The deepest principle of human nature is the craving to be appreciated.
“You are great, wonderful and the person I’ve always wanted to be with.” Those sweet words remind you that you’re special, you’re appreciated, you’re loved. It’s our natural state to be loving. But with the busyness of our lives we forget what that natural state is and how to be it. There is nothing better than a great relationship. You feel you belong. You feel empowered. You feel an incredible aliveness. Ultimately you have to learn to love yourself and when you do, by you being you fully immersed in your natural state, grace everyone with whom you come in contact with. It’s our nature just as it is the nature of the rose to blossom and to spread its warmth and sensuality. When you are fortunate enough to be in its magnificence, your senses come alive.
We live in a relational world. On a fundamental level what we all want is to deeply connect with others, but we’re not sure how to do it. Successful relationships transform our families, schools, institutions, governments and the world we live in.
When you connect with your heart, body and soul, connection occurs in an instant. Connection begins with you, by your awakening to your true nature as a spiritual being having a physical experience. That’s when you experience “a knowing” that you are connected to a power greater than you are.
Connection is a path and like most paths, there are challenges along the way. The good news is that connection can be cultivated. Before I embarked upon my coaching path I was a decent connector when I wanted to be, but I didn’t consider it one of my strengths. Over the years I’ve worked at it.
Connection transcends stereotypes and judgments, creating fertile ground for a new dialogue, a dialogue not constrained by history, but open to common ground for a consciousness of possibility. Connecting is the ultimate gift to yourself and to others. It is when we give of ourselves that we receive the ultimate joy.
Let me share with you a few strategies that I have found effective in cultivating more connection in my life. After meditation, I express gratitude for the gift of connection that I have with others. Perhaps in the beginning of this practice I didn’t feel or believe it totally. But over time I’ve noticed that my ability to connect has become a strength.
Being curious is invaluable. In some ways, I’ve transformed being curious into a fun game. Whenever I go to a gathering, I’m curious with whom I’ll connect. I’m also curious about what I might learn when I do connect with them.
In the last few years I’ve expanded upon this practice. Before I leave on a trip, I wonder about who I’ll have the best connection with which sets the tone during the whole trip. The synchronicity that occurs is amazing. We reach a place in our life, when those remarkable meetings seem to occur more often. Synchronicity then becomes the norm, rather than the infrequent occurrence.
A thought deeply resonates within me each time I experience one of those chance encounters that provides a missing piece to the puzzle, a thought that makes greater sense to me now than it ever did. As we continue to evolve, our tribe of kindred souls is ready to meet us, in a place open to possibility, unrestrained by judgment.
By becoming more comfortable with this language, we open the doors to deeper intimacy. We begin the process of fulfilling the deepest craving within that James refers to. Perhaps you have your own way of expressing it. Perhaps it’s with your eyes or your smile or an open heart that is ready and able to give and receive new ways of expressing that love. Begin your day with that openness by acknowledging yourself. Look in the mirror, smile and say, “You are great, wonderful and the person I’ve always wanted to be with.
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Mark Susnow knows change. He is an executive-life coach, life-discovery guide and recognized thought leader who inspires others to believe in themselves. He is passionate about life being an exciting journey of discovery. His enthusiastic and inspiring keynotes on change, leadership and connection thoroughly convey this message to his audiences. A former trial attorney for 30 years, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. In his prior career, he was covered by the NY Times, Boston Globe, and Rolling Stone Magazine. He is the author of Dancing on the River:Navigating Life’s Changes and Discover the Leader Within.