I am exploring the value and importance of connections at the moment and about how we as humans make meaningful connections as a way of making sense of the world and our place in it. We do this in different ways, and these are some of my reflections.
Starting with connecting with myself, I try and make space to connect with emotions and intuition on a regular basis as a source of self-guidance. This may be with some morning meditation, journaling, or during a mindful walk.
The connections I value with people are with my family, friends, the people I am working with, and wider communities. I say communities as I have my local community in my town, and many other communities of interest, some completely virtual. There are many unknown people in communities, yet I feel a very human sense of belonging.
Connecting with places is also important to me. This can be the place I live - new to me, which offers many adventures and exploration. It can also be places that have special meaning for me
Connecting with nature and the physical world around me is also vital to understanding that we are all part of nature. It can be as simple as pausing to smell the sweet peas in the garden or going on walk and hearing the birdsong and brushing against the elder blossom in the lane.
Take a few moments to reflect on how you connect with the world
How do you connect with yourself?
What connections do you most value with people?
What places do you feel connected with and why?
How do you connect with nature?
Who are you connected with?
How to create and review your support network map of people and places
Think about who is in your life right now and where you connect with these people. Make a note of the context where you connect with these people and make a note of their names in the relevant space on the diagram below. Some people may appear in more than one category, so decide where is most resonant. Also note where you are most likely to see these people. Is it at home or their home? In the workplace? In a community centre or other local building / space. These days online is also a place where we connect. You can also put those most important or closest to you nearer to the centre of the map, and those you see less frequently further out.
Try and keep your people to those who are most significant to you or have potential to become important. You are not trying to map all your contacts :-) Now take a look at your map and consider whether each person has a positive or nurturing impact on you, whether they have a neutral impact, or whether they have a negative or draining impact on you. Circle the positives in green and the negatives in red.
Review your map again and consider:
Who is missing or distant from your map?
What do you need to strengthen an important relationship?
How can you manage relationships that are negative or draining more effectively to offer yourself some self-compassion?
How could you develop a new relationship with someone on or even off your map
Where are you spending your time connecting with others? How does this feel to you? Do you want to make any changes to this?
Come up with two actions you can take based on your review of your support network.
Connecting with nature – without going outside!
The benefits of connecting with nature are well documented. It reminds us of how we are part of the natural world too. It is a way of refreshing, shifting thoughts, finding peace, dissipating negative feelings…the list goes on! There are times when we can’t actually get outside in nature though, and yet there are still ways of appreciating the natural world.
If I ever needed help to connect with nature, this little film will take me there. I made it at Hullo Bridge over the River Cover in North Yorkshire, I just had to stop and listen to the meditative sounds of the river as it gurgles along and under the bridge. It really makes me feel peaceful and at one with nature.
Do you have favourite ways of connecting with nature even when you can't get outside?
Here is some provocation in the form of a blog to help you reflect on ways to connect to your world:
What was your response to reading this?
What will you do differently now?
Final Thoughts from Me:
I hope you have enjoyed this Coaching Companion and gained some useful insights and ideas. I would love to know what you think – drop me a line and let me know.
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