Tools For Deepening Connection

Seek Beginner’s Mind

Beginner’s mind is a new way to experience learning.

Be Curious About Everything

Curiosity alone is the antidote to tightly held beliefs, and curiosity will make you want to know the other person more deeply.

Hold Your Beliefs Lightly

Remember that your beliefs may or may not be true. If your beliefs are different from the other’s, that difference alone is a barrier to connection.

Know Thyself

Use every means available to know yourself more deeply, to recognize your beliefs and your shadows and defenses. Take assessments, sit in circle with others, journal, look deeply into the mirror of who you are.

Leave Your Comfort Zone

Stretch your comfort zone and live in the learning zone. It’s much more fun!

Use I-Statements

Use I-statements as a new way of taking responsibility.

Meditate Daily

Adopt a practice of daily meditation. Don’t expect quick results. It can be very frustrating, and at times you may feel like giving up; but just stick with it.

Avoid Spiritual Bypassing

Don’t hide from or avoid the pain of waking up by taking a spiritual bypass. It doesn’t work and it’s a waste of precious time and energy.

Let Go of Needing to be Liked

You don’t have to impress anybody, and it doesn’t work anyhow. Just be yourself. Everybody else is taken.

Be Appropriately Vulnerable

Vulnerability is a powerful sword with two sharp edges. It can cut through defenses like a warm knife through butter, or it can cut your arm off and destroy the budding relationship by providing too much information too quickly.

Practice Oops, Ouch, Wow!

Take ownership of your mistakes (Oops). Be vulnerable and let someone know they have touched a tender spot (Ouch) and be free with your compliments (Wow!) when someone does something that demonstrates deep connection skills.

Express Your Feelings

Own what you feel and speak your feelings appropriately. You can express anger without attacking, sadness without embarrassment, guilt without shame.

Park Your Judgments

A judgment is a discernment plus a trigger. In other words, it’s what you see plus what shadow belief is coloring your discernment. If you are triggered, you are probably projecting, making the other the target of your projection. This is a guaranteed connection buster. If a judgment comes up, simply notice it and park it. If you want to kill connection quickly, just share your judgments.

Take Responsibility

Realize that you are able to choose how to respond to any situation, then choose wisely.

Seek Out Conscious People

Want to become more conscious? Just spend more time around conscious people and let them rub off on you.

Invite Your Shadows to Tea

You can’t kill your shadows, but you can integrate them by inviting them into the light. Remember, it is highly likely that those around you can see the shadows you don’t see.

Listen Deeply

Listening deeply is “witnessing” the other and seeing the other without judgment. This is truly a form of blessing and contributes to authentic connection.

Pay Attention to Intention

This advice is especially important for extroverts who need to be seen. Before you open your mouth, ask yourself, “What is my intention?” Do a quick body scan and see if there is a signal in your body that correlates with needing attention. If that signal is present, probably better to zip your lip. Develop the habit of monitoring your intention in every interaction you have. This is actually a form of listening… to yourself.

Interrupt Harmful Patterns

Develop a habit of using the Pattern Interrupt.

Get off the Victim Triangle

No blaming – take responsibility for your choices and their consequences.

Own Your Triggers

If you are triggered by someone else, it’s typically your projection of some wound you took on as a child. Look deeply into your past to discover what belief about yourself that doesn’t serve you is still driving you. Own it and clean it up.

Set Appropriate Boundaries

Don’t take in what doesn’t fit. It’s up to you what judgments of others you accept.

Drop Your Defenses

Develop awareness of your defenses and what triggers them. Learn to drop them if and when you want to connect. Defenses are often boundaries that have been set unconsciously.

Express Gratitude

Expressing gratitude builds deeper connection with yourself and with others.

Accept Yourself As You Are

This is required for others to truly accept you as you are. It’s called self-compassion and it may be your hardest challenge.

Focus on Form versus Substance

Form is just the wrapping paper. Substance is the gift hidden beneath the wrapping. Focus not on the wrapping, but on the gift, no matter what its form.

Fail Early & Often

Failure is an excellent teacher. Learn to welcome and embrace its lessons.

Don’t Take Anything Personally

This is one of “The Four Agreements” by don Miguel Ruiz. “When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.”

Comments are closed