Whether or not you’re hitched, this love letter is for you.

Like most people you have a strong desire for intimacy. It’s a connection that fuels us and helps us feel connected in an often isolated world.

While intimacy often implies a romantic relationship, today’s love letter speaks to any intimate relationship whether it be with a family member, dear friend, or close neighbor.

No matter the relationship, intimacy can ONLY be experienced when we slow down enough to connect with and share in the deep joys and sorrows of another or even when simply bearing witness to the wonderment of another human’s existence.

In my private practice I am honored to experience intimate moments, moments of vulnerability and courage quite often. My clients share their challenges, pain, and deep struggles as well as stories of joy, triumph, and success.

Just yesterday a client shared his success in feeling more confident in his body, more empowered to see himself naked in the mirror, and stronger to get back into the sports he once enjoyed.

Intimacy has the potential to bring such Soul Food into our lives.

Quite simply, intimacy feeds us with the joy of human connection from wich all too often we feel starved.

If you feel a lack of intimacy and connection in your life, you’re not alone.

A recent study by sociologists at Duke and the University of Arizona found that, on average, most adults only have two people they can talk to about the most important subjects in their lives — serious health problems, for example, or issues like who will care for their children should they die. And, a staggering one-quarter have no close confidants at all.

Obviously this is important and it has huge implications for short and longer term health.

Loneliness and social isolation have been linked with increased risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality, elevated blood pressure and cortisol, and heightened inflammatory responses to stress.

If intimacy and connection are something you feel lacking in your life then here are 5 practical way to start feeling more connected today.

Five Ways to Increase Intimacy and Connection in Your Life:

1. Connect with yourself
It may seem like odd advice but in order to connect with others you must first feel connected to yourself. If you are able to give yourself love and feel love, it will make it much more likely that you can be truly present and available for connection with someone else.

2. Embrace ordinariness
No matter the relationship – friend, family member, partner, or neighbor – there are times when the fairy-dust of that new relationship will settle. It’s then that we start to discover ordinariness, and we often do everything we can to avoid it. The trick is to see that ordinariness can become the real “juice” of intimacy. The day-to-day sharing of life with others can actually become extraordinary and an opportunity for deep connection.

3. Expand your heart
Nearly everyone on the planet has this one core desire in common: to be happy. And, studies have shown that more important than wealth and status is human connection to helping us achieve that goal of happiness. To create real intimacy, get in touch with the spaciousness of your heart and bring awareness to what is good within you. When you witness this goodness within yourself it becomes easier to see it within others and feel connected with them.

4. Focus on giving love
A lack of connection has the potential to make us graspy and clingy. We start to focus on what we are receiving rather than what we are capable of giving. However, the unintentional outcome of loving others more deeply is that we are loved more deeply. When we find it in ourselves to give more (without giving ourselves away) the result is often more connection.

5. Let go of expectations
At the heart of suffering is expectations. When we put ourselves out there to loved ones and even strangers it’s tempting to have the expectation that our love or efforts will be reciprocated. This gives your power away and makes you dependent on the outside world to fill the void of loving you. Set the intention to connect and act on this intention without expectation. Draw upon your own inner-resources to offer love to yourself when you need it. Then, you can let love come to you instead of putting expectations on what it needs to look like. Keep showing up in this way and true connections with the right people will result.

 

Committed to your health,
Kyle