Considering Connectivity

How connected are you?  In my world, technology greets me first thing in the morning – thanks to a handy app that logs my sunrise exercise routine. It also bids me good night – thanks to my trusty laptop and the emails that always stand at the ready for my attention. I temporarily changed this all-encompassing connectivity a few weeks back because of our family’s April school vacation trip. Honestly, I was a little apprehensive about unplugging. I hoped that patterning this behavior under the watchful eyes of my two teenagers would be worth it. Truth be told, I would go to any extreme to suspend access to Snap chat or FortNite.  Here is the real shocker of my tech hiatus. Unplugging did not yield what I sought. It yielded something unexpected and surprisingly important to my understanding of transition.

Connectivity Theory by Rick Laezman

I realize this may sound like a big leap so let me tell you where I am heading. Unplugging made it clear to me that the connectivity we all rely on to ‘improve’ our lives is 180-degrees away from the connectivity that can really make a difference. Connectivity is critical to our well-being but society has us chasing the wrong type.

The Most Important Connections

The night before I left for vacation I facilitated a workshop for roughly forty-five women. We worked through exercises that were designed to support each person in their own transitioning process. Many sipped wine. There were lots of laughs.

The group fell in love with one exercise. It tasked participants with establishing a deeper connection to who we are – our honest and true selves – the self in the mirror.

The exercise used an awareness technique similar to the one used at the beginning of most yoga classes. Maybe you’ve done it. The exercise is the one when the instructor asks everyone to bring their awareness to their breath. From that moment on, participants become aware of every breath that enters or leaves their body even though moments before participants were completely unaware of breathing at all. The shift in awareness is the key.

That evening the awareness activity asked participants to introduce themselves to someone in the room who was new to them. The only caveat was that everyone needed to use a special lead-in sentence. This intro sentence needed to feature something that held value or meaning to the speaker. It could hail from any facet of our lives – our personal lives, our occupations, our faith or something else entirely. It didn’t matter what people talked about. It only mattered that they used something of value to them to start the conversation.

Everyone in the room was amazed at how this simple set of instructions allowed them to make connections to those around them. We heard about passions and hopes and desires. People were engaged and hopeful.  One thing was clear from the activity – having the courage to lead with ‘who we are,’ even in a small way, changes everything.

Society’s Connectivity

Society values a different type of connectivity than the one we were able to create in that room. The one we chase publicly involves access and networks and speed. This type of connectivity has exploded in the internet-era. We connect phones and laptops and tablets and televisions and my refrigerator. Yes, the internet-of-things somehow wants to know how often I open and close my freezer door. Could someone please tell me what on earth will we do with that information? I wonder if anyone other than a Facebook-esque company really cares?

Suffice it to say that the connectivity we all constantly embrace impedes the connectivity that happened organically in the room the evening before my trip.

It took me disengaging from technology to see this.

Transition is about creating our own internal alignment. It is about establishing a connection to ‘who we are’ and ‘what holds value to us.’ It requires courage to use this alignment as our lead interface with others, with the world. Instead of valuing what others think we should or could do – be it bosses, in-laws, spouses, children, siblings, neighbors, school systems, or experts – transition asks us to anchor on what we alone believe to be important.

As a techie, I know full well the value that connectivity offers us. But we are on a fool’s journey if we believe that devices and speed alone will lead us forward. For that we need to rely on who we are.

May you be fortunate enough to understand who you are and the beautiful gifts that you alone possess. May you have the courage to bring voice to these gifts and to bring them forward for others to share.

What type of connections will you make today?

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Do you have another minute? Clinical hypnotherapist and radio talk show host, Lauren Cardinale, interviewed me about my work. Our conversation is archived here.  Listen to the podcast or send the link to a friend.  The session is a great overview of transition and the opportunities available to us all as we navigate it.

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© 2018 Linda Rossetti & NovoFemina.com.  All rights reserved. No content on this site may be reused in any fashion without written permission from NovoFemina.com.

 

 

 

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3 responses to “Considering Connectivity

  1. Great article, Linda! My own professional life revolves around connectivity – the people kind – and I value the perspective you bring to it in your write up. When we are able to connect at a deep level with someone, time tends to stand still for a moment or two, and (I believe) there is a certain emotional satiation we feel as well. Thank you!

  2. Just loved this Linda. I am a huge fan of connecting, but find that connectivity does just the opposite. Technology is an illusion that lets people think they’ve connected (I replied to the email, text, tweet, whatever) without actually connecting. How many times do you see people sitting at a table in a restaurant, each on their phones, responding to the technology and ignoring the people near them? I see a generation that is technologically connected and personally/socially completely disconnected, and I believe our society is suffering as a result. I am consciously disconnecting from as many things as I can, and focusing my energies on personal connections – either in person (my preference) or on the phone. The technology is the means to make those connecting sessions happen!

  3. Linda, I hope you well. Just recently, I have felt gratitude about how my own transition has allowed me more time to connect in person or even over the phone and truly how rewarding that has been. As someone who values relationships above all things in my life, with transition I have prioritized and embraced these things that seem to fill me up or in your words, connect me more deeply to my inward self. It’s a small thing but ironically this inward focus also allows me to be more deeply connected to others because I now have the brain space to remember important events in the lives of those most important to me. These days meeting in person feels like a huge feat, however my heart is full each and every time I have a proper phone catch up, meet up for an coffee or share a quick meal. How strange it feels these days to talk to a person live on the phone (imagine that)! but how wonderful fulfilling when you get that human on the other line!

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