Community relationships are vital to wellbeing – 6 Secrets for life-long connections

I recently attended a conference in the Dominican Republic called Awesomeness Fest. Frankly, I did not know what to expect other than that there were world class speakers in the online marketing, personal development and health and wellbeing space.

This suited my needs just fine as I needed the latest knowledge in all three areas to help spread our mission at Energesse.

However, what I experienced just blew me away. I found people connected extremely easily, smiles and hugs abound. I found people who were immensely talented and high achievers, yet like minded souls who wanted to change the world for the better.

I found new friendships that blossomed as if we had known each other for several lifetimes. It was uncanny how this happened. 

wellness wheel-03-03

Connection with a social community you love is critical to your wellbeing. I certainly have this in Sydney, yet I still felt there was a gap. This gap was filled at Awesomeness fest, where I found a community that I loved.

This community was also ready to intellectually and motivationally inspire me to climb to the next level of my personal evolution.

It’s hard sometimes to find that community, but trust me they are out there. My ‘Social & Relationships’ score on my Wellness Wheel jumped from an 7 to a 10 at Awesomeness Fest, and I now feel connected with this amazing community via our Facebook group.

I am sure you may already have communities that we are connected with – they might special interest meet ups, religious groups, educational or extracurricular activities or even groups of special friends.

However, I find some people attend such gatherings, but don’t really make the most of the opportunity in being a part of them. As such, I want to provide you with 6 tips to make stronger connections in ANY social or community group you are interested in or actually currently belong to.

1.                  Find communities you love

If you feel you are not already in a community that you can really resonate with, then it’s time to consider looking for a new one.

My advice is to find a community that you absolutely love being a part of, not just one that seems cool or that you have a special interest in. It’s always good to explore, try out a few sessions in one of these communities before you commit to them long term.

For example, you could try a cooking class, or sit in on a meditation session or even join a bird-watching group for a day. Ultimately, it’s not just the activity but the people in the group that will help you decide if it aligns with your innermost heartfelt needs and a cause that you believe in

2.                  Connections are about quality not quantity

There are some people that attend community gatherings and potter from one person to the next, have superficial conversations and exchange business cards in the speed of an ATM withdrawal.

It may give the impression of popularity when someone knows everyone’s name in the room however the reality is that for true wellbeing, we need to have deep and meaningful connections.

We do not have to have many connections, but just a few that help us evolve ourselves to happier, healthier and successful human beings. The quality of our relationships with a select few individuals within a community is enough to keep us engaged and wanting more.

3.                  The power of online is offline

These days there are many communities that are online such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Meetup. These are wonderful ways to connect with others, find special interest groups and connect with like-minded individuals.

However, some studies have shown some people feel more depressed after spending time on Facebook, rather than happier. Also, internet marketing experts will tell you that the power of these online relationships increases significantly when you engage with your online contacts offline.

Again, this is not about numbers, rather it is about meaningful relationships to you. Rather than searching for new communities to be a part of, try to engage your online contacts by meeting them in person. You may find that you have more fun and build deeper trust that way.

4.                  Be authentic

The whole “just be yourself” quote is so often used, yet so rarely followed. People crave authenticity. Deep inside, we all want to expose our inner self without judgement, yet we often hold back because we fear what other may think of us if we really did so.

Nonetheless, all the evidence shows that when we really expose our truths and vulnerabilities, we gain so much more in friendships, love and lasting relationships.

So don’t be afraid to show off your true self. Whatever trauma, defect or disability you think you may have, the next person has just as much and will probably be very relieved to know your honesty.

Be the first to have the courage to expose your truths and your community will love you for it, if they are genuinely the right community for it.

5.                  Don’t be selfish, share your connections

Sometimes we find gems of human beings in our community and we just want to hold on to them. We want all their time, we want to hang with them as much as possible and are afraid to introduce or share them with others.

The fear is that if they are introduced to other friends who find them more interesting, then your new connection will leave you. Perhaps this has happened in the past.

