This year, various Skilled Helpers collaborated to bring you meaningful content. The project is coming to an end and for the last collaborative article, I asked the members to share their perspectives on the topic Connection…
The Skilled Helpers Collaborative
The Skilled Helpers Collaborative is an initiative aiming to bring meaningful content to you. Various skilled helpers from different backgrounds sharing their perspectives regarding a specific topic. They don’t get to read each other’s contribution before publication and thus don’t influence each other to make sure, you as a reader can enjoy a variety of insights.
We hope you enjoy this last collaborative article!
On behalf of the SHC, wishing you a peaceful end of 2021 and a splendid beginning of the new year. And even though this project has come to an end, don’t hesitate to connect with one (or more) of the Skilled Helpers.
On a personal note: grateful for the amazing, meaningful content provided:
Thank you; Rika, Sukeshi, Claire, Sujit, Kally and Mathias!
Would you like more similar content in 2022? Give us a like ; -)
We need connection
There are many different cultures on our globe which have led to various perspectives on the right way to survive, evolve and even connect. Unfortunately, it also resulted in people believing there’s only one way to do so and closed minds to differences on an individual and global level.
The perfect way does not excist.
We are part of nature and just as a seed needs water, light, warmth and healthy soil to grow, we need similar conditions. We also need water, light, food, and a healthy environment. The difference to a seed, as the unique species we are, we need one and another to survive. Before we can even think of evolving.
The uniqueness of us humans lies in our brain. As far as we know, today, we are the only ones ‘who know they know’. This consciousness has led to the various perspectives in our many cultures. It also entails a huge responsibility, since we discovered we have to do better to make sure we all, our planet and everything on it, can keep on thriving.
Regardless your beliefs, to be able to live your life, you first will have to stay alive.
Combining ancient wisdom and modern knowledge, I believe is important. As also sharing stories and experiences. When life gets hard, leaning on each other will help us move forward. After many years of gathering information and studying various topics, I concluded we humans have three main purposes in life: to Survive, Evolve, Connect. Although it is possible to survive on your own, evolving on a personal level important…
To thrive we, individually and globally, need connection.
These days we have the option to connect on- and offline. It made my virtual home possible, through which I am able to connect globally more easily. Isn’t it wonderful to use our virtual world to share perspectives and learn from our neighbors? Hence, also the creation of the Skilled Helpers Collaborative and I truly hope you have enjoyed the content all members have contributed this year.
Stay Connected ; -)
— Skilled Helpers Collaborative —
by Sukeshi Pandit Malhotra
“Man is by nature a social animal; an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human. Society is something that precedes the individual. Anyone who either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient as not to need to, and therefore does not partake of society, is either a beast or a God” – Aristotle
While the above quote may seem like an extreme view but it sums up the importance of inter-relationships and connection for humans. Connection is one of the most basic and instinctive of human-needs. We cannot survive as an isolated entity… we are deeply intertwined with everything in our universe – nature, humans, animals, birds and inanimate objects. Everything we interact with influences us just as we influence it in turn. The strength and depth of the connection determines the degree of influence and the tenacity & endurance of the bond. These interlinkages are like the neurons in the human brain…the more you nurture a specific connection the deeper it takes roots. And no matter how good or beneficial a connection may be, if it does not get focus and attention, it slowly withers away.
What we seek through connections
We try to actualize the true meaning and purpose of our life through our connections. Each connection fulfills specific human needs. A personal connection may provide a sense of security while a professional connection may help work towards our goals, a social connection may help us unwind, while an ideological connection makes us become part of communities and work towards greater good. Every connection nurtures us in some way.
Some of the things we look for through our connections are:
Personal fulfillment – seeking love and companionship – At the core level we seek connections from the people closest to us to feel loved, to feel secure, to experience companionship and joy, to have people to share our life with – a connection which is fulfilled through our inner circle – our family/close friends.
Professional growth – Our work place relationships where we seek recognition, acceptance, cordiality and fulfilment; the most important elements in these relationships are respect, appreciation, openness, trust, team spirit, good work ethic; work place connections are instrumental in our growth and career.
