Connect [kuh–nekt] verb – to join, link, or fasten together; unite or bind.
Connection is part of human nature, we are social creatures and that’s why we form groups and live in communities.Being part of a group or community gives us a feeling of support and acceptance and gives us a feeling of belonging.
Society has changed enormously and communities have suffered. Gone are the days when neighbours had a regular chat over the fence and shared home grown fruit and veg. It’s not uncommon to have neighbours that you can’t remember their name or you might have never even met them. Ironically living in a high density complex doesn’t mean you know more people, in some ways it’s more isolating. Social media contributes to detachment as it’s easy to be anonymous and invisible behind an avatar or an alias. Our lives seem to be becoming more automated and busier and with this we have less time and far less connection. It’s so easy and “time saving” to order our groceries online, auto top up of public transport card, online banking, transferring funds, paying bills can all be done with little or no human interaction.
Children grow up and leave home, maybe older than they used to but more often than not they move to another city or another country. Anglo Australians don’t have the family ties that other cultures hold so dear.
Connection and interaction are important for self-esteem, self-confidence, communication skills and feelings of joy, love and happiness.Mindfulness plays an important part in connection, just being and enjoying no expectations, no fear.
Ways to connect:
- Connect with nature – get outside, feel your feet on the earth, the sun on your skin.
- Learn a new skill – join a book group, art group, photography club, learn to dance. Checkout Meet Up there are groups for everything
- Smile and say Hi! Hi, doesn’t mean you have to have a conversation it’s an acknowledgement as is a smile.
- Catch up – with old friends, new friends and family, “live” not just online.
- Community – join a community garden, wildlife group, choir.
- Random acts of kindness – open a door for someone, give way in traffic, gift a bunch of flowers and do it from the heart and without expectation.
- Get a pet – rescue a cat or dog if you can, feed the birds (seed please) or have a goldfish. Caring for another living thing creates a powerful connection.
- Volunteer – at a charity, a Writers Festival or something similar.