On Connecting To Strangers
The Sidewalk Talk Blog
I was getting my kids breakfast in our tiny apartment that was already 85 degrees at 9am in Barcelona Spain, still not quite recovered from packing our house the week before. I had not checked my phone in a week but happened to pick it up as I was waiting for the coffee to finish. To my surprise, I see a message from the Sidewalk Talk volunteer team that someone from Oprah Magazine had reached out to us.
Would Being in Oprah finally ignite city leaders who have not launched yet?
I grinned. Then I immediately went from joy to “Oh no, do we have good enough WiFi here to take a call?” and “This apartment gets to 95 degrees during the day, where am I going to take this call?” and “What is the time difference?” Once my brain sorts that the next place I go is to the excitement and vision for Sidewalk Talk that “Yes we can widen our impact”.
Then I get hopeful and have all kinds of fantasies about how this press will not only bring new energy to the project but invigorate city leaders who have signed up to lead a chapter but have not been out to listen yet. I am always thinking about these leaders. I lose sleep thinking about them. How can we help them go live? What is in the way of them getting out there and listening? Is there some operational piece that we could work on for them to make it easier without ‘overtaxing’ our people, our families, and our pocketbook? I go to sleep every night with these questions on my mind. (If you are a leader reading this, let us know. Email the city leader team.) But an Oprah Magazine article? Maybe this will be the thing to ignite those leaders to take a leap of heart.
Being Interviewed Brings New Clarity About What I Stand For As Person
My favorite thing about being interviewed is I get to know myself more. As I wandered around in my nightgown, talking to Zoe on the phone, I started getting shushed from my husband and kids in the other room because I started getting loud. The heart fire started to glow in me and come out in my words. Our sense of connection to each other is the lifeblood of everything we create, do, or want as humans. Connection is such a key ingredient to our health and survival that I want us to be provocative out there on the sidewalk….offering it right out there in public. Moreover, we aren’t suggesting that connection is only for those who are suffering - nor is it about helping. Nope. Connection is the magic vitamin of the heart and soul. We have an epidemic of loneliness because we have devalued connection.
Heart-Centered connection turns to love which then turns to high integrity action
If we are good at heart-centered connection, guess what happens? We are better at all the other stuff. We are better at conflict resolution because we love each other. We live equality because we love each other. We take responsibility for past injustices because we love each other. We are better at considering the wellness not just of our own community but of everyone else and the planet as a whole because we love each other. Like it or not, we are an interconnected global family. We have a lot of people on this spinning ball and only connection will allow us to thrive.
What is more, this is not the first time Oprah Magazine has covered loneliness. So why do the story a second time. First, there are so many cool connection type projects to cover. But second, there are cool projects cropping up, because loneliness is an issue.
It was funny, before sitting down to write this morning I had to nurse my cold and wait for my Dayquil to kick in. I was watching a show on tiny homes and how there are so many ways people are hungry to reclaim their time so they can spend their time doing what matters, connecting.
I am a woman, therapist, wife, mom, friend, listener, and founder/leader of Sidewalk Talk. You can subscribe to my couples therapy list here.