Belonging & Connection

Last Updated: November 14, 2022
Autumn leaves against a sunrise

Belonging. Connection.  We human beings crave these essential ingredients. Having healthy connections create meaning, purpose, and contentment: an abiding sense of wellbeing that transcends happiness, which is fleeting.

When we experience the kind of healthy connection that fills our cup, our physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual health is enhanced. And yet so many of us are feeling disconnected.

A major reason why disconnection is so prevalent is that many of us have lost the ability to self-connect. We are running, chasing, swiping left, and scrolling up. We are untethered and our daily rhythms reflect that. Rather than rooting ourselves in rituals that nourish us, we chase outside solutions that elude us. 

Self-connection is the balm. It invites us to recover our true, amazing selves and it calls us into relationships that are soul-nourishing. 

Here are 8 suggestions that will help to restore self-connection:

  • Recover you: focus inward instead of outward
  • Invite a guide: engage with someone who can help you become rigorously self-honest
  • How you do the morning is how you do the day: start your day with reflection
  • Get outside: soak up the natural world and all its beauty
  • Open your eyes and heart: miracles are unfolding before your eyes 
  • Pay attention to the joy in simple pleasures: be present and mindful
  • Turn off all noise: find joy in absolute silence, several times a day
  • Have a gratitude practice: bring your attention to your blessings & breathe them in

These 8 practices are life-changing. Collectively we sure do need some life-changing practices because many of us are in a world of hurt. This world of hurt within us eats away at us and impacts those around us. Take a minute to absorb these findings:

  • A 2020 global study by Qualtrix of more than 11,800 participants found the single strongest driver of employee engagement was “a sense of belonging,” eclipsing expected responses like “trust in leadership” and “the ability for career advancement.” In other words, the missing component in the workplace is meaningful connection. 
  • One of the reasons why meaningful connection is frequently missing in the workplace, is that leaders are not self-connected. Many high-level leaders are unaware of how their pain is leaking out onto others. Being depressed, anxious, burnt-out erodes empathy and connection. We cannot give what we don’t have and if we are not self-connected, we cannot other-connect in productive ways. 
  • Multiple research studies continue to indicate that those in the C-Suite, including CEOs, suffer from depression, isolation, and addiction which can wreak havoc in their organization in many destructive ways. Unprocessed trauma affects leaders, too, and the more unconscious leaders are about their inner dynamics, the more hurtful to those around them. Many leaders have not come to grips with their own need to self-connect. They don’t know how to handle their stress, anxiety, and burn out, let alone seek professional help to process their trauma, insecurities, and unprocessed losses. 

Bottom Line: When traumatized people achieve success, they become wealthy, traumatized people who are typically oblivious to how their actions are wounding everyone around them. The problem with being unconscious is that you are unconscious. However, there are ways to wake up including the 8 suggestions I made above.

Think of what your unconsciousness and power and trauma are doing within your company and family. Then, think about the amazing possibilities that could flow from you becoming aware and taking action to self-connect and heal.

As we approach the holiday season, I invite you to give yourself a gift that is truly worth giving: self-connection. It is the gift that keeps giving. It is the gift those around you will hope you never return.

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