Over the last few weeks I have really had a great time connecting and re-connecting with great people in my life. It is funny but I used to think that connecting with others had to look a certain way. It had to be a quantity thing or a close proximity thing or even a shared circumstance situation. Yet, what I’ve really been learning over the last few years is that none of these need be true to have a true connection. Time, space, distance, or shared circumstances need not apply.
Last month, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting one of my coaches who I worked with for about 2 years. I first found Leah Grant when she was an instructor of mine at Coach U. The experience she brought to the table and our connection sealed the deal and I ended up working with her one on one around the area of my business. In fact I am still working with her as I prepare for my ACC certification through the International Coach Federation. Long story short, she was in the Philadelphia area for a scrapbooking conference (yes she is a crazy multi-talented one just like I am – check out her Stylish Scrapper site) and we met for dinner at a local mexican restaurant.
For anyone who doubts the ability to truly connect with someone via telephone (which is how I both coach my clients and work with my own coaches) all I can say is you don’t know until you try it. When we met in person we connected and found each other instantly in the bar waiting area. My experience has been that energetically it is just a match whether you’re in person or over the telephone. We spent the night eating, hanging out, catching up, and sharing a lot of laughs over a few margaritas. (Note: I was planning a great picture to share and post on the blog, but the digital photo our waiter took is truly awful. The lighting, angle, and background make us look tremendously blurry and downright fun-house scary. Bummer!)
During our vacation travels in July Kim & I invoked the powers of spontaneous gathering. On our way through Maine we called a woman from our January retreat and as luck would have it were able to connect for a most wonderful lunch on her garden patio. Then, on the way back I got a phone call from a dear coach friend from New Hampshire. In a matter of a few phone calls we managed to plan a rendezvous for breakfast in Ogunquit at Amore Breakfast which I loved so much from a previous trip years ago. These unplanned connections really reinforced for me that it truly is worth the effort to reach out on the spur of the moment. If things don’t work out, no problem, but wow how great when they do! No agonizing over details, logistics, or other nonsense. Simply a chance to connect in person.
Sometimes planning is the only way to make it happen as another dinner in July pointed out to me. I met someone at my day job a few years ago and realized we both went to King’s College at the same time. As we got to be friends and work on some extracurricular projects at our day job together we kept saying it’d be great to get together for wine or dinner especially since she was my partner Kim’s roommate for a few months. Well, it took us a few years but in July we finally got to do dinner. It was a total blast and well worth the fact that we had to plan the date months in advance. Another reminder that sometimes you just have to book it in the calendar if you want to make it happen.
Last but certainly not least a brief email exchange with my oldest and dearest friend resulted in a last minute visit that was so satisfying. My friend Kath & I have been friends since around the 2nd or 3rd grade. We both possess photos of us in really bad 70’s children clothing doing weird things like twister games at kids parties. We’ve been through all kinds of stuff together and while we don’t see each other often (sometimes years pass), we can pick up just as intimate and connected as we were the last time we were together. Money just can’t buy joy and love like that. So that is why it was awesome that in a matter of 2 email exchanges we got together for an impromptu Saturday dinner at my place. A day worthy of uncorking the “save it for a special occasion” wine and just chilling on the deck. It reminded me again of the blessings in spontaneity and reminded both of us that it is truly ridiculous not to get together more often when we don’t live very far away from each other (~ 45 minutes to 1 hour in traffic).
So what is the point of this big long personal story? My point is – just do it. Connect with those you love and care about. Pick up the phone, be spontaneous, plan it weeks in advance if you must but just do it. The connection and joy you get from these moments far outweigh the logistics and are far more pressing and important than an additional item on your to-do list. Summer is drawing to a close in a few weeks — take the opportunity to re-fill your well with the blessing of connecting.