What I have been increasingly aware of as 2019 drew to a close, is how little genuine connection I experience, especially during holidays. Despite the world-wide web which is supposed to connect us in ways that better the world, I experience just the opposite.
I dislike opening my email anymore. On New Year’s Eve, I received
- 35 solicitations for money … all from worthy causes
- 9 invitations to shop
- 10 messages (mostly GIFs) from people I know, some only casually
- Only 1 personal message from a true, blue friend
On this first morning of 2020, I already received
- 4 more solicitations for money
- 4 invitations to shop
I decided to end the 2019 holidays differently.
As someone who has never mastered the skill of small talk, I invited friends to my home for a New Year’s Eve ritual. I asked them in advance to be thinking about their “Guide Word for the Year.”
Not all of these women knew each other, so I wanted us to introduce ourselves in meaningful ways. The response was more enthusiastic than I anticipated.
- Sharing names and where they live. (I embellished with how long I’ve known them and something about our relationship)
- The spiritual background of my childhood was … (thanks to how Krista Tippett opens her wonderful conversations with the most interesting people)
- The way I express my creativity is …
What a diverse group of women. I learned something new about each of them, some I’ve known for close to 40 years. We all agreed, we connected with each other at a level we rarely experience … heart-felt sharing as Patti named it. We came together in such a profound way, by the end of the introductions, we felt like old friends.
I showed my friends my journal and how I intend to use it in 2020 to help me remember and live with my “Guide Word” more fully. I invited them to do something similar with theirs.
Then, while we imbibed in food and drink, we wrote our “Guide Word” on stones. We gathered again for more heart-felt sharing.
- My word for 2020 is …
- What it means to me is …
One by one we shared and placed our stones on the ritual table.
We lit our candles one by one. “I shine the light of ______ in 2020!”
And as the clock struck midnight, we toasted to 2020 and began making plans for our next gathering. We all agreed that we need more heart-felt connections like these in our lives.