the next 50 needs more connection

Asha   and   Liz   toasting with their cups of just-roasted coffee in Addis Ababa,   Ethiopia   -- October 2012.

Asha and Liz toasting with their cups of just-roasted coffee in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia -- October 2012.

It's July, which is my birth month -- and this year is a big one, I'm turning 50!  Because I swim in a gene pool shared by long livers (three of my grandparents lived past 95, and one lived until 102!), I figure I'm only halfway done.  So to celebrate my birthday, I've decided that for every day for the first two weeks of this month, I'm going to share images and words representing what I hope the next 50 years will have more of.  Time to say it and claim it, by gum.  And maybe, if what I say resonates with you, you'll  be inspired to get more of these things for your next 50 years, too.

I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.

~  Brené Brown

People are often shocked to find out that I'm a strong introvert, but I suspect that those folks are confusing "introversion" with "shyness."  I'm not shy -- I can walk into a room where I don't know anyone and feel comfortable enough introducing myself (and obviously, standing in front of hundreds of people giving a talk isn't scary for me at all) -- but I thrive on being alone.  In 9 years, I haven't really once missed working in an office.  Some of the best vacations I ever took in my life, I took alone.  When I travel on business, very little gives me more joy than room service and a good movie.  Alone is how I restore and recharge, bar none.

While there are certainly benefits to being a confident introvert, there are huge disadvantages, too.  For one thing, I can go months -- months, I say -- without seeing friends, people who mean the world to me.  And the thing is, making the effort to connect with them is always worth it.  I've never spent time with a friend I love and regretted getting out of my house to do it. In fact, our relationship seems enriched by it.  So why don't I do it more often?

Why, indeed. So for the next 50 years, I'm going to make more of a habit of connecting with folks -- even if it's just for a cup of coffee.  Because connection can be so healing, and I believe it's part of the way we thrive.


Soundtrack:  Has to be done by Eat More Cake

Also for my birthday, I thought I'd give a nice, deep discount to one of my most popular online courses, GLOW:  a 21-day ecourse for claiming your light!  So if you'd like to get more light in your life, enter coupon code WATCHMEGLOW for 30% off the course.  It really is a great course:  one participant said she was so happy to rediscover "how blessed I am in my life";  another said, "GLOW came into my life at the perfect time. It is slowly changing my mental state and I have been focusing on the positives for the first time in ages."  So join me.  It's the perfect self-care for the summer.