Do you prefer to work alone and figure things out by yourself or while working with others? There is some real value to both ways. Although most of my work is one on one with clients, what I really “love” is doing workshops or sessions with groups of people. It is so exciting to experience the movement in a room full of strangers to supportive friends or a caring community. It is so uplifting. Lots of energy, ideas and different perspectives.
Each person finds their place in the group and experiences the power of being heard and supported. Every single group member in workshops I have been in have reported the difference the group made. Some form deep friendships from a 6 week workshop!, others feel heard in a way that they haven’t in a long time and still others are comforted by the shared experience. This does not mean that everyone “likes” each other but they always state how they gained from the group and appreciated the feeling of connection.
One of the most common themes I hear over and over again from clients is loneliness. They may even be with other people but are still lonely. Even in marriages people are lonely because they are not heard. I actually would label this an Epidemic of our Time. We used to live in communities of families and neighbors and everyone knew us. This was both limiting and freeing-we may have felt labeled by our past but we knew there were others around to hear us. Also if we had differences we usually worked them out as there was no place to get away.
The effects of loneliness are noted in a variety of health and emotional issues. Loneliness shows an increased incidence of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity. Loneliness is shown to increase the concentration of cortisol levels in the body. Prolonged, high cortisol levels can cause anxiety, depression, digestive problems, heart disease, sleep problems, and weight gain.
How about you? Are you lonely? Being alone is healthy and a little loneliness is normal. It is the prolonged feeling that causes problems. Do you have a place where you can be heard and where you can be inspired and uplifted by the energy of others? If so, then I recommend that you celebrate this and don’t take it for granted. If you don’t, I suggest you find a “tribe” or just a few people with whom you can gather and speak and be heard so you feel connected. Your health may depend on this. I realize there may be many reasons for your loneliness but taking action is a first step!
Some ideas of where to find others are:
Start a Master Mind Group. I am part of a Master Mind that has been meeting for years. These are 4 people in the US and Canada who talk every three weeks through a Hangout Group. We discuss business, personal and even political ideas. We have some loose guidelines and share a mutual respect. We so look forward to our conversations.
Find a Meet-Up (https://www.meetup.com) on just about any topic you can imagine. Try visiting one that is an interest: cooking, rock climbing, history, books, spirituality……etc. You can attend numerous groups. You automatically have something in common based on your topic. My husband and I attended a Meet-Up for playing board games. What fun! Gather the energy and courage to keep going to new groups until one “fits!”
Check out local Universities, community colleges, networking groups, or workshops in your area that meet on a consistent basis. Facebook doesn’t count because you are unable to be physically seen and heard.
BUT the most important part of overcoming loneliness is to risk being known. Don’t just attend something. Make sure you risk speaking up. Someone else is waiting to connect with you. I promise. There are others like you….the world needs all of us.
If this doesn’t work or is too hard, call me and we can figure out what else you can do. We need to address this epidemic because too many people are suffering! Please don’t wait. Your health depends on it.