3 Core Connections to a Whole and Healthy Life
One of the things that became clear through the M.A.P.P. interviews, was 3 core connections necessary in order to live a fully expressed, whole, and healthy life.
The ways in which we nourish these connections may look differently for each of us, but they are critical to every person’s core needs for well-being and vitality.
1. Connection to Self
I firmly believe that to live out your full potential on any level, you must have a thriving and intentional practice of connecting to, and caring for, yourself.
This encompasses the way you care for your physical body, your emotional health, your mental well-being, and your spirit.
I often get asked by women interested in my courses, whether or not I am a Christian. I am, and though my work through the WellGrounded Life is not explicitly faith-based, there is no doubt that my faith plays a key role in the message I share and the way I guide and support women to health and wellness.
One of the main areas is how I understand our inner life and spirit. When I seek to understand my own spirit more fully, I am also seeking to understand God’s Spirit more fully. I do not see my need for deep connection to my inner self as distinct from my connection to God.
If God dwells within me, then the journey of looking inward is the way in which we can also look toward the Creator and Source of our life.
Caring for your body with true and real nourishment, fresh air, movement, and respect is an extension of caring for your emotional, mental and spiritual well-being — it is all connected. You are not a compartmentalized being and the more you integrate your life, the more all the parts of who you are rise and expand.
2. Connection to Others
The second connection is our connection to others. Our relational health and well-being.
This is the care and feeding of those essential relationships of trust, understanding, love, camaraderie, and honor that we were designed to experience. While no one really needs a research study to prove this point, reams of data confirm that human beings were specifically made to be in relationship with others.
While this plays out differently in each woman’s life (her relationships with her spouse, children, friends, mother, sister, family, and community) all play key roles in either supporting her to thrive and grow — or limiting her full expression. Painful, disrespectful, and shaming relationships are not neutral.
Another common theme that surfaced from the MAPP Gathering interviews was the essential need for an inner tribe, a maternal network. I’ve called this a conspiracy group. Often, these special and binding relationships are the main elements of a resilient and thriving personal life.
3. Connection to Purpose
Finally, is our outward connection to a greater purpose and meaning.
Within each of us, there is a growing, evolving, expansive spirit. Our desire to express ourselves, to be heard and known, and to create meaning from our lives, is a universal experience.
Expressing our creativity, following our passions, pursuing our dreams, and connecting to meaning and purpose in our lives is the third critical connection we make and must nourish.
As a mother, there are seasons when this inner fire is well-satisfied with the tending and raising and loving of our families. For others, the need to extend beyond our role as mothers and contribute and engage in the world in other ways, as well, begins to surface and requires our attention. The way we navigate that path will be ours uniquely, though the exploration of what that roadmap looks like is almost always richer when we can explore it in the context of a loving, supportive network.
These three core needs are always overlapping upon each other.
The only way to distill the calling of your inner creative urges — your passions and purpose — is to have a strong and clear connection and relationship with yourself. And one of the best ways to nourish that connection and clarify your direction is within a circle of relationships that are based on honor, respect, and genuine care so that can safely be who you truly are.
This is the reason I created the MAPP Gathering interview series.
It’s funny… although I belong to a vibrant and supportive faith community, I can still feel lonely at times. Due to the choices that I have made that are different from my friends I find that I have been missing my gf’s and not having the same time available to hang out with them. They have time during the day to work out together, to have coffee dates or ‘brunch’. Since I have chosen to homeschool my kids, I no longer have that time during the day – even a phone chat is difficult with demanding children in the background. So I’ve been feeling lonely and disconnected from friends. : (
I am right there with you:) I homeschool too and it’s been very challenging. Prayers for you!
Kristen, so important even to simply recognize it. We all so deeply need that maternal network in our lives…and when we come to realize something we are lacking- the solutions can begin to make their way into our lives..sometimes in unexpected ways!
I’m working on all three areas. I live in an amazing community with some of the best friends a person could ever have–we support, encourage, and help each other. My purpose is my family, but I’m always adding more–helping at school, with our local parks department, blood donations, etc. The things that are important to me and my family become my purpose. Since becoming a mom 8 yrs ago I’ve felt a HUGE disconnect with “self”, and am finally, just this year, beginning to listen to my body, eat healthier, exercise, and meditate. I’m still not there 100% yet, but I’m working on it. Love your posts!
Love to hear you are putting focus on the area you most feel is under-nourished. Our sweet spot of harmony is never completely “found” it is always a responding to our needs…sounds like you are hearing a need and moving toward meeting it!
I loved this Lisa. I think you hit it dead on with all three areas. I love that each of these things is uniqe to all of us, yet connected for everyone. Great stuff.
Thank you Kathyrn!
Thank you for this post and for the message about your faith and how connecting with your inner self is also connecting with God. Sometimes as a Christian I feel…this is only my thinking…no one’s fault…but that when I try and connect with myself or take care of myself that I am being selfish, worshiping self, or being “new age” and it’s not appropriate. But I have been suffering for lack of self-care! I am on a new discovery to try and find health and balance and time for myself. I need to care for myself without letting things become an idol over the one who gave them to me. He gave us wonderful healthy foods, vibrant and complex minds, and unique souls created for his good works. Thank you for your encouragement and all that you do. I am a homeschooling mom as well and can relate with Kristen. It’s hard to find that time to be with other women.
Mmm, yes, Becky- I think we can sometimes confuse that spiritually or even simply in the journey of motherhood when self-sacrifice for our children can actually mean we aren’t the mothers we truly want to be because we are trying to give from a dry well.