I’m walking down my street to head into the woods for a hike when I notice two people sitting in lawn chairs just inside the park. As I get closer, I see that it’s an elderly couple, probably in their late 70s/early 80s, each reading a book. I see the woman reach over and rub the man’s arm. He looks at her and smiles.
This silent action sends a loud and clear message of love and contentment. I smile and wave as I walk by. This hike has already made my top 10 walks and I’m only 5 minutes in!
It’s refreshing, in this busy, digital age, to see a couple be with each other so simply and intentionally, and it reminds me of the importance of connection. With social media, emails, and texting, we can feel like we’re in regular contact with the people in our lives, but nothing replaces time spent physically together.
A couple of months ago, we, along with two good friends, started a weekly tradition of getting together for a Sunday barbecue and bevvies after our softball game. We alternate houses and food and drink contributions, making it nice and easy for this to happen, and it’s become something I look forward to every week, and a highlight of the summer.
Sure, we text and chat on Facebook, but spending this time together has deepened our friendships and enriched my life in a way a digital connection could never have. It’s a simple, silly time together, with some deeper conversations sprinkled in on occasion. We laugh, we belt out tunes from our youth, nosh on some good grub, and indulge in yummy summer beer and cocktails.
I leave feeling full – not just physically, but spiritually, too. These Sunday get-togethers are good for my soul, my health, my business, and my relationships. Who knew taking care of my body, mind, and spirit, and marketing my business could be so fun?
Cause that’s what’s going on when we connect authentically with the people we love and care about, and with the aspects of our lives that matter the most – we’re refueling and de-stressing. We’re coming back to our center and are more present for the daily demands, which begin feeling not so, well, “demanding.”
Consider these ideas to help you connect more intentionally:
- Send a greeting card to someone – a real, snail mail card, not an e-card. Whether it’s a birthday, an anniversary, or a “just thinking about you” card, the recipient will be thrilled with the surprise; but not as thrilled as you’ll be having sent it.
- Instead of eating lunch at your desk, go outside to connect with nature. Sit on a bench or bring a blanket. Stretch out and enjoy the beauty as you digest.
- Schedule a weekly coffee date/get together with someone in your life whose friendship you’d like to deepen, and whom you’re excited to spend time with (this part is really important!). Doing so will help you be a more patient and loving parent, spouse, employee, biz owner, etc.
- Invite your kids to help with dinner instead of having them watch TV. Remember, kids spell love: T-I-M-E.
- Replace one text this week with a phone call. Even if you have to leave a voice mail, speaking your message instead of writing it will feel more connected.
- Take your dog for an extra-long walk and be intentional in your time together. Instead of talking on the phone as you go through the motions, put it away and throw a stick, run around, or wrestle in the grass.
When we really show up and are present in our lives, magic happens. Actually, the magic is always happening; it’s just whether we’re awake enough to see it. How will you wake up and be more present? Think you’ll try any of the above suggestions? Let’s keep chatting in the comments below!