Choosing connection physically

Back to Back

Choosing Connection is not always my natural inclination.  In fact, while I have dealt with fears about being alone, it’s casual company rather than deep connection that is more within my comfort zone.  With people I don’t know for sure, and sometimes even with people I’m close to.  So when I came across the poem, Choose Connection*, it landed in the pit of my stomach, and well as touched my heart.

At my NIA class this weekend, I had an opportunity to put it into practice.  There was an exercise at the end where we were invited to work with a partner.  Not my favorite thing.  I prefer the autonomy and safety of dancing my own dance, so to speak.  But I accepted the invitation, and found myself back to back with one of the other dancers.  For a whole song, we sat on the ground with our backs together, not saying anything or following any instructions, just feeling into the music, and going with our inclinations.  We moved — gently, rhythmically, slowly with ease, sometimes more energetically; back and forth, sideways, sometimes almost pausing, just to feel into ourselves and each other.

Choose Connection

Hands to Hands

I could have done the exercise with a familiar distance, separation, safety.  But I remembered the poem, Choose Connection.  And I did!  Which made it a completely different experience.  It was touching, enlivening, heart-opening.  Or rather, I was touched, enlivened, my heart opened wide. I was actually in tears at the end, and shared this with my partner, who was also feeling similar things, in her own way.

How our lives would be different if we chose connection!

In my marriage we have been working through some long-standing patterns of wariness, guardedness, a tendency to withdraw, feel separate and distant, hurt.  For me these strategies result in a hard heart, a kind of shutting down and splitting off, from myself and my partner.  Not the best for either of us, or for my unfolding, to put it mildly!  With the help of a skilled professional, we have gone to some very deep places.  Our hope was to have more ease, feel safer with each other, to be able to relax and trust, ourselves and each other.  We used the phrase “leaning in” to describe what we were doing.  After reading Choose Connection, and the experience at NIA, I had another opportunity to practice “leaning in”, choosing connection.  I am touched here as I write, to  be able to share that the this approach continues to blossom beautifully, bearing great fruit and offering welcome nourishment.

Celtic Cross Quarter Day

Blessed Samhain

On this Hallowe’en, All Saints Day, and Samhain, (the Celtic name for the opening of the Season of Dark, where the veils are thinned), I invite you to find the nourishment of choosing connection, leaning in, going beyond your patterns and comfort zone.  I’d love to hear how it unfolds at your location!

*The poem Choose Connection, is by Nina Asher, and appeared in The Wise Brain Bulletin, put out by the Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom.  Click on Vo. 10, 5 (10/2016), and scroll down, or skim the lead, and illuminating article on The Mindful Leader, to the poem.  Enjoy!

Jill Schroder is the author of BECOMING: Journeying Toward Authenticity.  BECOMING is an invitation for self-reflection, and to mine our memorable moments for insights, meaning, and growth.  Check the website for a sample chapter, or see the reviews to get a flavor for the volume.  Your feedback, forwards, tweets, likes are most welcome. 

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