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Hungry for Connection: Three Tools to Deepen Your Relationships

This is a guest post by Dr. Shawn Haywood

Are you feeling hungry for connection?  Much of our pain, suffering, sadness, anxiety, illness and loneliness is rooted in a lack of sincere, deep intimate connection to three key areas:

  • To others

  • To our spirit

  • To Mother Earth

Without these connections, we tend to grasp at, try to force or push others away. We also engage in destructive and addictive behaviors, from over eating and over exercising to over spending or unhealthy dependence on the opposite sex. Discontent and lack of fulfillment become the cornerstones of daily life.

Fear then acts as a block of sorts to keep desires to numb out or escape from manifesting.We find ourselves afraid to share our vulnerability, voice, heart and feelings. We are often afraid to say, “I feel rejected, abandoned or sad,” or to say, “I’m terrified,” “I need attention,” or “I need to be held.” 

For example, when was the last time you arrived home from a terrible day and said softly, “Darling, I had an awful day: will you hug me for a few minutes? Take me to dinner? Tell me you love and adore me? Tell me everything will be ok?”

Not likely…Instead, we use defenses to remain disconnected, we scratch and bite at each other, we lash out with anger or we simply shut down and check out, all the while perpetuating the cycle of emotional hunger.

Like most of the ideas I teach, the actions to move us forward toward vulnerable connection, and therefore calm and confidence, are quite simple. The following three actions will raise your level of connection, care, peace and joy! 1. ASK: Ask for what you want and need. The old adage is true: “Ask and you will receive.”

Interestingly, asking requires great courage and discipline.To ask for care when you tempted to be angry or bitter will take courage and willingness to soften your heart, but more than anything, willingness to internalize that you are deserving to have your needs and desires met. The choice to not ask, and therefore not receive, is a reflection of your self-perception. Look intently into your own eyes and say out loud: “I am deserving of this need.” By practicing this, you are inherently creating a cycle of giving and receiving, which is the very definition of harmony. 2. TOUCH: Touch seems so simple, yet we withhold it more often than not. How often are you more inclined to watch your spouse/partner become upset and irritated, and then retreat or lash out instead of grabbing him or her and giving a hug or a kiss or reassuring him or her?

Recent studies have found that seemingly insignificant touch yields bigger tips for service staff, that people shop and buy more if they’re touched by a store employee and that strangers are more likely to help someone if a touch accompanies the request. We all have the power of gentle, caring or loving touch. Now choose to do it.

People are social animals who REQUIRE touch for optimal physical and emotional health,yet we continue to live our lives hungry for connection. Don’t let fear stop you from being vulnerably and deeply connected. Touch or hug others, pets, plants and flowers more often, and ask the same of others. Volunteer in a retirement or nursing home—the elderly are sadly very hungry for connection.  3. CONNECT WITH MOTHER EARTH: Get into nature EVERY day, without excuse. I hear you saying, “Shawn, I don’t have time for that.” But do you prefer the time you spend sad, frustrated or otherwise suffering? I’ve known of very few human experiences where a person didn’t feel uplifted by being outdoors. Mother Earth is alive.She heals, nourishes and cares for all who walk, run, fly and crawl. She will caress you with limbs and lady bugs, snuggle you with grass and grasshoppers and soothe your soul with a light breeze. Walk with her, talk with her, learn from her. She is ever present and awaiting your attention. Every moment with her is healing, steadfast and loving.

We all need and deserve deep, vulnerable connection, a nourished spirit and a boost from Mother Earth. Grab your courage and someone else for a big embrace—you’ll feel better, I promise!

Being vulnerable and connecting with others is simple in nature but often feels difficult in action. I get it. These tips are designed to help you start a path toward deeper connection and vulnerability.

Interested in going deeper along your journey? Be sure to check out my upcoming six-week Freedom From Chaos Telecourse! The Freedom From Chaoscourse is a six-week telecourse designed to help you find freedom from your chaotic life. The course will teach you to find clarity in your hectic life, remove the roadblocks to progress and truly commit to liberated living through structured course content and weekly calls with me, your coach! Interested in learning more? Click Here to Learn More about the Freedom From Chaos Course! Click Here To Learn More About Shawn!


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