How have you been staying in touch with people?
How have I been staying in touch with people?
How have we not been staying in touch?
These questions have been rolling around in my mind and body. What's arisen within me is:
- some personal experiments
- the phrase "staying in touch" and what it evokes
- curiosity about how you tend to your connections
Let's get into these three.
some personal experiments for staying in touch with others
- primary experiment - this here newsletter
One of the impetuses of starting Be With Cassandra, and other newsletters before this one, was to offer a way of staying in touch digitally beyond social media. To be able to dig more deeply into our connections with one another.
What I write here has not been the most important element, really it's more about how the words serve as a conduit to you, to your being. Because it's the connection that I value – and what you share with me and what I share with you is, in a way, in service to the connection.
Before starting this newsletter I was writing an actual 'experiments in belonging' newsletter. Even though that newsletter is no longer its own entity, the ethos is clearly woven in here.
2. Now page experiment
3. Care cards - dormant experiment
At least three years ago, I designed and printed Care cards, as a part of a desire to support our collective care.
I was going to write that this was a failed experiment but... first of all, failure has such sticky connotations and also, I literally sent out only one care card, never got it back from them and moved onto other life experiments.
So it's dormant and still untested. Maybe I'll bring it back?
4. Project-based collaborations
I have found that this is a sweet connective spot for me. When I'm actively in collaboration, or more so, in co-creation with someone or multiple someones, staying in touch happens naturally as the project is tended by us coming together.
These could be work-related projects or personal projects (such as planning a trip to see one another).
There are for sure many other ways, both experimental and embedded, that I practice staying in touch with people. But I share these four to show how my mind considers connections.
Life might be easier if I didn't so intentionally consider connections or relationships?
But when I got together with a childhood friend a few months ago and he shared about how the pandemic and remote work have both played a large part in his lack of social life, I think that the intentionality with which I consider our human relationships really does matter. Because our social relationships do matter. For a host of reasons.
why the phrase "staying in touch"
Okay, so you've had a look into how my mind considers connections – now some curiosities about the phrase "staying in touch."
Why is that the phrase? And why is this the phrase that came to me?
There are tons of other phrase about relationships – getting together, re-connecting, staying connected, etc.
I wonder about touch. This seems to be an integral element, and a more heightened element with the layering of a pandemic that rapidly set in place many societal norms revolving around not touching one another.
Remember those videos going around about families constructing plastic sheet hugging apparatuses for grandparents to hug their grandkids without skin to skin contact? (Writing that now gives way to a deep knowing about all the potentially untended and uniquely held trauma we have each and all experienced over this time)
I believe we each have our own unique yearnings in the realm of connection.
Some of us yearn for connection through hugs or holding hands. Others feel most connected through words or eye contact. Still others more deeply connect through shared experiences. "Love languages" seem to be an easy route to talk about this.
Whether or not it's tangible touch, I think that all of these ways of feeling connected, of love languages, are in fact about touch. And not just a fleeting tap but a touch that touches heart to heart or being to being. A touch that reminds me that I am seen or heard. A touch that reminds you that what you say and how you move through the world matters... that it matters to me.
Even if I'm way over here in another part of the world while staying in touch with you all the way over there.
how do you do it?
Lastly, and most importantly, how is this sitting with you?
How do you stay in touch? Or not?
I imagine different things work depending on what "season of life" you're in.
What is working for you right now? What is not working for you right now?
What has worked for you in the past?
What is missing for you? What is abundant for you?
How do you do it?
If the onslaught of questions is too much for you but you want to reflect for yourself and perhaps respond to me, simply go with whichever one your eyes are drawn to and let go of the rest.
More and more, I'm moving towards things that are joyfully and mutually beneficial. I'm not into ways of staying in touch where it's a drag for one person while supporting the other. That doesn't feed our sense of collective well-being.
I'm into ways that feel inspiring and regenerative.
I'm into ways that feel nourishing. I'm into ways that feel supportive.
Even if, or especially if, they look different from how your neighbor, your coworker, (or whoever you might compare yourself too) does things.
Do you want to ponder these questions with me? You can always send me a note at cassandra [at] bewithcassandra [dot] com. Even if you happen upon this post long after it has been written, I imagine I'll still be pondering all of it.
If you're into this topic you might also be into something I'm calling community thresholds.
Til next time,