I call this mindful connecting.
It comes in many forms and shows up in our various relationships. It can impact your relationship with the “closest of the close” friends and family, it will effect work relations with clients and colleagues and can positively change how you show up in your everyday life.
Have some fun playing around with mindful connecting. You can practice on friends, family, colleagues or the person who you see every morning when you grab your morning cup at the café. What’s his/her name? What’s important to them? Where are they from? What makes them tick? If something big is happening in their life, how can you acknowledge it and circle back to check in?
Mindful connections can happen with any level of relationship, at any time (not just at 3 AM!) and they can take a matter of moments to establish. Imagine if we all took the time to acknowledge and check-in with someone who you see regularly – that person who makes your life a little brighter each day. Minutes of mindfulness can change the course of someone’s day and possibly their life.
Talk about the power within each of us!