Tuesday, 20 December 2011


"only connect"
        ~E.M. Forster

Mr. Forster wrote this quote in his book, "Howard's End". He spoke about choosing to live in fragments no longer. He spoke of how we all, perhaps, have many parts to our selves, and keep them isolated - the monk and the beast. He spoke of how, if we could stop isolating our "parts", we would no longer live in parts, but would be whole, and when that happens, "human love will be seen at its height".

what a lovely thought.

I'm going to wander in a different direction with his quote, "only connect". As we head into this season that is supposed to be about family, love, warmth, companionship, and generosity, I'm so aware of how easy it is to feel disconnected. This holiday season can be really difficult for a lot of people. Certainly for people who have lost a loved one, through death, or the break-up of an important relationship. Certainly for people who are estranged from their families. And, let's be honest, even if we spend time with our families, we know that most families have their issues, and spending time together is not always peaceful or wonderful. The holiday season can bring up such feelings of loneliness, in people from every walk of life: poor or rich, healthy or unhealthy, young, old, city folk and country folk, married with kids or single. Somehow, this season of love and kindness can leave us feeling super-disconnected.

Only connect

What if we set an intention, this season, to simply focus on connection?

Could we all take time, each day, to connect with ourselves? Maybe while sitting in the glow of the christmas tree's lights, or on your yoga mat, or in a corner of a room where no one else will find you, or perhaps even on a quiet stroll through the forest. A time, each day, to focus on breathing. To focus on connecting with and listening to ourselves. A time, each day, to draw inwards, away from the busy hustle and bustle of the season. Away from the stimulation of the senses, brought about by the barrage of colours and music and noise and commercial energy. (it's amazing how anxiety and frustration will fade away, if we take time to do this)

And, could we all take time, each day, to connect with others? Not simply to talk about the weather, or argue about family stuff, or bump into each other in last-minute rushes at the mall. Could we take time to sit with another, to ask simple questions about their life, to really listen and remember we are all really one, really connected, in this journey of being human? Could we remember that, perhaps, a majority of us struggle a little with this season, and the simple act of connecting can ease the pain?

only connect

To connect with ourselves, to connect with others, perhaps to connect to a higher power, if you believe in that. In connecting, we realize that we are NOT alone. That there is love, beauty, energy, that flows between us all. What a lovely thing that is.

Happy holidays, everyone. Please, if you have a wonderful connecting experience, share it here under comments!! I'd love to hear your stories!

Shanti. Peace.

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