We are all connected. Everything’s tied together. So the next time you feel disconnected, look up, because you are the Universe expressing itself. It’s impossible to be separate from it. … Christmas brings us into a connective heartbeat. If you sit still, you can feel it all around.
The above is excerpted from the movie, “Finding Christmas.” I really love what the writers introduced in this scene, especially the soulful reminder that I am an expression of the Universe and that we are all connected—at all times and under all circumstances. Whenever I feel disconnected, stressed out or put off by anyone or anything, it’s because I’ve directed my consciousness away from this fundamental cosmic truth.
I also love the reminder to be still often and long enough, especially during this time of the year, to feel the omnipresent connectedness I don’t pause often enough to experience. The past six months have been a whirlwind, since I started a new chapter of my professional life. Even though everything there is going swimmingly, I’m truly looking forward to having some time off to tune into that connective heartbeat of which I am a part.
Connectedness for the Holidays
The Holidays can be magical and difficult all at once. It depends on the consciousness and perspective we bring to every moment, which may very well fluctuate. As a case in point, a dear friend of mine has just suffered a great loss. While tremendous grief is dominant in her consciousness, she’s also simultaneously experiencing the support of the community she has built over the years. To her, it isn’t all magic or all pain. Rather, it’s a blend that isn’t straightforward to tease apart.
Not everyone is suffering from fresh heartbreak like my friend. Yet, when we can’t feel the connectedness that allows us to recognize the magic of the season, it’s because we feel separate in some way—from loved ones, from expectations of what our life ought to look like, from attachments we have formed with people, things or even ideas. While there’s no way around going through real grief or other difficulties, there are a few simple phrases to help us remember that we are always connected and never truly separate from anything or anyone.
We can’t be in gratitude and also be thinking of what’s missing in our lives. Being in gratitude doesn’t sidestep real challenges—such as my friend’s loss—but it allows us to have moments of remembering the connectedness truth, instead of letting the feelings of separation and loss overwhelm our consciousness. For many years, the Holidays were really difficult for me. Today, this time of the year still challenges me in some ways. However, taking time to remember reasons to be grateful has definitely made it easier to meditate on connectedness and experience it, even if only energetically with those who aren’t physically with me.
When we’re standing in long lines, circling the parking lot looking for a spot, or being cut off by someone in a bigger hurry than we are, the last thing that comes to mind is how connected we are to those people. We want nothing to do with them, let alone connected to them, thank you very much! It’s a zero-sum game in which there’s a winner and a loser, and we’d be darned not to come out the winner!
What if we were to do an experiment of choosing to see that we’re all after the same goal—e.g., getting just the right Christmas present for a loved one, trying not to be late, etc.? Last Saturday, while standing in a long line after spending considerable time picking out the perfect gifts, I realized I had forgotten my wallet. Seriously? By the time I got home to get my wallet and went back to the store, all the items I had picked out were gone. After the immediate reaction of great disappointment, I imagined that someone had gone home with perfect gifts for their peeps. It wasn’t my personal gain, but someone benefited, and that was ultimately a good thing.
When stress runs high, it’s prime time for ego to dominate and continue directing the plot of separation. The more we insist on being right and gun for the winner spot, the more it perpetuates the illusion that we are separate and in competition with/opposition against one another. Remember the last time someone looked you in the eye and delivered a heartfelt apology? How did that make you feel? Didn’t it take the edge off of your anger or hurt? Didn’t it help make you feel heard, seen and validated? Didn’t that help to connect the two of you, even if part of you might still be miffed about what they did?
What would happen if you said “I’m sorry” for accidentally cutting someone off, or for the part you played in a silly misunderstanding or a long-time feud? Regardless of the immediate outcome, notice how it feels within you, whether or not it helps you to feel less separate from the opposing party.
Smartphones and mobile devices have provided higher connectivity but not necessarily greater connectedness. A few weeks ago, I was standing in a taxi line with a few colleagues on our way to a celebratory dinner. We each had our smartphone out, checking email, texting, doing whatever we do on smartphones these days. Even though I was one of the offenders, I couldn’t help myself and remarked, “What did we all do before smartphones?!” To that, one of my colleagues chuckled, “Talk to and visit with each other like civil people?”
Being in the same physical location is not the same thing as truly being together. This Holiday Season, make a point of putting away the smartphone, the tablet and being truly present with loved ones and connecting with them. Let’s not confuse connectivity with connectedness.
So, what do you think? Do you believe we’re ultimately connected? What other suggestions may you have for remembering our connectedness during the Holidays and beyond? Happy Holidays!
Photo credit: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/
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