Connentions and Communities

April 2004

This past month, I had the opportunity to go away for a solitary one-day retreat to a tiny cabin in Pennsylvania. There is something about being alone in a peaceful country environment that quiets and refreshes the spirit. I used the time to read a couple of books, think about my work and my life, write in my journal, and listen to my heart. I also came away with a renewed commitment to, and appreciate for, my personal and professional relationships.

In my solitude, the importance of relationships in my life becomes so clear to me. Even though I am an introvert, one of my values is to be connected with others. I am blessed with an eclectic group of friends, family and colleagues who bring many different perspectives, attitudes, and insights on life. Some are very traditional in their views, while others can always be counted on to think (and act) outside the box. I enjoy the variety and richness that others bring to my life.

In the past thirty days, I’ve shared tears, laughter, schemes, and dreams with those I am close to. One dear friend has just lost her mother to Alzheimer’s disease, and another is awaiting the birth of her first grandchild. One colleague will celebrate her first book being published this month, while another has just worked up the courage to take a writing course. My spiritual group (six of us) helps to feed my soul, and my coaching group (three of us) stimulates my mind. The professional organizations to which I belong provide not only solutions to work-related issues, but wise colleagues who encourage and challenge me. And, I have the daily privilege of connecting with my clients and learning from each of you as I support your growth.

How do your own connections and communities enrich your life? Do they stretch you, appreciate you, and honor you? This month, take some time to think about the various relationships in your life, and to celebrate them.

Sharon Keys Seal

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