Why Connection is the Secret Sauce to ‘Living Your Best Life’
Dear Lovelies, 2020 has taught us many things but one of the biggest things is that connection and community are essential parts of living your best life (a life you love).
Here are some of my reflections on why connection to something we care about, the right people & situations brings meaning to our lives and why it is the secret sauce we all crave.
Why Meaning is essential to our lives?
There are distinct moments when you wake up in your life and you no longer recognise the landscape, you don’t identify with the people around you or even yourself. You feel disconnected, you no longer belong in the role you have created for yourself and life has lost its meaning.
Generally something has shifted in our life, either externally or internally and we feel like we are standing on the platform in a busy station, and when the train departs with everyone on it, your left on Platform 1 on your own with just the wind blowing in your hair, dazed and confused as to what is going on and what you want next?
How do you feel without connection and meaning?
- Don’t belong
- Lacking energy
When does this happen?
This often happens when you lose a purpose or meaning in your life, like when your children leave home and your role has been of a mother or a carer and then all of a sudden that has come to an end and your life feels empty.
It could be after a divorce, relationship break-up or a death, when the tectonic plates of your life have been upended and you have lost connection to what you know, you have to rebuild who you are as a person and how to move forward on your own.
Or it could simply be that you have been in the wrong/job/life/marriage/situation for sometime but you have managed to ‘suck it up’ till one day, one thing makes you realise that you are deeply unhappy.
When you hit a certain age (around 40) for women and you start to ask yourself deeper questions, start to assess where you are in life, what is missing and what would be your best life?
Why do we need meaning?
Often people freak out that meaning or a purpose needs to be some big ‘Save the World’ thingamajig but in reality it is a deeply personal thing that only the individual can understand or relate to and it gives us the feeling of living our best life (a life we love).
Meaning is the connecting glue in everything we do in life. It’s the long tentacles of an octopus that reach into specific places that make sense to you, what you care about and it’s where you find your peeps.
When you are connected to something that lights you up, in turn it connects you to yourself (self-esteem). You feel as though you are living truthfully with your core values (sometimes without even knowing them) and you strengthen them daily with your decisions, choices and actions
You find your people/community who have similar values to you, The fact that you have common interests, joys and values, brings connection to this group of people makes you feel safe and purposeful in your daily life.
Your curiosity and connection for your subject motivates you, it inspires you to learn, take action and jump out of bed in the morning excited for the day ahead.
Meaning allows you to operate from the ‘inside’, it gives you the foundational pieces of you as a human being such as confidence, trust, belief, faith and joy and from there you can achieve whatever you want in life.
What could bring more meaning to your life?
Often it feels like your life has come to an end and there is a big, empty void in front of you but take heart when you get the clarity around what is next for you that brings connection then all of the pieces that currently feel missing will fall into place and you will once again have that feeling of belonging and excitement for life.
Saying yes to what you are curious about, what feels good and what you feel is a deep desire is the best place to start to living your best life.
When you’ve lost your way the most important thing to understand is simply that something has changed and you need to reconnect to what is important to you.
- It can be loving someone or something that fulfils a deep need inside of you to nurture and care.
- It can be your work/art/creativity/cause that you love and brings you joy, personal reward, allows you to express who you are and to serve a group of people.
- It can be rising above a difficult situation and that in retrospect overcoming or surviving this situation brings means and understanding to your life.
Let’s look at an example:
A forty year old woman that is doing a job she dislikes and yearns for connection and meaning. Currently she feels like she is in the wrong life, surrounded by people she isn’t connected to, topics of conversation that mean nothing to her and she is going against what she stands for and believes in.
Let’s say she decides to do something she likes, even staying at her job but connecting to a new passion she has discovered, photography.
Here’s a very short timeline of how her life can open up by embracing something that she cares about.
- Signs up to a photography course (excited and hopeful).
- Meets students who love similar subjects and interests to her.
- Feels motivated and energised to take photos most days
- Meets new people in her local area, has conversations about cameras, life, photography and many other things.
- Looks at her photos after 3 months and realises she has an opinion and real vision – feels confidence, self-esteem
- Her world grows, friends at photography school become real friends she hangs out with on the weekend and introduces her to new groups of people.
- She enters photography competitions, pitches to magazines, meets art directors, photo editors, stylists and interior designers. Her network and opportunities to grow.
- Feels excited and happy about her life and what she is creating.
- Meets someone who also has similar interests – Falls in love
- Launches her first exhibition, feels love, supported and belongs to herself and a community – feels like she is living her best life!
What stops you from doing what you love?
Sometimes you are so bogged down in negativity or in old ways of doing things that you don’t know how to gain a new perspective and connect with what would bring new meaning to your life.
It can be as simple as losing the ability to be curious or using your imagination. Sometimes it’s a lack of energy and not knowing where to start.
Meaning is what drives us as human beings and often without that connection we can feel like our lives are ‘half-lived’.
Start with saying Yes to what you like, even the smallest thing will put you on the road to living your best life.
Sending you light and love,