Warning: You might need to hug someone after reading this

Namaste.

Yesterday I had the privilege of meeting one of my online friends, who also happens to be my accountability partner at Soul Shakers. I have to say, I had the most amazing time with her. We had a strong connection immediately. I already felt close to her during our weekly Skype sessions, but having a chance to be together in real life brouht a whole new meaning to our relationship as partners “and” friends. We talked, we laughed, we opened our hearts, we bonded.

As part of my training to become a Holistic Life coach, I was asked to reflect upon my relationship to Community. Do I have strong bonds with my community? Do I have a support system? Am I thriving within it? Yes, to everything! Absolutely! I have a very busy social life, I’m an active member of my community and I am so fortunate to have so many soul sisters (and a few brothers) whom I love with all my heart, and can always count on their unwavering support. My tribe. I’ve been through some incredibly difficult and dark times recently, and without my sisters, their love, support, kindness and belief in me, it would’ve been almost impossible for me to make the journey back to light, back to life. I can honestly say that comunity is a very strong category in my foundations pyramid.

Between work, studying, home life, family, creative endeavors, leisure moments, and my busy (online) social life, I realized that I have very few connections outside of the online world. Some of those amazing human beings I feel deeply connected to actually live in New York City or nearby in Long Island, Jersey, Upstate, or somewhere not too far. So why are we not connecting IRL? Are we too busy? Or are we simply hiding behind the computer screen? What are we afraid of? Connecting on a physical level as well? Showing up with our vulnerabilities and without any of the filters that we find so easily available when typing our emotions away? I don’t know, maybe a little bit of all of the above. But after meeting up with my partner Ayo yesterday, I got a real understanding of how very much I need that connection in the real world, in order to really thrive within community. I had already sensed her energy over Skype, but as soon as she walked towards me at cafe where we met, I felt the very air change, her energy so incredibly warm, loving, positive, upbeat and genuine. The hug we shared was positively electrifying during that brief moment when we where enmeshed within each others energetic fields. In her company, laughing and sharing stories, I couldn’t help but vibrating higher, just as she was. I felt happy at a cellular level. My heart was singing. I learned so much from her and also about myself during those two blissful hours we spent together.

I experience a lot of those feelings within my online community, of course. But what’s missing is that joyous moment of the physical embrace, to connect on that level as well. The eye to eye contact, the laughter that erupts constantly, that incredible exchange of energy that is so much stronger when you are face to face.

I’m making a commitment to myself. To allow that kind of connection to have a much more important place in my life, to go high on my list of priorities. To make the time to go out and enjoy the company of those whom I care so much for, online, to bridge the gap that the computer screen creates between us. To show up without any filters, with an open heart and no fear that my vulnerabilities will be more readily accessible. This is me, showing up for myself. Raw, honest, open hearted, vulnerable, unabashedly “me”.

You there, you know who you are, you who live close by, I’m making space for you in my life. We’ll be spending time together soon!

Love and bright blessings

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5 thoughts on “Warning: You might need to hug someone after reading this

  1. I resonate so much with your experience of meeting your online friend "IRL" for the first time! 🙂 I met my best friend Jennifer Hofmann online back in 2008. We started being "accountabilibuddies" for each other in once a week work sessions over the phone in 2009, and that turned into weekly chats about everything from business strategies to personal quandaries to great books to spiritual quests. And then, in 2012, we got to meet in person–and it was SO. FANTASTIC. We had such a wonderful time together that we've decided to meet up in person at least once a year, even though we a couple thousand miles apart from one another.I am so grateful for the technology that opens the door to meeting so many people online that I might never have the chance to meet otherwise… and am also so grateful for those times when I get to turn online connections into in-person connections! 🙂

  2. Jade,I have very few connections IRL and have been working to build community for myself online, initially through my blog and then via other social media tools. As my online community has grown and my healing and recovery journey has progressed, I am finding it easier to reach out and step out of my IRL isolation.I recently realized that I grew up with an attachment disorder that has impaired and impacted all of my relationships: familial, filial, and otherwise. Starting off with online connections, which seemed less risky and problematic than the IRL ones, has given me encouragement, strength, and motivation to be more intentional in my offline life.Blessings,Kina

  3. This is such a beautiful post, Jade. And I'm SO happy that you and Ayo took that brave step to show up authentically and meet each other exactly where you are right now. You are both such bright lights with such sweet souls, and I'm thrilled that you're in each other's lives. Lots of love to you!

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