5 Ways to Practice Connection
Even in a normal year, we can start to feel disconnected as we approach the holiday season. The hustle and bustle of preparation for visitors, the cooking, the shopping, the variety of personalities around the table. And of course, 2020 has been more like an episode of a twisted Stephen King and Quentin Tarantino mashup. So it's not unrealistic to feel disconnected as we enter the bizarro world of the holiday season. Whether you are engaging in your usual traditions or finding new ones, it is important and healthy to find some ways to find connection.
Here are a few ways I practice connection.
Simply feel the body connected to the earth. Whether sitting, standing or reclining, take a moment to tune into the places where your body meets the support underneath you. Welcome the draw of gravity on your bones and feel the way the muscle and skin shifts to make a solid connection.
Practice a mudra. Mudras are believed to help direct or accumulate energy through the use of various hand positions. One of my favorites for connection is Pran for stability. Bring the ring and pinky fingers to touch the tip of the thumb as you extend the other fingers long. The hands can rest with the palms down or up.
Lovingkindness Meditation. This simple meditation can help solidify our connection to others. Finding a supported and comfortable seat, take a moment to focus on the breath. Repeat to yourself three positive statements such as, "May I be well. May I be happy. May I be at ease." Begin to envision yourself being well, happy, and at ease. Continue this for a few minutes and then begin to expand these wishes outward to others. You may focus on a loved one, a friend, someone you don't know well, someone you have experienced difficulties with, or the community in general. Whether you select one other person or several, see them being well, happy, and at ease. Welcome whatever surfaces for you and recognize you are simply planting seeds of lovingkindness.
Schedule a coffee date with a friend over Zoom. It may seem awkward at first, especially if the technology hasn't been integrated into your life in recent months. Or, you might be feeling Zoom fatigue, but chatting with a friend and laughing with abandon is completely different than the stiff work meetings where we all try to sit unreasonably still and shelter our body language.
Sit with your favorite scent. Enjoy a scent that welcomes you home. It may be an essential oil, your favorite tea, incense, a candle or even a favorite baked treat. The sense of smell can transport us quickly to a memory. One of my favorite is this Pictured Rocks Campfire Candle. I discovered it on one of my trips to the UP. It doesn't bring up a particular memory for me, but more of an overall feeling, like a toasty blanket on a chilly day.
So if you're feeling a bit disconnected, I invite you to try one of these practices. Do you have something that always works for you? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below.
“When people go within and connect with themselves, they realize they are connected to the universe and they are connected to all living things.”