Social well-being – We cultivate friendships, nurture them so that we have people besides our inner circle to share our life with; we normally gravitate towards people who share similar interests, who understand where we are coming from, who accept and support us.
Ideological connections – These are connections, real as well as virtual which we forge with groups and organizations that represent our belief systems and ideologies. Common causes and working towards a unified world view creates the bonds. Because these connections are mainly based on shared beliefs, sometimes when our values and belief systems change with time, we may feel a disconnect and drift away from these connections.
Social gratification – The much-maligned social media connections which thrive through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, chat groups & other platforms; Many of these connections are superficial – a collection of likes which serve as a means of instant gratification to boost the self-image; or to drive away loneliness or to get a shot of dopamine when you find appreciation and resonance.
But there are times when you find real meaningful connections online which add value to your life.
Global virtual connections
The word ‘connection’ underwent a complete transformation and acquired new significance for the human race in the last couple of years with the pandemic onslaught and home confinement. Many of us facing isolation and loneliness reached out online and found meaningful connections which brought hope, joy and companionship in bleak times. As a personal transformation coach at the cusp of a new journey, I can say that I would never have grown as much as I did and learnt as much as I did, had I not found the online connections to share and learn with. The way we connect and share with others will only keep evolving and virtual connections will play a critical role in the future.
Allow yourself to be You so I can be Me
For me the things that matter most in creating meaningful connections whether online or offline, are, Honesty (authenticity), Openness, Trust and not feeling judged by the other person or judging. The moment we allow ego to come between us, the connection is broken…ego makes you feel threatened and unsafe with the other person.
As an introvert it was never easy for me to forge connections while growing up. I took my time opening up or reaching out to people, but when I did make the effort or something clicked, it was connection at a deep level and lifelong friendships. I remember being over sensitive and getting hurt easily because I had a certain set of expectations which went unmet …but in hind sight they were simply unrealistic expectations.
Over the years maneuvering through life and relationships, I have come to view connections in a more ‘no strings attached’ way. We are all on our own evolutionary journey towards a common end goal only the routes and the mile stones are different. As we cross each other while traversing our respective paths, we can reach out, acknowledge, appreciate, assist, share a laugh and some good times with our co-passengers as and when possible. For that is what makes this a fun ride. Let’s not put conditions on how long a particular connection will last. Let’s keep our heart and mind open to whoever is ready to share their life with us for whatever duration. And let us be ok to say goodbye if and when the time to move on comes. There will be some who will keep us company till the very end, who will be instrumental in facilitating our growth, while some others who will move on without much impact. Be grateful for whatever we shared with them and let go.
What is important is to not walk with blinkers on, ignoring the chance to reach out for fear of getting hurt or rejected. Instead seek out with your heart and eyes open, with childlike curiosity to explore the unknown fearlessly.
Connect with Sukeshi Pandit Malhotra, Personal Mastery & Transformation Coach, via sukeshipm @ gmail.com
— Skilled Helpers Collaborative —
Connection – Creativity – The Art of Connecting the Dots
by Claire Rajan
As revealed by my experiences, the words that best describe the word “Connection” are Creator/Creative/Creativity.
The word creativity is sometimes referred to as the “art of connecting the dots”. I want to use this article to highlight the importance of creativity in human life. Without creativity and the ability to make meaningful connections into the multi-dimensional nature of our human existence, our personal lives can remain fixed, restricted, and limited.
Human multi-dimensionality can be perceived in that – We are simultaneously physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, conscious, subconscious, superconscious, pure-awareness, individualistic, relational, personal, transpersonal, mystical, and universal.
We are also “Creators” and “Co-creators” of our reality. At any given moment, we are seamlessly accessing and moving within our multi-dimensional presence, shaping our reality; by using our ability to create, manifest and connect dots. Unfortunately, we might do so in a habitual way without self and situational awareness.
(Human – TO – Human) connectedness can be energetically comprehended as (Multi-dimensional – TO – Multi-dimensional) connectedness.
As I have come to understand it, we each connect to one another within different dimensions. When we experience the feeling of connecting to another person in a way where we are heard, felt, and understood, it is as if there is coherence, a dimensional resonance. This we sometimes refer to as “Like-mindedness”.
