Hello SOTGC community,
Each one kissed with more wrinkles of life experience than the one before it.
Baby. Mama (me). Grandma. Great Grandma.
Together, four generations of women, eye to eye and hand in hand.
What’s interesting is the only place our hearts can cross paths is in the present moment.
It’s the only place you can meet a four-month-old and a 92-year-old with Alzheimer’s. This made me wonder how much of our lives we spend between these stages in life, clinging to the past and worrying about the future, instead of the wildly brilliant present that sits right in front of our face.
Jim Elliot said, “Wherever you are, be all there.”
Sitting by my grandmother’s side, baby bouncing on my lap and mom to the right, I found myself searching for words that didn’t taste of the past memories we had shared at one time. Memories now lost in the valleys of my Grandma’s mind. Memories was what I had always pulled from my magic carpet bag to bring us together, to rally around, laugh at, cry over, and sigh at the idea of revisiting past happiness. These conversations used to temporarily pause the longing we had for my grandmother to shake off the Alzheimer’s and dementia, rise up out of her wheelchair and jump back into the game of life.
In her world, the past no longer carried meaning and the future is a distant concept. In the moment, I asked myself, how can I “be all there” right now. How can I be here now?
It wasn’t words, it wasn’t meditation, it wasn’t a bouquet of sunflowers. The most meaningful moment didn’t come from any of these things; it came from touch.
We all placed a hand in my grandma’s lap.
Baby. Mama (me). Grandma. Great Grandma.
No words. No sound. Just touch.
I could feel the energy of four generations moving through me. An undeniable connection. Four hands: one that has truly lived and made an impact on the world and now sits idle, one newly retired and ready to feel the freedom of time, one learning day by day where her hands are best used to serve, and one wee little one yet to touch the beauty that is life.
To intently touch with care and love takes full attention and demands presence.
We all need human touch. It brings us to the present moment. It brings us to the surface after we’ve been under the water of life. Touch is a transfer of energy and can be more powerful than words. And in this moment, it was. We often focus on how to be present as in individual, but how can we maximize the times when we are in community together?
When you find yourself with others and struggle to meet in the present moment, distracted by that little rascal of a rectangular technological distraction we call a phone, try connecting through touch.
How can you utilize touch in your daily life to zap you and those you are with back to the present? Here are a couple of ideas.
The double decker handshake: Next time you are rocking your flare at a networking event, shake hands with both hands; one meeting the other person’s hand with firmness and confidence and the other wrapped around the knot of hands with genuine intent. This will likely perk the other person’s attention and heighten the awareness of the moment you both exist within. Pair this with some unflinching eye contact and see if you feel the difference. After all, this life is our one and precious life, and each moment with someone is an opportunity to connect.
The hugger: If you are not already a hugger, try it on for size. An embrace when you need it most can settle the nerves, reduce anxiety, communicate love, and open space for a sacred and shared moment. Whether it’s your sweet chubby baby, a friend going through a tough time, or your great grandmother, let a hug do the talking. And if it’s you that’s had one of those hours, days, months, or years where you just need a bear hug, don’t be afraid to ask for what you need from your friends and family.
The “in the moment” move: You know that moment where you feel your intuition nudging you to reach out and grab the other person’s hand, give them a big squeeze heart to heart, or throw your arm around their shoulder? DO IT! Your intuition is the most amazing compass you have, directing you to action, if you are listening. Pay attention to what someone needs in that moment and let touch communicate you care and that you are there. Sometimes that’s all it takes to brighten a day and get up on out of a funk.
So next time you are at a meeting, with friends or frolicking around with family, try a hand shake with some serious eye contact, a hug long enough to really connect, place your hands on each side of your lover’s face with an intentful and sultry smooch, throw an arm around their shoulder or simply hold hands.
A touch can pause the whirlwind of life. We take it for granted. Even if just for a moment, try connecting and communicating with touch. If it can bring four generations of women together in an instant, it can surely transform the way we connect with ourselves and others.