I am finally writing my book about “Touch!” The word “touch” suddenly seems to have negative connotations, so I am using the phrase “Physical Connection.” This book has been in process for a few years. When I was giving presentations around Minnesota and California to women’s groups on how ‘Healthy Touch Connects Communities,’ women became inspired to connect more strongly with others around them, and communicate more around touch-with people they wanted connect with as well as those they observed were not connected. They also thought about different ways to speak to their children about touch. Many people told me I should write a book, and I thought about it…for over two years.
The time is here. But as I talk to people about how they connect, the common theme is always around communication. That’s a big subject! I remember hiking in Sweden, and I got lost in a small town while I was trying to take a back way to the grocery store from an art park.
I walked for about 30 minutes before seeing ANYONE, so when I saw a woman walking towards me on the street, I was extremely excited. I asked her if she could point me to the store (in my really poor Swedish) and she indicated that she was deaf and couldn’t hear me.
What happened next still bothers me. Instead of pausing for a minute, and trying to communicate using the few signs I do know and spelling the rest, I shrugged my shoulders, made a gesture as if I was SO disappointed she didn’t understand me, and went on my way.
SERIOUSLY? I just ran into a beautiful person who cannot hear, and instead of taking the time to try to communicate and say hello and step into her world, I shrugged her off because it was such an inconvenience for me to not be able to talk to her while lost in a foreign land? I can make all the excuses in the world about why I didn’t try to sign (first being that I was thinking so hard about how to talk in Swedish, I forgot that I knew some basic sign language), but the reality is I didn’t stop and pause and think about the best way to connect and communicate.
Another time I froze in communication where it could have made an impact was when I arrived in the Lake District in England. I was walking to my hostel with my laptop and my rucksack after an exhausting day of travel, and saw four teenagers ahead on the sidewalk throwing around drink bottles and chasing each other. Not wanting to get caught up in the splatter, I moved toward the road and tried to sneak past them. One of the girls stopped me and asked for help. She said the two boys were bullying her, and wouldn’t give her and her female friend their drinks back. I gave the boys A LOOK and they returned the bottles. She then shared with me that her friend was ignoring her so she could chat with the boys, and allowed the bullying to happen. In retrospect, perhaps I should have given them all a bit of a lecture about treating each other with respect, especially the girl who was ignoring her friend. But I didn’t know what to say at the moment, as I was caught up in the tragedy of the teen years and how people treat each other. I wonder to this day why I didn’t, in that moment, tell her she deserved to be treated like that, tell her friend not to treat her that way either if she was a true friend, and to tell the boys to treat the girls with respect, especially when they say “STOP.”
Both are lessons, and remind me that no matter how well we think we communicate, there is always room to grow. I would love to hear your stories about communication and physical connection, and how you use these to strengthen your connection within your own communities-both large and small. If you are open to being interviewed for the book, please contact me HERE.
Moms of Pre-Teen or Teen Girls- Join me and my friend Alissa for a fun, powerful, interactive, experiential workshop. Explore how to:
- Create a stronger bond and connection through a deep respect of one another.
- Clearly communicate while focusing on what’s great already.
- Learn how to set boundaries that feel good and give voice to both of you.
- Learn tools that empower your relationship and keep you connected now and for years to come.
- Our event partner, Athleta, will be giving away a raffle prize package
- an hour in the Athleta store with their stylist
- a $50 ShopCard!
- a Starbucks beverage of your choice while you are with the stylist!
Follow THIS LINK for more information and tickets.
I look forward to hearing from all of you.