There can be a natural awkwardness to social interactions – so much so that many of us hide behind technology in an effort to have more curated communication. However, minimizing face-to-face interactions can rob us of the human connection that leads to feelings of fulfillment and belonging. The diminishment of face-to-face communication has created such a shift in the mental and emotional state of our society that it’s now being heavily researched. For example, the Journal of Depression and Anxiety found a link between high usage of social media sites and increased depression, and a study published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology found that social media contributed to fear of missing out, loneliness, anxiety, depression, and issues with self-esteem, autonomy, and self-acceptance.
We’re out of practice when it comes to interacting with the humans standing in front of us. Because this IRL connection is becoming more and more foreign for many of us, it sometimes feels like it takes major planning to make it happen – it has become a much more complicated web than it used to be. But all is not lost.
One of the aspects of our upcoming Attune event we’re most excited about is that it’s giving people an abundance of opportunities to connect person to person. People will feel less alone and more heard in this environment. They’ll find humans they can relate to. The fulfillment of these basic needs, that used to be commonplace but are slipping away, will be fortified. Over four potent days, Attune will allow attendees to revive the dwindling art of human connection.
A key component of reviving this “art,” is through the sleeping arrangements at Attune. While every guest will have a private bedroom and bathroom, many will have the opportunity to share the common spaces in gorgeous homes at Serenbe with fellow attendees. And because many will not know the people they’re sharing these spaces with, it will take courage to commit to showing up, as humans often pull away from the unknown. But for those that say yes to this variety of unknown, extraordinary growth and the fostering of powerful relationships will likely bloom.
There’s so much possibility that comes with sharing spaces with those we’re not familiar with – it offers space for personal expansion, and fosters sharing and residual deep connections. This can be a profound human experience. And I’m not just speaking in hypotheticals. I just returned from a 12-day retreat where I shared a bedroom with two women I had never met. I was hesitant about this living arrangement, but I ended up loving it. I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time. Every time I’ve surrendered to sharing space in a retreat setting, I always end up being paired with the person or people I needed to be paired with. I now trust that it’s all happening for a reason and know that I’m going to be taken care of, and will connect with the people I’m meant to connect with. I stay open, as there’s so much opportunity in every interaction.
In addition, some of my best friends have come from experiences where I had to share space with strangers. We came into the experience with no preconceived notions about one another, and met under conditions that helped us relate because we were all drawn to the retreat or event because something in it called to us. And of course, there’s endless topics of discussion, as your days are filled attending life-changing workshops and classes. It will be no different at Attune – housemates can awake early together and go to a tea ceremony or nature walk, or stay up late sharing what they experienced that day.
There will be so many opportunities for bonding that will likely deepen the impact of the ideas and experiences you’re exposed to at Attune. And, you might be able to deepen the impact of the event for another - maybe you’ll be a key component in someone else having a transformational experience. It’s a lovely reciprocity.
But we rarely think about this when we’re considering cohabitating with strangers, as our minds are often filled with anxiety-ridden what ifs, and other limiting thoughts. But if we can choose to focus on the beautiful potential of sharing space with unknown humans, it’s easier to summon the courage to dive into the experience. And all the while remember that (at least in the case of Attune), you will have private space to journal, cry, meditate, feel, make emotional phone calls, or do anything you like in the serenity of your own space. We also, hope to add an additional layer of comfort by pairing housemates by gender.
So if you’re considering joining us for Attune, or attending another event or retreat that will provide the opportunity to share a living space with others, I encourage you to have a positive anticipation for the experience, as this mindset can keep you out of fear and anxiety. All the while, you can also honor the very natural human resistance that lives in being vulnerable and sharing a space with strangers. So much beauty and relief can arise from leaning into our resistance. For example, one of my most common fears going into this type of situation is rejection – I’m worried the others won’t like me, or vice versa. But when I lean into the knowingness that something good will come from it, I replace some of that resistance with excitement.
If you’re in a situation that has you vacillating about the decision to jump into the adventure of sharing space with strangers, consider these practices and ideas I move through when faced with such a choice.
With all that said, I hope you’re ignited with a burning courage to say yes to a shared experience. A shared experience that’s balanced with alone time and overflowing with opportunities to step out of the technologically-fueled brand of connection we’ve become accustomed to, and retrain ourselves to thrive in face-to-face interactions, especially with those we don’t know.
If you’re now inspired to look further into Attune, but whispers of uncertainty are holding you back, know that our registration form includes space for you to share a bit about yourself and your specific needs. We carefully review this information so we can thoughtfully pair you with individuals who will elevate your experience.
We hope you’ll join us for this beautiful adventure into the wild unknown.
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