No one expected this. That we would still be in the pandemic.

With all its uncertainties, continuing to branch off into layers of not-knowing. The pandemic was changing us. It still is.

Were you, like me, wondering how to connect meaningfully with people near and far? Or did you retreat into the comfort of familiar routines, not going too far outside of the lines because, for one, you couldn’t, but also, because the meaningfulness of doing so was suddenly lost.

Trivial conversations with people who don’t really care about you somehow became way less important. Or, the opposite. Neighbors saying hello in casual moments of passing by might have been the only socializing you’d have. Maybe you didn’t want that, maybe you did.

Maybe it mattered: finding new people to interact with and build on conversations that go somewhere, over time.

Maybe it matters again.

 

Meaningful connections

According to the World Economic Forum, in this January 2022 article, ‘Meaningful conversations enrich the fabric of our daily lives. They bring a sense of wonder, interconnectedness and familiarity to our interactions and serve as the groundwork for a more functional society.

‘Understanding the “other” as a weak tie can broaden and strengthen our idea of community. In times of crisis, many of our connections become weaker and more isolated, which is something to be more mindful of as lockdowns resurge…. as meaningful connections create stronger bonds between the wider community, we can combat loneliness and isolation by conversing at a deeper level.

‘Curiosity, accountability, generosity and humility are values and practices currently missing in the public discourse, which has led to incredible polarization and narrowing space for civil interactions. meaningful conversations can transform our interpersonal reactions and our world, which is why we need more of them.’

 



Cojournal 2023

I suppose that there are a number of gestures one could make, if this issue of not being able to talk to people in a way that feels real, unstructured, without agenda, and not stilted is something that others also feel is important. Maybe it’s just me. I do find that I come up with new ideas when I am not expecting them to show up, serendipity is like that.

Making time to be together over time creates a feeling of trust and belonging and emotional connection. That’s why, I think, I used to be the person that brought people into conversation spaces. Talking. Together.

To discover who it is we each are, and who we are individually, too. There’s no religious angle, no business pitch, nothing but being together and getting to know more about the ambient community that comes into shape when we show up for it. It’s not something you can really describe unless you’ve been there. Have you had this kind of feeling that you are welcome, unconditionally? It is a magical feeling when everyone is equally part of something that allows space for new growth, and encourages learning, mutually.

If you want to experience my style of hosting online conversations in very small circles, you can apply for the next Cojournal. (There is a fee to participate, but there is no cost to apply.)

Apply here.