I can safely say that too many people today are lost to their Creator Essence. I say so without any intention to pass judgment. I have been there. Even today, as if by habit, I tend to visit that space often. Many times, a day.
I practically spent 35 years of my life unknown to myself. Until the time my Life flipped over and quite mysteriously (for lack of a better word to explain what might have occurred), I was taken on a journey of self-discovery. The journey continues to date, revealing the multi-dimensional nature of my Creative existence for which I am truly grateful.
I have written below my ruminative thought based on my experience of NOT knowing myself as a Creator – Creative – possessing Creativity. I write these thoughts to convey the internal struggles I faced when the words Creator – Creative – Creativity presented themselves and which for a long time made NO-SENSE.
It is famously said,
We are but Star Dust – Carl Sagan
A star, a dot in the Creative Cosmos
A dot in the hand of the Divine Creator
A dot carrying the Creator Essence
I am not able to create
I look with wonder at those who express and shine in their creativity
I am fragmented and disconnected
I see myself as helpless
I sense myself as hopeless
I feel like a million pieces
I think myself aimless
I believe I am worthless
Why don’t the dots that connect my life make any sense?
What am I not seeing?
What am I not sensing?
What am I not feeling?
What am I not intuiting?
What am I not thinking?
Why do I repeat as if I have no choice?
Am I disconnected?
Who am I within?
What does that even mean?
Am I able to connect?
What am I supposed to connect?
Connect to what?
Why am I so disconnected?
Where has essence of my creativity gone?
So many questions, no satisfactory answers…
The Billboard that no one is paying attention to reads loud and clear
Do I look within?
Do the answers lie within?
What questions do I ask so I can get the answers from within?
How disconnected am I from the source of my creativity?
How disconnected am I from the source of my essence?
How can I reconnect?
I am here,
I am ready,
To connect the dots
To restore my true creative essence
But all I can hear is a tiny voice within me that says – Tune In.
All I can say in my disconnection is,
Is this it?!.
As it stands, the world we live in is predominantly focused on productivity and materialism with the prolific manifestation of desire-driven products and services.
It is as if understanding the multi-dimensional nature of human existence is systematically being destroyed, fragmented, and made unavailable. There is hardly any focus given to inner guidance or looking within to find answers. Even what is available within the framework of organized religion and spirituality has its problems, leaving people lost and languishing.
This notion of being a creative person is one of the least understood ideas. The systems to teach and guide future generations are built around restricted thinking and neglecting to keep the learning human-centric. As a result, people grow up disconnected, unable to connect the dots of their own life and focus primarily on externals.
There is plenty of work to be done in reorienting people to see themselves as connected within themselves, interconnected with each other, and connected to Life.
The more we can understand human life through the lens of multi-dimensionality and creativity, the more open we become; allowing the creative force of Life to flow through us. In allowing Life, we give Life permission to guide us and help us connect dots in new, engaging, and novel ways that tap into the full spectrum of our multi-dimensional existence.
In my experience, the better I get at creatively connecting the dots, the more I am of value to myself and others both within my physicality as a human being and energetically as a multi-dimensional universal being.
Connect with Claire Rajan, Life Coach & Enneagram Coach @ www.clairerajan.com
As this collaborative comes to an end, I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to Patty Wolters for upholding the essence of meaningful connection. Her friendship and perseverance in keeping me part of this collaborative is deeply cherished. The opportunity she has offered me to be creative and connected has been immense and truly a blessing.
My best wishes to all participants. This collaborative has been such an enjoyable multi-dimensional creative experience. ❤️
— Skilled Helpers Collaborative —
Why it matters to feel connected at work
by Kally Tay
For a person to grow, they must have strong relationships with different types of people. It helps them understand their own emotions and respond accordingly to what is before them.
However, building work relationships can be difficult because of the introduction of remote working. Since the interaction between workers is through the screen, it is very informal, and for some, it may cause them to feel stressed and isolated. Aside from remote working, every worker has their work ethics and values, which can clash in specific scenarios and affect everyone’s progress
So, what can be done to improve this situation? Here is a short guide to being connected to work!
Why Should Workers Feel Connected At Work?
