I created this video about six weeks ago, when there were no cases of COVID-19 in my country yet. Re-watching it, I wondered if I should even post it, but it seems strangely relevant, especially the part about the “new loneliness” coming to bite us in the backside once something happens. I hope this will help you (re-)connect with others.
Be safe and stay healthy.
One of the best-kept secrets of our time is what I call the new loneliness. It’s a secret because on the outside, we have more “friends” than ever: connections on social media, “followers” and the like. What we’re missing is actual human connection.
What’s this got to do with passions and purpose? A lot. Other humans inspire, help, and unlift us, and connection is a basic need we need to fulfill in order to focus on our passion(s).
Your mission is to restore the balance in your life.
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Task 1: Are you lonely?
The change happened so quickly and thoroughly, we have trouble remembering what it was like before. That’s why it’s so hard to recognise whether you’re actually isolated in the midst of all that networking.
I’m old enough to remember a time before the internet and even mobile phones. Information was a lot harder to find, so I for one am grateful for modern technology. But I also remember we used to talk. Not chat, not text. Talk.
Be honest with yourself: How much meaningful human contact do you have outside your immediate family? How often do you hug your friends? When something amazing happens, what do you do first – post it to social media or pick up the phone to call your bestie?
Task 2: Restoring connection
When I suggest to a client that they seek out like-minded people, or get help with the household to make time, they often resist. People no longer relate to others in a deep personal way. This manifests as loneliness, expecially when things aren’t going well.
Barbara Sher has a great way of bringing people together. I suggest you do the same: Set up a neighbourhood group, or invite your friends to dinner and then start an actually meaningful conversation over dessert. Reduce your online time. Make a point of meeting people face-to-face at least twice a week.
It requires a conscious effort, but it’s worth it.