I want to inspire you to take a look at why you hang out with who you hang out with. Whether you're a hermit by nature or a social butterfly, what you may uncover here could reveal another way of looking at people. You'll see how you can truly tap into the expansive power of your kindred spirits.
Why Do We Connect?
What do you believe is the purpose of connection? When I ruminate on the meaning of the phrase “hang out," it becomes clear that connection is about me spending my time with people and what we do together in that time. “Hang out” also implies being relaxed and friendly . . . which only happens when we feel safe and appreciated. This tells me that, as I mentioned in part one on this topic, humans need each other! The bond between us is vital to not only survive but also to thrive.
However, here's the next level: if you connect with kindred spirits solely to reinforce who you already are, you're missing out big time on what's possible for spiritual expansion. Yes, kindred spirits fulfill our need to be honored for our authentic and unique self. Yet, ask yourself, what's happening in your circle to nurture even deeper authenticity for everyone?
What Experiences Do You Have with Your Kindred Spirits?
Common answers for traditional belief systems might be “church picnic,” “open mosque day,” or “shabbat lunch.” For non-traditional paths, maybe the answer would be “summer solstice celebration,” or “Samhain.” Plus, there are learning experiences in the form of classes or retreats. All of these experiences are centered around a common spiritual theme or purpose. These are the gatherings where typically everyone's reinforcing who you already are.
What if you did something with your kindred spirits that asked you to step outside of your comfort zone? What new activities could you all do together?
On the safer side, there are classes or discussion groups to share opposing or alternate beliefs and perspectives. On the scarier side, there's always skydiving! Doing this type of activity together stimulates new topics and concerns. Not only will it take you out of your comfort zone, the experience can be super fun, bonding you even more!
Objectivity and Love
As we venture out of our comfort zone with our kindred spirits, we'll need objectivity. Objectivity is the act of being impartial and fair. It's also described as:
the state of mind that holds no bias
sees all perspectives being expressed
requires a detachment from our own opinions and beliefs
the state where it's obvious that we're all "one"
the place of love
The God Force is non-judgmental. When we relate with others from this frame of mind, we can truly “see” each other. It's what Stephen Covey meant when he said, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood." The more you can align yourself with objectivity—love in its highest form—the more connected you can be to the Divine Within.
I'm a Hermit and Prefer to Be Alone
When it comes to spiritual growth, being with kindred spirits is just as important as spending time alone—even for the paths of solitary Wiccans. I'm a hermit and I get it. However, I've learned that the effort of moving past this is truly worth the effort!
If you're like me, I'm most comfortable in small gatherings with one-on-one connection. They allow me to listen deeply to everyone and really get to know them. While this is very satisfying for me, it's my comfort zone. To stretch myself a bit, I always make sure to regularly reach outside of my “inner circle” of kindred spirits.
One way I did this was consciously choosing a husband who's more social than I am—I've learned a lot from him over the last 34 years! When I'm out with my kindred spirits, I apply lessons I've learned from him. When we're out in public, yakking away, I keep an eye out for people around our group that seem interested in what we're talking about. Then I invite them to join our conversation if they choose. The results are usually surprising and delightful!
Hermits in Transformation
Since I'm a hermit, it won't surprise you that the people who are drawn to me as a coach or spiritual teacher are also hermits. Many of the participants in the Spiritual Satisfaction program consider themselves challenged and blocked by being mostly internal people. Many describe themselves as highly sensitive. This can get in the way of spiritual growth. So, we have to stretch ourselves—enough to grow, but not so far as to become paralyzed. It helps you in this stretch to remember that finding and connecting with kindred spirits speeds up your pace of spiritual growth.
Some of the ways that the Spiritual Satisfaction program participants have stretched themselves:
Utilizing my Facebook secret groups “to see how they can be made into a kindred spirit collection.”
Moving past limited freedom of movement by “checking out a neighborhood group, like even a block watch, to meet new people.”
“Preparing for the drain that comes from being with new people. Before an event, be fully rested and look to my inner guidance to prepare.”
Dealing with fears by “learning how to behave in the face of conflict in a way that's in alignment with my values”.
“Learning how to press my emotional 'pause button' when my ego feels threatened.”
Lowering fear of failure by “talking to one person outside of work or home and observe my inner reaction. Use it to practice getting into the zone of objectivity. No one but me will know how I'm doing with it.”
I'm a Social Butterfly and Love People
Are you the life of the party? Excellent! Then you're ready to ask these questions:
How diverse is your circle of kindred spirits?
How much do they stretch you versus reinforce who you already are?
Who could you invite into the group that would expose you to different points of view?
What about that person would you find particularly hard to be around?
When We Know Better, We Do Better
There's so much I could write on this topic! This is thankfully due to the current and ongoing research being done on our human need for connection. Consider Tal Ben-Shahar’s Happiness Studies Academy, and Judith Glasser’s Conversational Intelligence. The more we learn about ourselves as a species, the better we'll get at bridging our human divide that's rooted in fear and survival.
My desire with this two-part article was to break open your view on human connection, at least a little bit. Did I succeed? What can you do this week to tap into the power of your kindred spirits? How possible is it that your shift to the next level using objectivity could speed up the evolution of human consciousness?
Next: I turn my attention to the second principle of Spiritual Satisfaction: Devotion. I describe this as the use of the heart to talk with the God Force. It's about creating heart energy that aids meditation and attunement.
Ready, Set, Action!
As always, I invite you to explore these topics in your own unique way, by yourself or with others. Share with me about how it's going and what blocks you're running into. You can use the comment section below, or for more privacy, email me at [email protected]
Written by Laura Abernathy