Connect In to Connect Out

As I’ve continued to think about building community, I was reminded that in order to build community and be in community we need to be open enough to connect with someone or something. We have to be willing to peel off some of the protective layers we all put on so that we can let ourselves out and let others in.

Scary as that may seem, if you stop and think about it, connecting is a real basic need from the moment we are born. We actively seek out someone to hold and cradle and feed us and love us; it continues as we grow, seeking out friends to play with and then people to date; we grow up, maybe we get married or create partnerships; we meet friends for coffee to catch up; we take the dogs for walks to connect with them and with nature; we joke, we tease, we laugh, we hug…all ways we try to connect with others.

But, in order to connect with others, we need to connect with ourselves first.  What that means to me is taking the time to figure out what really matters to me, what I value, where I’m coming from, what my experiences are and what I am in need of so that I can align myself with the people and causes that resonate with me, support me and whom I can support.  I need to know what I want and need from being in a community as well as what I can offer that community. 

Give this a try:                                                       

  • Come into Child’s Pose, with either your knees together or apart, with your arms either outstretched in front of you, or alongside your body.
  • Give yourself whatever support you need to feel comfortable here.
  • Feel how your attention is turned inward in this cocoon-like shape and watch and feel your breath flowing in and out. 
  • Connect with any feelings, thoughts, sensations that might be popping up right now for you. 
  • Then ask yourself – what does it mean to you to connect with others – to be in community with others? How does that feel to you? Just note whatever arises with as little judgement as possible. 
  • Roll up to sit on your shins and place your hands on your belly and just breathe again. 
  • Ask yourself:  Is there someone or something you want to connect with, and if so, who?  And just wait and see what pops up and notice how that feels in your belly.
  • Still on your shins, or sitting cross legged in Sukhasana, if that is more appropriate for your knees, walk your hands on the ground behind your hips, fingers either facing toward or away from your bum.
  • Widen across your chest, drawing the heads of your arm bones back.
  • Draw your shoulder blades toward each other and feel your heart start to open. 
  • You can keep your bum on your heels or the earth, or lift them a few inches off your heels. 
  • Breathe into this gentle heart opener and feel what it’s like to open your chest and your heart. 
  • It’s from an open heart that we begin to connect with others.  Just see what that feels like.  Again, remind yourself of who or what you’d like to connect with – say it to yourself and see how it feels in your heart this time.

Play around with these practices of connecting inward so you can connect outward.  As always if you have any questions, or A-HA moments, I’d love to hear them – shoot me an email or a note on Facebook.

Peace, Love, and Bliss,

Beth

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