Let’s face it y’all, most of the blog posts that you will find on my website are going to predominantly be health and fitness related. While on the surface this one isn’t overtly “health & fitness” it is 110% connected to our health and fitness. The power of connection is a phenomenon that our culture is quickly losing and one that is highly underrated when it comes to you being your best you.
Why am I writing about this at this moment? Current situation is the following…I’m on a evening flight from Dallas to Orange County returning from spending the last 6 days in the city of New Orleans surrounded by nothing but a $#i! ton of people. I’ll be honest, I usually HATE stuff that involves a ton of people. Despite what most think of me, I’m actually an introvert at heart. I’m currently sitting on a plane secretly happy that 1) there is no one sitting in the middle seat next to my aisle seat and 2) the lady sitting next to the window has no desire to talk to me. I’m an outgoing introvert, but an introvert nonetheless. The definition of introvert is “_______________” and describes me perfectly. I am outgoing though, which means I have no problem taking the attention of an audience in a room if need be. Whether it be to break an awkward silence amongst a small crowd or speak to a large crowd on a stage, I can be THAT GIRL. That being said…I love my alone time. If given the choice to go out to dinner followed by something or staying home, I usually choose the latter. This surprises most, but my closest friends and family can vouch for this fact.
We were not created to live a lonely existence devoid of human interaction. We were meant to be connected to people on a deeper level that most are missing out on nowadays. When I say connected, I mean connected in a variety of ways, it can be as small as you starting a real conversation with the person taking your order that goes above the “how are you” verbiage that most partake in those scenarios. Personally, I like to try and make that person truly smile with my words when I am on the purchasing side. While I believe that those small connections have big potential power to alter someone’s day for good, I believe that the BIG CONNECTIONS are the ones that can potentially empower you to become your BEST SELF!
Those “big connections” are the connections we make with people that are more than just a passer-by in our lives. Those people of course include our friends and family, but also include people that we work with, we socialize with (both virtually and in person), and the unexpected relationships that come into your life without a clear purpose. Every time one of those people is in front of us in our present state, we have two choices. First choice is to allow that immediate interaction be one of a superficial nature and is what I believe most of us do. We are there talking to a person but our mind is thinking about what they just saw on social media or the person passing instead of actually listening and CONNECTING with that person. We are distracted by the text message that just came through on our iWatch or the thoughts of something fleeting that isn’t remotely related to what is in front of you at the moment. Essentially…people that are presently in front of you are NOT ACTUALLY PRESENT. The second choice is the harder choice, it’s the choice to be completely present in the moment. It is the only way that we can actually have deeper connections and THIS IS WHERE THE POWER IS!
Connecting with another human being on a level that is anywhere below the surface opens up channels inside of us that I feel like have been closed off for a while. Those channels that have become closed off because of all of the current stresses that life in 2017 throws at us daily…social media & all of it’s evils, ever increasing job stresses that lead to a vast majority hating what they do 5 out of every 7 days, unhealthy relationships that are based on superficiality, and the list goes on. You know exactly what I’m talking about, right? I know I’m not the only one that has found myself surrounded by a $#i! ton of people on a daily, yet still feel alone. When that happens I want you to think “my channels are closed and I gotta open them up again!”
I can hear it now…“How do you open up those thangs, Lauren?” Ready? It’s a big one so I hope you are paying attention. The answer is so easy, yet it’s not because it takes us going against our human nature. Our human nature is all about survival right? If we didn’t have the innate drive to take care of ourselves first, we wouldn’t have lasted this long as a species. BUT…here’s the kicker, in order to start a true deep connection with another human being we have to start intentionally thinking of the other person and what current needs they may have in their life. The only way we can do that is to LISTEN MORE & TALK LESS!
New Orleans was a business trip for me with my health & fitness coaching job. Every year we have this massive convention in a major city where anywhere from 25K – 30K coaches from the US & Canada convene to learn and come together for fellowship. This was my second year to go to “Summit”and it was TOTALLY DIFFERENT compared to last year. Last year I was a new coach of only 8 months and didn’t know what to expect. I’ll be honest…12 months ago I felt like I was lost in this sea of people dressed in mostly stretchy pants, bright colored workout gear and name tags that touted all of their accomplishments in their own businesses. I saw a ton of parallels between the Zumba world and this coaching world after having attended the infamous “ZINCON” (Zumba Instructor Network Convention) the three previous summers. Lots of similarities were both good and bad, while I won’t harp on the bad, I will focus on what good I did see that was similar. I saw a ton of people from all over and all walks of life surrounded by other externally similar people who looked to be enjoying the company of the group. I saw a ton of CONNECTED PEOPLE!
I didn’t quite get it last year like I do now. Yes…I love coaching because of what my thoughts, words and actions can do to help empower another person, but the part of coaching that I think I love most is the bond that forms when you are truly helping change other peoples’ lives FOREVER! Last year I kept to choice one mentioned above and did NOT allow myself to connect with my team on a deeper than surface level. This year was 180 degrees in the other direction and ya know what…IT WAS A GAME CHANGER. Over the last year, I have grown a ton in my own leadership skills and feel like it was the foundation that needed to be laid on my team of coaches. Team FITz coaches were who I desired to be with this time around and it all goes back to what I try to live by daily, which is listening to others and meeting them where they need me to meet them. I am by no means a perfect leader of my team, but I feel like the POWER OF CONNECTION amongst all of my coaches had everything to do with me learning how to open up those closed channels and RE-CONNECT with what really matters in life…PEOPLE!
This is a bit longer than I had intended but I think it is an important one. I want to challenge you to evaluate your own life and look at what channels you have closed off for whatever reason(s) and try your best to OPEN THOSE BAD BOYS BACK UP AGAIN. Your overall health will improve the moment you realize the power that your connection with others really has. I am SO BLESSED to be the coach that each of my coaches personally chose to be their mentor in this business of health & fitness coaching. The bonds that I have formed with these people are real and life changing. My cup runneth over after spending the last week with them and I can’t wait until our first ever Team FITz Coach Retreat this Fall in my new home of sunny SoCal! THIS IS WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT!!! Now…go start reconnecting and let me know when your cup is refilled from that connection!!!