Fall is officially here in the Bay Area and I’m in reflection mode. And it’s not just this past year I’m reflecting upon, but the entirety of my existence.
Perhaps this is part of getting older, or perhaps it’s due in part to all the shifts going on in the universe.
Either way, I think lots of folks are being shifted into the realization that relationships above all else – money, fame and power – are the most important thing in life. And yet despite this realization, for many of us, loving, supportive relationships are hard to come by.
Leaving us feeling lonely, hopeless, and isolated.
I recently watched Amanda Palmer’s The Art of Asking on TED where she describes her early career as the 8 foot tall bride, a living street statue, where everyday she made profound, nonverbal connections with people of all walks of life.
“Every time I encountered someone my eyes would say thank you I see you, and their eyes would say nobody ever sees me, thank you.”
And it was this sense of direct connection with people that she carried into her music career.
So this got me thinking, what if we all take a page from the Amanda Palmer Handbook and just start practicing random closeness with everyone we come into contact with?
And if we did this for 30 days, how might our lives change?
Every day when I go out into the world whether it be the gym, the market, the gas station, I have in the back of my mind “how can I show this person love?”
Think how you can change someone’s life just by asking them about their day, flashing a big smile, or thanking them with sincere gratitude.
Here are a few ways you can get started:
- When dining out, ask your server’s name and use it often. Thank him/her every time they bring you something and tip generously.
- Get to know your local butcher, fish monger, and grocer. You can learn a lot from them. I’m on a first name basis with mine and we always talk about our families and what’s new.
- Let others go first and always hold the door open.
- Randomly ask people out for coffee. Don’t talk about yourself unless prompted. Set aside this time to really engage, listen, and get to know them.
- Smile at people as you walk down the street.
- Send a handwritten thank you or thinking of you note.
What are ways in which you create random connections with others? I’d love to know in the comments below!