“And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee….”
~ John Donne
Today is the 50th anniversary of the death of John F. Kennedy. To be honest, I don’t remember his death, even though I was old enough at the time. For me and my family, that was around the time that we arrived in Jamaica. Perhaps the adventure of settling in to a totally foreign environment had more immediacy than the news. But it didn’t hit me until this week that my good friend Norman who was born a few days before the assassination has been carrying that connection all his life. One of his middle names is Kennedy (hence his close friends and family know him only as Ken).
Bad connections can make us crazy. Nowadays we get very irritated when phone calls start ‘breaking up’ and we can’t maintain communication. But do we notice when we start to lose other connections, when other lines start breaking up? Connections need work, and if we are not careful they will slip apart. We often get caught up in the treadmill of our life, come home exhausted after a long day and collapse. If we don’t work on our connections and communications to our circle of supportive friends and family, they may be missing when we need them.
How is your connection to your community? Are you aware of those in need around you? Do you know your neighbors? Are there events that are going on that you could get involved in, to feel as if you belong? My trip to Pahokee reminded me of the feeling of living in a small community where people know each other. Every trip to Jamaica reminds me of that, of calling out ‘Good morning’ to people as you pass them by. I miss that, living in the populated city. Have you ever started up a conversation with the person in the line at the supermarket to pass the time? We have become so suspicious of strangers that we have lost our sense of community, our sense of belonging.
Have you connected with Nature recently? She is magnificent and amazing. In South Florida we forget that we are only minutes away from the beach and even if you don’t like the sand and getting wet, just sitting and watching the waves flow in and out; feeling the breeze on your skin and the sun on your face (don’t forget the sunscreen!) can help to restore your internal balance. We live a short ride away from the Everglades, our unique treasure. The swamps and hammocks and cypress trees; the egrets and herons and storks, not to mention the alligators give you an opportunity to marvel at the world we live in. Yet so often we stay focused on our mundane life, not taking a moment to stop and admire the world we live in.
How is your connection with your Higher Power – however you conceive that/Him/Her/ to be? Are you doing those things to help you feel the support of that Higher Power, are you practicing your religion, your spirituality in a way that helps you to feel lifted above the everyday worries of life? Whether it is the rituals of a religious practice, or a peaceful meditation, your connectedness to your own personal Spirituality can sustain you and give you a sense of perspective when going through turbulent times.
I listened to an interview with Eve Ensler this week. She is the lady famous for writing the powerful ‘Vagina Monologues’. She spoke of her connection to her body. She had not paid attention to it until she almost died of cancer. Often we go through life having little or no connection with the body that carries us around. Until it betrays us. Illness, pain, pregnancy, these conditions make us suddenly aware of our bodies, and that is when we notice our connection. But we need to be aware of our body every day, paying attention to what it is telling us, taking care of it, appreciating everything it has gone through to get us to this place we find ourselves. When we hear of the sudden death of a friend, we wonder what happened. Was he taking care of himself? Were there signs that he had overlooked? This body will not last forever, but we need to do what we can to nourish. Some people pay more attention to their car than their bodies! Yet it is our bodies that we want to have the most mileage on, in the end!
And how is your connection with your inner space; that place of connection with your spirituality. What is your meaning and purpose in life? How is your quest to attain your highest potential? Are you living those things that you value? Sometimes we need to find some space and time to stop and re-evaluate: what are the things that are truly important to us? Are we living for ourselves, or for the expectations of others? When you live your purpose it brings inner peace and contentment, even when you may be lacking the material things that society insists you are supposed to have. Perhaps it is time to get involved in a project that helps others, that reminds you of the challenges that others face. It can connect you to the suffering of others and allow you to see that you can make a difference.
This weekend I hope you can ponder on your connections and your connectedness. I have been reading about the link between ‘connectedness’ to these aspects of your life and your spiritual and physical health. When we keep apart from others; when we separate from our community; when we fail to embrace the beauty of nature; when we don’t celebrate our connection to our Higher Power and our own Inner Space, we risk illness and suffering.
I hope you have a wonderful time reawakening connections, and I hope that it leads to magical ‘aha’ moments as you see the connections in your life.
One Love Family!