Three Powerful Ways to Cultivate Authentic Connection
I spent most of my youth learning and adapting to a level that I would dare to call “masterful.” I was a chameleon of sorts who could sense my environment and the people in it down to the pace of the rising and falling of their chest with each breath. This was a mechanism that kept me safe my whole life.
Within the last two years, I have discovered that the subliminal intention behind surveying every room was to source proof from outside myself that I was “okay.” This held true until I learned the hard way that in sourcing my worth, safety, and enough-ness from outside myself, it put me at the mercy of other people’s unpredictable emotional landscapes. Someone’s bad mood, in the end, did not mean I did anything wrong.
With the help of my first life coach, I gained clarity on what my core values were and I learned that authentic connection, where I connect deeply and vulnerably with another, is essential for my well-being. I realized I could map my sadness, frustration and anxiety at the end of a day to the direct evidence that I had no meaningful connection that day.
Rather than continuing to wait for other people to indicate that it was okay to share myself authentically, I determined that I would simply have to “go first.” Here I was, waiting around for other people to indicate that it was safe for me to share myself, when they were waiting on ME to do the same exact thing!
Through diligent practice and significant courage, I found my own rhythm and stride in connecting with other amazing people. Here are three powerful methods for cultivating deeper connection in your life:
Surround yourself with incredible people with similar core values: By surrounding yourself with people who get you, see you, hear you, and love you for exactly who you are, you are opening yourself up to the most magnificent life upgrade you never saw coming.
Seek out communities centered around authentic connection: The desire for connection is becoming more sought after than ever before, which means you’re in good company! Meetup.com is fabulous for finding events like this and if none exist, guess who is the perfect person to start one? YOU! Your desire is magnetic and it will draw all the right people to you.
Strangers are friends you haven’t met yet: People are fascinating if you are courageous enough to go first in asking a significant and meaningful question like: What’s the best part of your day so far? What lit you up today? How are you really feeling right now? Whatever the reply, you will likely be gifted with a snapshot view of what people value most.
I learned, in the end, that the ability to observe a person’s breathing rhythms was actually a precursor to empathically and authentically tuning into my new friends.