Created by Dr Antonia Wrigley, 2016 with some additional material added 2022
We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surfacebut connected in the deep. William James
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
In her much viewed TED talk ‘THE POWER OF VULNERABILITY’ Brené Brown says this about connection: “Connection is why we are here – it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives” She goes on to talk about the one thing that ‘unravels connection’: shame, or the fear that ‘I’m not good enough’.
…in order for connection to happen we have to be seen, really seen.
Here is our necessary vulnerability, without which connection does not happen. In healthcare this applies equally to the practitioner as it does to the patient or client. We are all flawed. We are all incomplete. We all need connection and validation. A practitioner who does not feel valued, or is without support, either becomes hardened and inaccessible or breaks down.
Body Connection – Embodiment
Our culture has taught us to live primarily in our heads and to value our brain’s intelligence, or the logical, ‘scientific’ left brain, above all else. This has led us to be largely disconnected from our bodies and from the wisdom it holds. There is a lot of work to be done in getting back in touch with our bodies so that we can be fully present. Start by listening to the talk by Philip Shepherd who is recognised as an international authority on embodiment.
Belong to Nature
Connection can happen on many levels, connection between humans is the most obvious but connection and grounding in nature is maybe equally important for health.
There is no WiFi in the Forest. But I promise, you’ll find a better connection. Anon
Another fascinating exploration, whilst not directly linked to our health, is the connection that exists between trees in the forest via the “wood-wide web”. Read or listen to this fabulous interview with Dr Suzanne Simard, the renowned scientist who discovered the “wood-wide web”. She speaks about mother trees, kin recognition, and how to heal our separation from the living world: Finding the Mother Tree or if you have more time listen to her read from her book of the same name.
A person experiences life assomething separated from the rest –a kind of optical delusion of consciousness.Our task must to free ourselves fromthis self-imposed prison, and through compassion, to find the reality of Oneness. Albert Einstein