We live in the most connected time the world has ever known, so why do we feel so alone? Feeling like a fish out of water eventually causes us to wonder if there are other people out there who think and feel like us. Some never find their tribe, but for anyone who has found their like-minded community, they will tell you how good it feels to be a fish in water, to find your tribe.
But, I believe it is time for those like-minded communities to evolve. For our silos are getting bigger and stronger and the space between them is getting wider and deeper. And as good as like-minded communities feel, they have become just a set of silos. And silos separate us.
It is time for a disruption.
They say that magic exists just outside of our comfort zone, so I invite you to leave the comfort zone of tribe to come together to end separation.
There is a new community that calls us. One that includes everyone, like and unlike minds, the rich and the poor, the educated and the uneducated, people of every race and religion, male and female and transgendered, straight and gay, old and young, broken and whole. This new model is a Mosaic.
As Buckminster Fuller said, “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
I offer these practices in the hope of reconnecting a divided world.
Practice 1: BE KIND TO YOURSELF
We have been taught how to be kind to others, but we never learned how to be kind to ourselves. We were told that thinking of others was good but thinking of ourselves was selfish. And so we lived our lives lifting others up (while putting ourselves down), praising others (while beating ourselves up), helping others (while sabotaging ourselves), and being kind to others (while being hard on ourselves).
Eventually, without even realizing it, we put up walls to protect ourselves. Not from others but from our own attacks. These walls separated us from ourselves and made meaningful connection almost impossible.
Now is the time to disrupt this pattern and practice being kind to ourselves. With kindness, walls drop (for they are no longer needed), hiding stops (there is nothing to hide behind), and we are free to be ourselves. Without these walls, we finally see ourselves and we can connect to who we really are. Without these walls, connection becomes possible.
Practice 2. DO WHAT YOU CAME TO DO
We cannot hear if we do not listen. The more we listen, the more we understand this kind and benevolent world that uses every way it has available to speak to us. It whispers through the sound of the wind in the trees, and yells at us through the crazy man on the corner. Its ways are mysterious, for it talks to us not only through words, but also in the spaces between those words.
Even when you think you understand, never stop listening. Your purpose will continue to connect you to people and places, ideas and situations, to help you do what you came to do.
Our purpose is our destination, and we will succeed when we are aligned with that purpose.
Practice 3. BUILD YOUR MOSAIC
Birds flock. Bees swarm. Fish school. They do this because they function better together. When we listen, the world speaks to us. We were never meant to live life alone.
Look at a mosaic, the way the pieces connect tell us a story. Some connect side to side, but others connect only at a corner.
The beauty is seeing that no matter how small the connection between pieces is, the connection allows them to come together to create something beautiful. When we connect, we experience harmony. But when we focus on where we are not connected, we feel separate and alone.
When connection becomes our destination, it changes not only the life we live, but also the world we live in.
PEACE BY PIECE: A STRATEGY OF THE MOSAIC
In a world that expounds upon our differences, be the one who magnifies similarities. Beneath all the superficial things that make us different is one thing we all want: to be loved and accepted; listened to and understood; validated and appreciated. Listen to the silence between the words people speak. Give the one thing everyone wants and conflict resolves.