Maybe you have 200 contacts on Linkedin, 500 friends on Facebook and 30 people following you on Twitter (or “Twerps”). This is what I call the social doughnut. This doughnut is the sweet, quick rush of sugar that has become the foundation and staple of our social diet. It is a brain rush when we get a message on Facebook, someone re-tweets one of our genius-like insights, or we receive friend requests and “join my network” invitations. The doughnut represents the social connections that we crave but are not long-lasting or completely satisfying. A few hours later we are hungry again! The center of the doughnut, in many cases, is painfully empty or filled with fear.
The lack of real, significant relationships show up in our perceived level of well-being. In Well Being: The Five Essential Elements by Tom Rath and Jim Harter, their data suggest that:
- To have a thriving day, we need six hours a day socializing with friends, family and colleagues (this time includes work, home, phone, e-mail, and other communications).
- According to a Harvard study, our well-being is dependent on our entire network.
- Even your friend’s friend’s friend influences your well-being.
- Proximity matters.
This gives new meaning to the concept of “six degrees of separation”!
As I began thinking about it, I realized that it may be the intention of the socializing that makes that difference. If I have the intention of finding souls that are important in my spiritual journey, classmates in my course or learning and individuals that need me for their growth, socializing takes on new meaning. If I am looking for someone to meet my needs and make me happy, my intention has nothing to do with mutual growth. However, if I consider each social interaction as an opportunity for spiritual growth and awareness, I immediately feel a very different level of energy and excitement.
Who is in the center of your doughnut, in the core of your life?
Relationships are the Holy Spirit’s laboratories in which he brings together people who have maximal opportunity for mutual growth. Marianne Williamson
- How do you find the ultimate lab partner(s)?
- How does the ultimate lab partner(s) find you?
- What force in the universe brings you together?
Step 1: Pick your course of study.
- Decide what you are here to do and learn in this life. What passions drive you to explore and give you pleasure as well as peace?
- What areas of study use your strengths?
- Where are you being lead?
Step 2: Show up to class!
- Show up in life authentically.
- Show up ready to learn and curious.
- Show up at the right time and place with energy and awareness.
You cannot, but be in the right place at the right time. A Course in Miracles
Step 3: Attract a study group.
- Get to know your classmates.
- Who are you naturally attracted to in the class?
- Trust your intuition.
Step 4: Pick your lab partner.
- Go into this experience knowing that you may experience serendipity.
- Let the universe expose itself to you.
- Know that the ultimate lab partner for you exists.
- Know that you have been prepared for each other.
- Do what it takes to find the portal that allows you to enter the lab.
- Establish the sacred container required for mutual growth.
- Honor the opportunity for this experience with love.
Thank you for entering into my classroom today, showing up at my study group and making yourself available for our mutual growth today – you are at the center of my doughnut!