When we are living from Resonance—operating from a deep identity core that keeps us individually and collectively focused on transformation—we are:

Living on Purpose

Living in Connection

Living for Development

Living with Gratitude (Valuing life)

Living in Action

In this post, I focus on Living in Connection.

  • What does it mean to connect to shared humanity around you?
  • How do you know you are connected and not disconnected from the experiences of others?
  • How do we maintain connection to others in the midst of an increasingly polarized world?

These questions continue to surface for me in the midst of my life’s work, my reading, writing, speaking and research on Resonance and Transformation. In particular, questions of connection within communities and across divides are ones that I have continued to work on and ask since my doctoral research, which has become a thread of my work, revealed that living in connection is a hallmark of transformational leaders working for social change. Living in Connection, meant the following to those transformational leaders as I wrote in Transformation After Trauma: The Power of Resonance:

Human Connectedness / Social Consciousness. As a result of Resonance, the Transformational Leaders from my original study expressed a deep sense of social consciousness that they ascribed to a heightened sense of our human connectedness. In addition to their individual transformative learning, they described growing social awareness resulting from their experiences… They expressed a sense of oneness and global responsibility for social justice in the world. While they demonstrated narratives of transformation, part of their social consciousness was also described as an awareness of the capacity for human evil that increased their own capacities to be worldly wise, politically savvy and good citizens.

So what does it mean to live in connection in a way that supports transformation. I love looking up the original meaning of words when I am preparing to speak and I recently looked up the root meaning of humanity. I found the usual and expected dictionary meanings…to bind, to connect, to build a circle of intimate relations…but what most caught my attention was in a brief article in Psychology Today, which makes the argument that to be human means to see the other as our own natural kind.

To see the other as our own natural kind!

What a revolutionary thought.

What happens when we don’t see each other as our own natural kind? It is no surprise that the article spells out how outcomes of war, enslavement and genocide have been direct outcomes of campaigns to dehumanize the other.

What happens when we do see others as our own natural kind? The result is deeper human connection, whether at the interpersonal level of relational connection as I wrote elsewhere and heightened social consciousness as we work for a transformed and equity centered world. This is a natural outcome of living from Resonance, because in doing so, we focus on what matters most to us and to those around us. Today’s world makes it easy to disconnect, to practice othering, to stick to our positions without a true listening to others’ perspectives. I continue to call for the work of our times to include Bridge Work—the work of both the privileged and marginalized of making meaningful contact across divides to change the hardware (systemic changes) and software (socio-cultural changes) of our times for a better future. All of it, starts with connection with each other…seeing the other as our own natural kind.

We must practice getting past our daily disconnections to get to social change, build relationships for a better future and join the work of transforming our world towards a more just, equitable, diverse and inclusive future.

  • What is your personal story that deeply connects you to issues of social change/justice?
  • What purpose does your Resonance story call you to?
  • What people and groups might you need to get connected to, to achieve your purpose?
  • What bridge work across divides is required of you?

For more on Living from Resonance, see my TedxSFU talk: How to get past disconnection to social change

See also this follow-up session hosted by DNEG Global Studios in which I delve deeper into three types of stories that illustrates forms of disconnection that leads to anti-black racism and what you can do to unlearn these default responses of:

  • The Learned Ignorance Response
  • The Awkward Defense Response
  • The Replay of Social Rank

What will you do to live in connection during these pandemic and systemic change times?