Confession: I am a hermit. Nothing excites my soul more than spending hours with me, myself, and I.
As an empath, my heightened sensitivity can make it challenging to be around others sometimes. I can feel what others are feeling and I pick up on many subtleties. And though this is a blessing when I am working with clients during sessions, classes, and retreats, I find it to be a curse in social situations.
The past few months I have been hermitting more than ever. With a sweet living space at the sea I'm inspired to spend my days writing. In this space of solitude I have truly felt fulfilled. Who needs connection?! Aside from work and the occasional friends I selectively allow into my bubble, I have been happily hermitting. But this is shifting…
The sun was setting. We sat on the porch, eating dinner and conversing about life. We talked about so much that evening I don’t even know what to share. I guess I’ll begin right before I began to cry.
“What did you mean when you said it can be laborious when you’re with me?”
“Every moment with us is rich. We never talk about the movies or anything superficial. You keep shifting my paradigm. I appreciate it, it’s refreshing to me. This is the best weekend of my life.”
It’s interesting that I found his initial comment to be insulting when it was quite the opposite. He was right though, I don’t engage in superficial conversations with people. It exhausts me. I rather connect deeply on a soul level. “Oh how things get lost in translation.” I thought.
“Really?!” I responded in awe.
He nodded yes and I continued to eat looking into the sunset.
“You know you have to be cautious about how you say things Nik. I know you’re honest but it can be borderline sometimes.” He said.
“What are you talking about?” I replied.
“Well when you tell me I’m teaching you patience...” He replied with a hint of insult in his tone.
I couldn’t help but laugh, “To me that would be a huge compliment! You are one of the most patient people I know. Or at least you appear to be.” I replied.
“Another lost in translation.” I thought.
He appeared to relax as I explained what I meant by my words, and eventually pleased by the time I finished communicating my accolades to him.
“Do you think I’m not supposed to be “feisty” anymore… you know now since I’m all “spiritual”?” I asked quoting the words mockingly.
“I can’t imagine walking around being all peaceful and zen all the time chanting love and peace. That’s not me. I know I can answer you impatiently at times, but that’s part of who I am. Do I have to change that?” I asked sincerely because I knew I was borderline impatient with him at times when we talked about certain conscious topics.
“It’s edge. I appreciate your delivery. It’s personality. It’s you.” He replied.
“Thank you.” I replied, feeling unconditionally loved.
“You know I realized I’ve changed today.” I continued,
“I was meditating on the beach earlier, and when I finished, I asked a random man sitting nearby to take my picture. After he did we began talking. The first thing he asked me was if I believe in God. You know the old Nikki would have tried to prove a point. She would have been a bit more provocative, saying I believe in energy and perhaps would have tried to challenge his beliefs to be more of that of oneness. But today I said, ‘Sure, I believe in a higher power.’ And when he asked if I believe in Jesus I said, ‘Of course! He is one of the great symbols of love and compassion along with Mother Mary.’ And so I chose to connect with him by finding all of our commonalities and by speaking his language. I chose to focus on ways that bring us together instead of apart.”
And then I began to cry.
I began to cry because I was releasing some argumentative part of my being that was no longer serving my life. And as I sobbed, releasing through tears, I felt myself becoming lighter with every breath. I was expanding and new space filled with even more love.
He stayed silent. Holding space. Being the loving, compassionate figure I admire and know him so well to be. There’s a reason his nickname is Jesus and it’s not just because he looks like him. There is a gentleness and presence about him that make others feel at peace when they are around him. I remember this was exactly how I felt the first time I met him.
“I find I’m changing so fast. Sometimes it can be lonely.” I continued to share.
“I know what you mean. I’ve been doing this alone for some time. At least you have your soul family you’ve told me about. All of my best friends are dead. It is through their writings that I find solace and connection.” He was referring to the enlightened ones–the Buddhas, the Dao, Native American Chiefs, Lao Tzu and countless other teachers who have left us their immortal wisdoms.
It was in this moment that I remembered and felt the power of connection and community.
He was right. The path of the seeker can be a lonely one. For it is a commitment to growth and evolution, self development and service to others above all else. Not everyone is committed to the path, though fortunately any common ground creates connection. Even the simple intention to listen and be present to another human.
It is through connecting with others that I can truly see myself.
In your reflection I see myself.
As I recently shared with you in my Burning Man post (read here), I have discovered the power of community and connection in a whole new light. Over a year ago I wrote a post on the many reasons to have community in our lives (read here), which I still believe. But let’s elaborate a bit more on why connection with another human is so important.
Human to human, I look into your eyes and see myself through you, in you, as I reflect back to myself in your eyes. Through your words and compliments, as well as how I feel when I am around you, I see myself. Each and every person is a unique mirror, exposing and reflecting different parts of myself back to me.
Ever wonder why we never experience the same love twice? This is important to realize so that we don’t go in search of long lost love never to exist again. Love will be different each and every time depending on the mirror reflecting back at you. The same is true for friendship or any human connection.
Ever notice how in some connections you may be quite hilarious, while in others you’re quite boring. It’s all about the synergy evoked with the mirror reflecting back to you. For this very reason, we must choose wisely the company we keep. And cherish each unique connection.
Community, and the deep connections within them, are reminders of who we are. Choose to be around those who truly see who you are. Those who smile to see you blossom. Those who inspire new ideas and endeavors, painting your life with more color and excitement.
Most importantly choose those who remind you of who you are when you have forgotten. Because sometimes we forget how badass we are. Really! We get wrapped up in our work, our lives, and our bubble that we forget to take a moment to pat ourselves on the back. Allow community to be the shoulders you stand on.
When we begin to be our authentic self, free of who we think we should be, but rather unapologetically who we are, we begin to attract our tribe. My community, aka my soul family, has been flooding into my life. They exist at Burning Man and around the globe. Regularly I receive messages of gratitude for the impact I have on the lives of others simply because I am me. And I send love and words of encouragement to them as well.
Post Burning Man a camp member hosted a big dinner simply because we, as a community, inspire him. And so we celebrated each other one evening just because. Now this is the power of community and connection. We love and celebrate each other just because!
Every time we connect with another is an opportunity for growth. Every person is a guru (read blog) and thus every encounter is full of lessons if we so choose to be open to learn them and grow.
Sure connection has it’s challenges. We are ever perfecting our communication skills, opening to compassion while releasing judgment as we learn more about others as well as ourselves. Some may trigger us, while others help us fly. If committed to love and kindness, we can inspire each other to be better regardless of the differences that arise.
Community is our cheerleader, our family, our playtime, our mastermind group, the perfect brainstorming session, a business idea evoker and collaborator, and so much more. Community can be found anywhere. We find our community when we do what we love, and when we follow our inspirations regardless of what others say.
As we evolve, so too will the closest members of our tribe. A natural cleansing will occur. Out with the old, in with the new. Some will stay and some will go. No hard feelings, of course, as it is all for the highest good.
This weekend, I invite you to follow your inspiration. How we spend our time is reflective of our frequency. Like a boomerang, we attract the vibes we emit out to the world, creating our reality. Be open to try new things and meet new people. Surely you will continue to find your tribe as they are seeking you too. When we do what we love we find the people we love.
And also take a moment to thank those beautiful mirrors in your life right now. Those who have been there for you uplifting your spirits, reminding you just how truly wonderful you are. For it is with gratitude we attract more goodness into everyday. Namaste.