In the workplace, good communication between coworkers can help improve productivity and collaboration. With our coworkers behind our back, we are confident that we have people to lean on when we need help, and we feel a part of the work community. We can also use this connection to instil positive emotions and hype in everyone.
Work connections also improve one’s work experience. Once you get to know your coworkers, you will tell yourself that you are in a suitable workplace, and you will be happy to involve yourself in company activity.
Should You Befriend Them?
No rule says you have to be friends with your coworkers. It is tricky to be the person everyone goes to for advice, which will eat into your working hours.
You can be a friend to them if that is what you wish, but if you are not sure you want to befriend them, you can still foster good relationships with them by being genuine. When you are true to your intentions to work with them, you will provide support and interact with them more positively.
How Can You Improve Connections In The Workplace
It is important to note that not everyone wishes to connect with their coworkers, and some only want to be with others for a short time. It would help if you didn’t force them to connect, but inspire them to do so at small intervals.
Here are some great ways to help you connect better in the workplace:
- Don’t reach out to people with hidden motives
When reaching out to your colleagues, make sure you do not put them on the spot. If you see them excited about a project, speak to them if they can help out. Just make sure not to keep your hopes up because they may decline the offer for a particular reason.
- Offer Your Assistance
Each of us experiences our off days every once in a while, affecting our productivity and focus. Some events where pressure and stress are at their peak that you need to watch out for are report days, project presentations and assessments. Some may even feel vulnerable and feel isolated from the rest of the workplace. Whatever your colleagues are feeling, try to see if they need help and reach out if you can assist.
- Make Time To Interact
You don’t have to drop all your work to provide your attention and support to your coworkers to be connected to them. You can be flexible by sorting out your breaks and making time to interact with them. For example, you can ask them to join you for a cup of coffee during your break time. When they see that you are making an effort, they will see you as someone they can go to for advice.
- Interact Even If It’s Not For Work
There will be times your coworkers will avoid you, or you will find it hard to connect to them. Even if this is the case, don’t stop showing them that you are interested in helping and getting to know them. For your discussions, you can talk about your interests and even talk about other things unrelated to work, like new trends. Avoid speaking about gossip because that may instil misunderstandings and create conflict between coworkers.
- Adapt Your Values If Needed
If you feel like you cannot connect because of your work values, you may want to ask why that is the case and change if necessary. Do your research about what your colleagues value and see if you can positively adapt to these values.
If the values don’t match your views and you don’t see a way to change to see the same way, don’t force yourself to do so. Learn to respect their values and, if necessary, meet in the middle to bypass any potential disagreements.
- Remember Important Events
Some people feel remembered and important if the people around them recall important events in their life and speak to them about them. Make it a point to greet them during birthdays, work anniversaries and during critical events in their lives such as weddings, new house moves and so on.
To get started, ask around and put a note about these events in your calendar. For birthdays, check your company’s bulletin boards for birthday announcements or check your social media calendar.
- Say Thank You
A simple show of gratitude can improve the way your colleagues look at you. When you recognize their efforts for the team, they will feel appreciated and do their best to help out to the best of their ability.
If you want to be connected to your colleagues, the best way to start is by reaching out to them and making the first move. Even the smallest greetings can make quite a difference and improve the workplace immensely. Make sure to inspire your colleagues to copy your example because if they don’t make an effort, your efforts might be wasted. Don’t hesitate to try out the tips we listed above, and we are sure people will follow your lead in improving the workplace community.
Connect with Kally Tay, Freelance Expert @ www.middleme.net
How we connect with the world determines our psychological well-being
by Mathias Sager
Looking at people’s stress and anguish, the conflict between societies, and how the environment gets maltreated, it seems that the human ability to mentally embrace a global collective as a species did not keep pace with the globalization of the world. Is there a lack of a kind of mentality in the sense of how populations connect themselves to a broader context like all humanity?
It appears challenging to bridge between individual and collective levels of reasoning. However, the feeling of interconnectedness is essential in contributing to health and well-being. Indeed, research findings suggest that psychological well-being is dependent upon one’s connection to a broader, even widely anonymous social scope that comes with a sense of meaning in life.
