Connecting is a strong need in my life.
Someone I’m close to called today.* He said he’d been thinking about a comment I made earlier this week when I asked him if keeping part of his life secret was necessary.
“You really got me thinking,” he said. He wondered what life might be like if he didn’t focus as much on hiding from others part of who he is.
Then he thanked me.
With his simple words of gratitude my heart opened. Connecting was present that hadn’t been there before.
Receiving this from him felt so good that I decided to look through the lens of The Connection Practice to see what this conversation might be offering me on a deeper level.
With his simple words of gratitude my heart opened.
When he said, “Hey, thanks for saying what you did,” I gave myself empathy by identifying all the feelings that came up:
From there I could see that many of my needs – basic human needs – were being met, perhaps especially:
my need for communication
to have my intentions understood
Connecting to needs
Pausing a moment my need for shared reality rose to the surface as most important. In the conversation we’d had, we were viewing the situation similarly, and proof of that was his thank you.
Then I turned my thoughts to him. Though he wasn’t there, I gave him empathy by guessing that during today’s talk he might have been feeling:
And that these feelings might be reflecting some of his own met needs. Perhaps:
his need for understanding
to be seen for who he is
This past year has been confusing and a little disappointing for him, and keeping part of himself separate from others may have contributed to that. I imagined that his greatest met needs today were for progress and to be seen for who he is.
Then I prepared for a heart-brain insight to learn more about the celebration I was feeling. I brought my attention to the heart for heart focus. I imagined I could breathe in and out of the heart for heart breathing. After several breaths I brought into my heart a feeling of appreciation for something easy – heart appreciation.
I take my time when I get to this part because it feels so good. Once I start feeling appreciation, I stay with it and let it fill me. When I felt ready I asked an open-ended question, “What do I need to understand about this conversation and my met need for shared reality.”
Not much time passed before the insight came. In addition to all that I had identified, there was another met need tucked in that short conversation, and it was a big one – intimacy .
That was exactly what I needed to understand! In this world where disconnection often prevails, today’s phone call was a wondrous moment of intimacy between two human beings. I marveled at how simple the gift of a “thank you” can be to both offer and receive.
Connecting to insight
To complete the process I thought how I would act on this insight.
Writing this out has already helped deepen the experience. I better understand the compassion I have for my friend and his willingness to be vulnerable with me and in his own life. I’ll also keep celebrating the intimacy and connecting that came so unexpectedly with a simple thank you.
The process now feels complete.
Note to those of you wondering why it’s good to do this practice daily: Writing this was quick and easy and reminded me of the value of working with issues that are fully alive, like connecting.
*To retain privacy I’m leaving my friend’s name out of this story.
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Ellen Synakowski, MA, RCST, is a certified Connections Practice Trainer, Coach and Presenter; a HeartMath coach, and a registered biodynamic craniosacral therapist.