Mother Teresa said one of the biggest diseases today "is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but the feeling of not belonging." She knew better than most the pain of not belonging. She saw it every day. We also know how it feels to be disconnected - whether it be from our family or our peer group or even from ourselves. Our true feelings and desires.
We are wired for connection, but our modern life can make that challenging. We are way too busy. We are pulled in so many directions. We're distracted and tired. In this disconnection from ourselves, we are quick to judge each other, to fear each other.
Sometimes when I'm driving around, I look around at the other drivers in their cars. When I'm at the grocery store, I sometimes look at the people around me. I can't help but think, "Man, we are all the same! In more ways than we are different. We are all trying to do a good job, love our kids, be the best human being we can despite our pain and our personal challenges." It makes me sad that we aren't each other's cheer leaders on this journey of life.
What kind of difference would that make?
We thrive when we feel connected. Awareness is what helps us remember that we are.
Connection with each other begins with us. Practicing mindfulness - just a few moments of non-judgmental awareness of what is going on in our bodies, our minds and around us - cultivates awareness. That awareness creates connection with ourselves and therefore with others. Its a natural progression.
Do you feel disconnected? From yourself or someone in your life? Do you feel like you don't quite fit in or that everyone else has a tribe and you don't? It's not true. We are all connected. It's a matter of perception.
So, how can you practice mindfulness today to cultivate that awareness within yourself? What's the one small step you can take toward creating more connection?