Step 3 Connection: We started at the very beginning, a very good place to start:
Awareness, Willingness, and now Connection. Connection to ourselves, to one another, and to life itself.
Once our basic needs are met, the number one human need is connection. I became keenly aware of this need while isolated during the Pandemic from Covid 19. Being in the at-risk age group, I was separated from my family and friends for several months during the mandated lock-down. I became depressed, living alone, and realizing that human touch and connection was something that nurtured me more than I was Aware. See, awareness comes first. I was feeling sad and found myself in a state of longing for a hug. A friend and I were talking on the phone and I was sharing my feelings of melancholy when she asked me if I had a Teddy Bear or some stuffed animal I could hug? I did not, yet I asked my daughter to go to the store and buy me the biggest stuffed animal she could find. She went to her granddaughter's house and came up my driveway with a bunny as big as me. She left it on my doorstep and I brought “Buddy” into my home. What a difference it made in my attitude and sense of connection. I was willing to connect with Buddy and allow that connection to bring me a sense of companionship and peace. That bunny has a seat of honor in my house now and forever as he provided me that need for touch and connection.
Connection means a lot more than just meeting up with others or a girl's night out or a day trip with your family to the coast. How connected are you to yourself, to your goals and dreams, to how you want to show up in life, to your spirit, to what you want to do, and to your purpose and mission in life? When our need for connection is not met, when we are not in alignment with our true selves, there is little room for compassion, kindness, understanding, and self-love.
“Connection to others, ourselves, and spirit, is literally a requirement to become who we were born to be. “ Rhonda Britten
When we feel connected, we feel safe and supported. We are able to choose behaviors that are proactive and propel us toward our goals. Thus we can connect to ourselves, to one another, and to life itself.
Here is a tool that will help you with this process: Writing Gratitudes
One way that fear uses our need for connection is to complain. We all complain, we may not want to admit it yet it is true. Fearless Living has an antidote for complaining, and that antidote is Gratitude. The daily practice of writing gratitudes allows us to change a negative situation into a positive opportunity by reframing that experience. This can shift our perception of the world around us. By doing gratitudes daily you can build your gratitude muscle, your ability to see the world for you not against you. Practice can gradually build up your strength and capacity to connect with your true self, others, and life itself in a positive and supportive way. Get a notebook and write down 5 gratitudes a day, every day and watch that muscle grow!!!!
Guidelines for the daily Practice of Gratitudes:
Use the format “Today I am grateful for _________________________.”
Be specific rather than general.
Frame them in the positive, don’t use the word “not”.
Gratitudes are about what is out there in the world, not about you.
Keep track of your feelings as you write your gratitudes. Notice shifts in your perceptions
Example: Today I am grateful for my walk. The sun was just coming up and was inspiring as the light hit the trees. I felt connected to nature as I breathed in the cool morning air, and the exercise invigorated my sense of well being.
*All information is taken from the Pathway of Change Workshop
created by Rhonda Britten and her best-selling book Fearless Living.