For the past week, I've been focusing on the first of my five Core Desired Feelings, Connected. If you haven't read about the reason for these posts, make sure to check that out here. While I haven't seen huge changes, I have been slowly incorporating true and authentic more intentionally into my life through some really simple, but important steps.
According to dictionary.com, connected means "united, joined, or linked." Another definition is "coupled, akin, undivided." No matter which specific definition you're using, connected is all about becoming close to and working with another thing, or in my case, another person.
When I was first choosing my Core Desired Feelings, connected was one that came easily to me. At first, it was really focused on my personal life, my connection to family and friends, but as I worked through it, I found that connection has a huge role in blogging and business as well.
My First Thoughts
While I was brainstorming words for my Core Desired Feelings, I wrote down definitions and my initial feelings about each. I wanted to get everything down on paper - excitement, fears, what I thought the word meant to me. For some words, those thoughts helped me eliminate them because I realized that they were too big for me right now. But for others, like connected, I really found a deeper meaning that just the one in the dictionary:
"Connected is deep, more than pretending. It's actively engaging, listening, feeling, leaning in, instead of dancing around one another without even really making an impact. Not afraid of the difficult, it embraces conversation, cuddling, sharing, and honesty. It requires openness, letting go of fear to become more together."
In the beginning, connected was mostly about my husband - I wanted to dig deeper with him, really work together and communicate, even about the hard things. So when I started my week of living in connection, I started with him. Then, over time, the connection spread to how I wrote my blog, how I engaged with readers and clients, and even the choices I made about how I spent my time.
- Dinners at the table instead of on the couch.
- Reading or playing games instead of always turning on the television.
- Taking walks without listening to podcasts.
- Getting really honest in my blog posts and writing what I felt.
- Writing my newsletter from the heart.
- Going to a baby shower instead of staying home to work.
- Calling my mom a few extra times.
- Really taking time to respond to emails as friend instead of using canned responses.
- Going out to eat (and getting time to talk) instead of stressing over cooking.
- Attending networking and planning meetings instead of just finding out the details in an email.
Some of these things don't seem like much, but for me they were each a small step toward greater connection. The biggest change was that I was actively making an effort to connect instead of just going with the routine or staying small because of my fear. Even in my choice to attend a networking event, I was pursuing connection (and I had to parallel park.) So many times, I'm tempted to stay home and work instead of making the trip to our local Tuesdays Together through the Rising Tide Society. While I enjoy the actual event, the driving to an unfamiliar area, finding parking, and the small talk always bring up a lot of anxiety. This week was no different: I still struggled to stay calm when I couldn't find a place to part and talking to people I didn't know wasn't natural, but I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and connected.
I found that connected wasn't just about doing one thing or making a big change, but was instead all about making small, intentional decisions to do something different and engage more actively with the people that I care about.
How do you connect with the people who are important to you?
Lemon and the Sea is a brand and website design company located in Richmond, VA. I specialize in making the branding process personal. I work with creative women who have a heart to serve others grow their businesses so they can focus on what's most important - family. I work closely with small businesses to help them dig into what makes them unique, share their vision, and build a business that genuinely represents who they are.