Do recognise that if this happens, then this is more about you not loving and valuing yourself, rather than not being valued by others. Its paramount that you recognise your own beauty, talent and strengths and appreciate them. Others will follow.

When you are generous in sharing your connections openly with others, you will receive the same in return and meet more amazing people.

6.                  The best relationships are long term, so be patient

The best relationships take time, and the communities that we enjoy the most are often ones that we have a long history with.

Even if we don’t attend all their events and miss a few over long periods, the ones that we commit to in spirit can be the ones that rewards us the most.

If you have found a community with the right cause and interest, invest the time in getting to know the people in it. As it the line from the movie ‘Shrek’, people are like onions, we have layers.

The more time you spend in uncovering your layers and theirs, the greater the bonds that form. This will help greatly in sustaining your happiness and wellbeing, particularly in challenging times.

I hope these tips help you improve your social & relationship score in all your communities, so you may better enhance your total wellbeing.

Do you other tips that you use to improve your connections with your community?


How your life experiences can heal you

Occasionally I experiment with my blogs and write about topics close to my heart, rather than the purely factual content. From my experience, I feel that us humans can heal in many ways, sometimes through medical science, surgery and medications, and other times through connection, music and even poetry.

In our ultimately finite lives, I believe we are here to make a difference in the lives of others, but also to make a difference with our own lives.

I believe we should grow and evolve as individuals, whilst living a life that is rich with joy and amazing experiences to suit our own fulfilment.

One such experience was the extravagant ‘Awesomeness Fest’ which I recently attended which hosted some of the best speakers, connections, parties and learning that I have ever gained in a period of a week.

It also helped that this was held in a 5 star resort in the Dominican Republic.

Needless to say, I found it challenging to describe my experience to my friends and family upon my return and so choose to express it in poetry. I hope you find this somehow entertains your day and heals your thoughts, if even for a minute….

I once visited the Land of Awesomeness
Where a million stories were told
Where ideas of hacking humanity were bought
And yet not one person sold

New words like ‘paradisical’ were born
Yet needed no immediate translation
A 40 hour journey from the Land of Oz
Was merely a shortcut to mental emancipation

A costly adventure and more for some
Tested if one’s courage would hold
Yet every peso spent on this lifetime memory
Was well worth its weight in gold

As I embraced the nature of Latin timing
‘Action-o’clock’ had to wait a while
But as gratitude engulfed my peace in greenery
It just allowed me more time to smile

Warm conversations greeted breakfast mornings
While the chorizo and eggs were getting cold
Meditation awakened the spirit of the early bird
While malt spirits guided the night owls home

The Caribbean sun held no one back
From breathwork yoga on the beach
Where two hours sleep after dawn would crack
Never stopped Afesters learn or preach

We knew the likes of Vishen the sage
Would weave his saintly magic
Yet every brilliant speaker’s depart from stage
Also felt just as tragic

Online marketers matched global healers
Who taught us to live in virtual flow
While random punters chanting “I love myself”
Showed a big heart arises from no ego

Extended hugs matched business nous
Revealed the tribe’s energy and intention
Once love fills an entrepreneur’s house
Success thrives beyond imagination

Parties in castles, pools, sand and sea
Rivalled even Rio’s proud Carnevale
When heartbeats pressed against you and me,
Wished secret postponement of the grand finale

The illusion was that we could only connect,
In this wondrous tropical serenity,
Yet the truth be known it was always possible,
When we live in pure authenticity

So let’s take this moment to never forget
What you wish to always remember,
That true greatness comes from the love in your soul,
It’s time, let’s change the world together!

The importance of taking time for yourself

Did you miss the opportunity to attend our live Master class with Irina Gladuschenko? Her incredibly informative and insightful session covered how to control our emotions and how they can help improve our relationships. IF you missed it or would like to see it again, the good news is we’ve made it available online. You can click on the link below to see the entire Master Class from start to finish.