Carl Jung spoke about different parts of the self that transcend the ‘ego’ self and that these need to be integrated to complete a harmonious inner self. The power of imagination can overcome an inflexible ego-centered mind. Imagination is also required to imagine future events, which constitutes (besides recalling matters of the past) a part of the ability to mentally ‘travel in time.’ If people don’t imagine the future, their sense of self and perceived agency diminishes.
Moreover, it is a person’s relation to the social world and time that can determine his or her meaning-making. In other words, it is a core construct of beliefs in these dimensions that forms a so-called ‘worldview.’ ‘Sensemaking on a worldview level’ and ‘mental schemas’ are appropriate related terms at the cognitive level. Therefore, it is highly worthwhile to investigate the appropriateness of such mental schemas to understand how people self-reflect on their socio-temporal worldviews.
You can read more about the concept here https://mathias-sager.com/original-research-paper-dissertation-m-sager-2020/, or you may even take a short online self-reflection exercise at https://mathias-sager.com/the-novel-self-reflection-tool-online/.
All the best, Mathias
Connect with Mathias Sager, psychologist @ www.mathias-sager.com
— Skilled Helpers Collaborative —
Breaking and unbreaking connections
By Rika Cossey
Every now and again, when speaking to my kids, I stop in my tracks. “I sound like my mum” are the words that run through my head and they are never the kind I’m proud of. Sounding like my own mother – that’s something I always wanted to avoid. I love and respect my mum, don’t get me wrong. But I never wanted to be like her.
Over the years I have created physical and mental space between myself and my family. I moved to another country and I chose a career that no one in my family has chosen. Making those choices hasn’t been easy. I want to keep the connection to my family alive and well but I still need to find my own way.
If you have ever read anything about personal development, you will know what I’m talking about: what you surround yourself with is what will affect your decision making. And the same goes for people – those people closest to you will have the most influence on your thinking and your actions.
And sometimes, that’s not a good thing.
Why it's important to create distance
There is a simple question I like using when it comes to the people in my life: who adds value to my life and who distracts me from the life I want to live? These questions are not about self-centrism but rather to help me to see who I keep in my life and for what reason.
I spoke about my mum above. Family, in general, is often a great example to explore when it comes to people you surround yourself with. Depending on your family ties, you might be able to relate to the question of how important family is in your life. Maybe you feel supported and understood by your family, then that’s great. Maybe you feel like your family is more of a burden, then maybe you need to reassess why you keep the connection going.
Creating some distance between yourself and those you hold dear is often a good thing because it gives you the opportunity to do some reflection. Distance allows you to explore your Why for any relationship better. Distance allows you to get your priorities straight. And distance supports you in leading the life that you want to live, not the one that someone else wants you to live.
Why it's important to create connections
When thinking about personal growth, I always advise my clients to reassess their relationships. But that’s only the first step. The more crucial element of personal development comes after that: finding the support you truly want and also need.
Embarking on any journey without support can be hard and is more likely to fail. This truth is most likely underlying the reluctance of most people to take the first steps towards personal growth. “What will others think?” “What if no one likes the person I could turn into?” “What if I’m all alone?”
Acceptance and seeking out a group is part of our DNA so this reaction is natural. However, it’s also important to realize that the fear of being left alone is unfounded in most (if not all) cases. Making new contacts and finding a new community will be a natural result of changing how you conduct yourself in accordance with your values.
In my experience, seeking out new communities is the best and scariest part of personal growth. I don’t say this light-heartedly because I have moved between different communities all of my adult life. Even today, I sometimes miss a particular group of friends I made when I was at a different stage of my life. But I also know that if I’m open to meeting new people, if I’m open to new contacts, I will find them.
Seeking out and finding a community of people who support the new you will be the ultimate driver of your personal growth. The reason is simply that those people will support you in your thinking. Your relationship is unbiased and free from past experiences. And this freedom is what will allow you to move forward in all areas of your life.
Breaking and unbreaking connections to other people around you is the toughest but most rewarding step you can take. If you can create distance between who once defined you and who you want to be today, you will move a massive step closer to the person you can be – for yourself and for everyone around you.
Connect with Rika Cossey, Transformational Coach @ www.rikacossey.com
— Skilled Helpers Collaborative —