Words and Image by Sarah Lo
‘Connection’ is a much used word today. It is also a necessary part of the healing process in the interpersonal realm. Interpersonal means how we relate to one another, the interpersonal way we meet and engage with one another and what is exchanged.
Connection plays a vital role in today’s world of technological communication but can the personal face to face presence be replaced via the online interface ? It can come pretty close with some skills that we can learn to develop because as we all know, even when we are face to face, in the flesh, are we truly present and listening to one another ?
By learning to listen and hold space for ourselves we can also begin to do this for one another more genuinely. When are are attuned well to ourselves, we can learn to better attune to others.
It is always through interpersonal connection that healing and growth takes place as most of our deeper wounding took place through the interpersonal exchange too. In other words when relationships didn’t go the way we wanted them to. Connection with others doesn’t mean we have to reveal all of ourselves. Being truly connected begins when we have the courage to be vulnerable enough to share more of ourselves and saying what we feel to be true because we feel safer when someone is fully present. It requires whoever you are with to be truly present which means that they are going to have to stop what they are doing, put down their phones or devices and listen with their whole self.
Connections are made and invisible bonds formed when we can begin to feel seen and heard by one another. It’s a process. It’s a moment. It’s a togetherness. It’s a feeling shared. It’s one of the most important things we often miss, especially for the yogis out there, as learning is often uni-directional and we don’t have the opportunity to actually have such an exchange in a meaningful way.
The ability to pause and connect is mostly trained up through Mindfulness practices and this will take willingness firstly. It isn’t automatic. People know when we aren’t fully present or listening or invested in a conversation, in which case it becomes merely that - a conversation, and mostly one that you won’t feel inclined to repeat. Of course it’s fine to have superficial conversations if you really have the time. However it’s unlikely that you’ll want that friendship to go any deeper or to be in any hurry to re-book that coffee date.
The next time you meet with a friend, pause and soften long enough to feel into what it’s like to be them, as if you were standing in their shoes and really listen with your whole self. You might be surprised at what you discover about yourself and about them too. That’s connection.
Sarah Lo is a Yin Yoga Teacher Trainer (SYT), Insight Yoga Institute Endorsed Teacher, Good Listener, Certified Integral Development Life Coach (ICF), Mother of boys and the list goes on in no particular order.
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