I believe there is great power in working with others. Sharing ourselves with people we trust and respect helps us see many more possibilities and options than we can imagine in our own minds.
If we are really honest with ourselves, we crave intimacy, really talking with a person and connecting at a deeper heart level. We want to be heard and understood and we want to feel supported when we share our wildest dreams and deepest fears.
As humans, we need contact and connection with other people. But what I’m learning is that basic contact isn’t enough. We’re wanting deeper connections with others, and with ourselves.
I’ve been self-employed for 30 years, and, until recently, I also lived alone, so I know, first-hand, how important it is to step outside of my solitary comfort zones and seek the wisdom and companionship of others.
Now that I am living on the road full-time, I no longer have an obvious community. I don’t go to my weekly yoga class or get together with friends for dinner. I don’t see my favorite cashier at Bashas, or chat with my mail carrier at least once a week.
But I talk with other campers and people we meet when we’re out exploring or getting gas. And there are phone calls and FaceTime and emails for keeping in touch with friends and family.
And I have my online communities, people who (for the most part) I have never met in person, but who offer support, amusement and connection. Last year, on my solo Heart Sparks Road Tour, I met quite a few Facebook friends in person, and it was immediately comfortable and real.
And last week, when I was having a hard time finding a place to camp near Yellowstone over the July 4th weekend, I asked for some suggestions on a women’s RVing Facebook group, and a woman replied that she owns an RV park in West Yellowstone and yes, she had availability for the dates that I wanted. So we will be camping this holiday weekend with a new friend, thanks to the amazing world of the internet.
Where do you experience this connection in your own life?
There is a difference between going to a gym and working out in the same room with 20 other people doing their own thing, and joining a yoga class or knitting group where the same people show up each week with a similar purpose. Moving and stretching together creates an energetic connection. The class becomes your community.
Daring to share beyond the surface conversations builds trust and camaraderie. Real friendships begin to form. You are no longer just one person in a vast and lonely world. You are part of something bigger and real, and this is the power of community.
My upcoming virtual Heart Sparks Coaching Circle is a space for all this and more.
We’ll use my book, Heart Sparks: 7 Practices For Loving Your Life as the springboard for our weekly conversations, and create a powerful support net for each other as we explore what’s now and what’s next.
When I think back to the women who have joined me for previous Coaching Circles, several said they joined to meet like-minded women. One of them had little social contact outside of her family. Another worked with with a group of colleagues but realized that it wasn’t real connection. A third had many women friends but their conversations and interactions were somewhat superficial and safe. “I could never talk about this stuff with them,” she shared in one of our gatherings.
I used to think that you couldn’t experience the same kind of intimacy in a group if you weren’t actually sitting in the same room together. But what I’ve discovered is that the connections are actually more powerful and immediate in an online group than when I gather women in person.
So we’ll meet using Google+ Hangouts. It’s free video-chatting software so that we can see each other during our gatherings. We’ll also stay connected through a private Facebook group.
If you’re interested in joining us, send an email. We’ll begin in January.