On this New Year’s Eve, I am reflective. I am grateful. I have my family, my health, my friends. I am comfortable and cared for, buoyed by the many connections I have with the people in my life. These are the folks who help stir the feelings of happiness, love, and completeness in my bones. They are my mainstays.
A favorite exercise I often present in self-care workshops is “Categories of Connectedness.” It’s an excellent vehicle for bringing forth the many ways and reasons we connect with others and for recognizing those for whom we are grateful.
The act of placing the names of important folks in our lives within the categories is illuminating as we see who fulfills certain roles for us. We have our confidants, intellectual stretchers, models, mentors, health watchers, “chicken soup” folks, and fun and adventure people. Some names appear in multiple categories. Some categories may be vacant -- for now.
- Confidants -- those whom we can tell anything in the world about us and trust our words will go nowhere
- Intellectual Stretchers -- those whose actions, words, and deeds propel us to think and grow
- Models -- the folks about whom we say or think, “I want to be just like them.”
- Mentors -- the ones who take us under their wings, guide us or pave the way for us
- Health watchers -- those who remind us to make our appointments for physicals or mammograms, provide us with healthy recipes and choices, or research the medications the doctor prescribed. They are also our workout buddies.
- “Chicken Soup” folks -- the ones who we turn to in time of crisis and know we will leave them feeling all the better.
- Fun and Adventure souls -- those whom we count on for a laughs and excitement or new, enjoyable experiences
Who are the people you have in each category? If there are empty spots, your mission is to seek and watch and allow someone in to occupy that category.
On whose lists would your name appear? These are the folks who look to you to satisfy a much-needed role in their lives.
Each of these dear family members or friends is a reason for our being. We are gifts to each other and all in this together. Let us stay connected or reconnect in 2016 for a healthy, happy, gratitude-filled year. Make that call or write an email or a letter. Soon.
With love and gratitude for each of you and looking forward to a happy, healthy, uplifting new year,
~ xoA ~