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On Creating a Connected Life

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Because my house, and mostly my life, is populated with those who possess the characteristics of ADD/ADHD (myself included), I’ve been reading up on the subject a bit. My latest book is Delivered from Distraction by Edward M. Hallowell.

It is an awesome book and I HIGHLY recommend it for anyone who thinks they might suffer from a bit of ADD.

Lat night, though, I dove into a chapter that I found so relevant, so bright and inspiring that I just have to share it with you.

According to Dr. Hallowell, living a connected life is the secret to making life healthier and more joyful. Don’t know about you, but I want all of that I can get. 🙂

Here are the 12 elements of a connected life he puts forward for our consideration:

1. Family. This is the core connection. Without a connection here, there can’t be real connection elsewhere. I do like this note of his: “If you have conflict in your family, that means it is connected. The opposite of connection is not conflict; it is indifference.”

2. Friend & community. Without meaningful relationship, our chances for experiencing a joyful life are not very high.

3. School or work. If we feel welcomed and treated with respect in these arenas, and have one or two friends, we will thrive better and if we don’t.

4. Activities. by finding & engaging in a few activities (ie NOT work) that we really love, it increases our chances of building joy, confidence, and self-esteem exponentially.

5.  The arts. Engaging with music, painting, literature, movies, dance, theatre, etc. can great a connection with deep inner. joy

6. Groups, teams, organizations. Belonging to a group of some kind with a purpose outside ourselves give us a personal sense of purpose and a feeling of being needed.

7. Pets. Pets develop our sense of empathy, love and understanding – and being understood. 🙂

8. Nature. Being connected with nature feeds us strength, joy and inspiration – and gives us a wonderful playground.

9. Ideas and information. Dr. Hallowell says that this is about feeling comfortably connected in the world of ideas and information. Fear and shame are the great underminers here. There should be no fear or shame in any learning environment. Period.

10. The spiritual world. Acknowledging and connecting with whatever we believe is beyond ourselves.

11. The past. Our heritage, our traditions, the stories of our ancestors give us a clearer understanding of how and why we are right here, right now – infusing every moment with deeper meaning.

12. Ourselves. Knowing and loving who we are exactly as we are feeds our connection with ourselves and allows us to move out into connecting with the world around us.

I know some of these are stating the obvious, but I’ve never seen them pulled together in this way in support of living a rich, deep life full of meaning, joy and purpose.

So that I don’t overwhelm myself, I’m going to print out this list, then slowly and effortlessly expand my capacities in each area. I’m guessing you will hear about my progress. 🙂

What say you? Do you agree with these 12 areas? Would you add any? Take away any? Are ideas leaping out at you for engaging in particular areas?

You know I am fascinated by your thoughts. 🙂

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