“The time you take for yourself daily is a must, not an option
By Avnesh Ratnanesan

These last ten days I have been on a speedy two part holiday which firstly took me back to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where I celebrated the birthdays of both my mother and father, who have their birthday’s one day apart. The second part involved a trip to Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory, where I spent several days out in the natural wilderness of Kakadu, a World Heritage Site with wonderous animal and plant life.

The actual decision to take a long holiday was rather spur of the moment, I simply felt drawn to go away for a good while and to spend it with people and locations largely unrelated to my work.

My intuition, i.e. the sixth sense which arises from our Brow (Third Eye) Chakra knew that it was exactly what I needed and was clearly indicating to me that it was time to go away. I listened to my body, or if you like my ‘higher self’ or subconscious mind which was clearly instructing me in no uncertain terms. When I initially resisted the urge to go away and stay with work, I kept getting very uneasy sensations, so I gave in to my inner voice. And that was the right decision.

The change of Environmental energy (one of the 7 areas of the Energesse Wellness Wheel) gave me the time I needed to reflect on many important things, particularly what I really want in my life and whether what I was working on was getting me there. All too often we get stuck in the grind of doing what we think we want, and then several years later look back and say “Well, I’ve done it now….and I’m still not happy…… so what was my life all about?”

The fact is your body and its subtle energy system already know what you want. It is always speaking to you, it’s just that most people don’t listen to it – they have lost the ability to connect with themselves. A change of environment from the usual routine of daily life, allows for some major listening to happen, and some real breakthroughs to emerge about what you really want. It is also the most efficient and fastest way to get there – saving you years of time. Reconnecting with your inner self can actually help you be more productive for the rest of your life.

Pulitzer prize–winning writer John Updike, author of 51 books, attributes his astonishing productivity to a schedule that honors empty time. “Ideally,” he explains, “much of my day should be, in a strict sense, idle, for it is often in idle moments that real inspiration comes.” It allows you the time you need to reassess your life of maybe even acknowledge situations or people that are affecting you in ways that you are not initially aware of. So whether it is an hour writing in your journal or a backpacking trip to South America, simply taking the time to acknowledge the desires of your soul can create an abundance of opportunities in your life and maybe even lead you down a path you least expected!

Being GOOD vs. Being NICE

“Living up to an image that you have of yourself or that other people have of you is inauthentic living.”
― Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose

As I was sitting at a café on Saturday morning, psyching myself up for another day of writing a chapter in my book, I glanced at the daily paper. I do not spend too much time with newspapers these days as it is often filled with irrelevant negativity and I am prefer to get my news elsewhere. However, whilst sipping a cup of my favourite chamomile tea I came across an article interviewing a famous model.

She was quoted as saying “There’s a difference between being nice and good, I consider myself a good person. And I think people perceive me to be nice as in, ‘Oh, she’s nice,’ but being a good person, knowing your strengths and working towards those strengths, and encouraging those around you to do the same, that’s a good person. A nice person will sit back and go, ‘Oh yes, OK, no worries, yes.’ A nice person is a yes person, whereas a good person is a person who accepts their responsibility in things and moves forward. He or she constantly evolve and isn’t afraid to say no, challenge someone or be honest.”

Most people would expect such profound words from a model, but indeed her thoughts are backed by scientific research. The Psychology Foundation of Canada reports that one important aspect of your personal self-esteem is feeling that you have a “voice” ─ that you have the right to be listened to and heard in a way that helps you have some control over what happens in your life. When you speak up and stand up for yourself, you are, in effect, saying to yourself and the world, “I am a significant person whose ideas and words are worthy of respect.”

So you can be nice, but also be good – be good to your authentic self.

On Tuesday the 20th of August, we had our first ever live, online Energesse Masterclass on Discovering your Higher Purpose. Both Julian Noel, Higher Purpose consultant and I spoke about living your life’s purpose. We had an amazing turn out from around the world and if you would like to see it again, click here.