Check out my new book! Career Advice: What I wish I knew when I was 24

The Connection Antidote

The UK introduced a new government role in 2018: Minister for Loneliness. Theresa May, the PM at the time, said: “For far too many people, loneliness is the sad reality of modern life.” 1

Media coverage focused on the health effects of loneliness (e.g. worse than smoking 15 cigarettes per day). Then the pandemic happened and the world saw on a massive scale the effects of cutting off humans from one another – loneliness.

To be clear, loneliness is not uniquely British. Japan followed suit with a similar role to combat social isolation in 2021. A global survey on the prevalence of loneliness found Canadians in the middle of the pack. Brazil topped the list with 50 percent of respondents declaring that they felt lonely either often, always, or sometimes. 2

Look, I’m not here to spout facts about loneliness. My purpose is to establish that there is a worldwide epidemic of loneliness and it’s not talked about enough.

Thankfully, there’s a simple solution: connection.

Basic Human Needs: Food, Water, Connection

You already know that humans are social animals. Humans need connection as much as food and water. You would never tell someone not to drink a glass of water if they were thirsty. The same goes for loneliness. If you’re lonely, connect with someone else.

Why do people associate shame or weakness with needing to connect versus needing a drink of water? Both fulfil basic human needs.

By placing individualism above all, I believe loneliness is inevitable. If you can only rely on yourself, then it’s up to you to fulfil all your needs. “I don’t need help, thank you very much. I’m fine.” Or, let me quote Ruth Zardo from Louise Penny who wrote a poetry book called I’m F.I.N.E., which stands for f&%*ed up, insecure, neurotic, and egotistical.

Loneliness can be easily cured by addressing the fundamental human need to connect.

Connect Internally then Externally

Connection begins with you, looking within yourself before looking externally. When you don’t know your inner self, you get swayed by public opinion and how others see you. You get defined instead of defining yourself. No agency. Start connecting internally by identifying your values, not your family’s or society’s.

From your internal connection to Self, you move externally. The natural next step is your family, then friends. Connect to them through loving kindness. It doesn’t mean you must know all the answers or be the “best” mom/friend/girl-boss.  It just means being there for someone. Simply put, that’s what connection is. Being there means being present. Witnessing. Being with someone.

Ocean Waves Symbolize Connection

Connection is both a feeling and an experience. I feel connected when I see myself in another. Specifically, I’m referring to my common humanity not my personality.  I experience connection when my heart, mind, body, or spirit touches another.

How would your relationships evolve if you knew you were connected to every living person? You are part of them, and they are part of you because of this connection.

Remember, you are not lonely when you’re connected. You are One with everyone else and with the larger Universe, Source, Spirit, or God, however you want to call it. Waves in the ocean over one large body of water. Where does one wave end and another start?

1 https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/17/world/europe/uk-britain-loneliness.html

2 https://www.statista.com/statistics/1222815/loneliness-among-adults-by-country/

Header photo by Andrew Shiau on Unsplash, Smoker photo by Elena Taranenko on Unsplash, Girls connecting photo by Trung Thanh on Unsplash, Ocean Waves photo by Marko Blažević on Unsplash

Loneliness cannot co-exist with connection. Encouraging more connection seems a gentle way to stem the tide of loneliness.

You have to be open minded in order to grow. The coaching that Laura gave me opened my eyes to what and how I was doing things and allowed me to see the bigger picture. I am not done yet but I already see the changes in my everyday life.

MM

I think coaching is a great way to help you clear your mind when you get stuck with overwhelming situations or when stepping into changes in your life.

MO

Coaching is life changing. It pushes you outside your comfort zone and challenges your perspectives.  It is highly motivating and the exercises and techniques used are both fun and informative.  I think the main benefits of coaching are to see yourself, others and the world more clearly.  I think coaching is valuable to anyone regardless of where you are in your life or career.

LE

I honestly never thought I’d need a coach. I thought coaching was for CEOs and industry VIPs. I didn’t think it was for the “little guys” (i.e. me). Now, I’m of the belief that everyone – yes, EVERYONE – needs a coach. Coaching has really benefitted me and I’m so grateful to have had that time with Laura. It’s changed my life!

VB

Laura is very patient. She took the time to understand what was causing me to be stuck where I am today and help me build a better vision so I can continue to grow.

MM

I think Laura’s coaching was what I had been waiting for. Laura was so approachable, kind, and open. Her willingness to help and support made a difference for me. I found in her coaching new strategies, ideas, and perspectives that I could incorporate into my goals and objectives that I didn’t see before.

MO

Laura is an incredibly intuitive, positive and caring coach. Her techniques helped me recognize both my strengths and areas I might want to explore as I embark on the next chapter of my career. The exercises she employed were instrumental in providing self perspective and challenging my frames of reference.

LE

Laura is a natural coach. Her probing and compassionate questions helped me learn about myself: my value system, interests, goals and strengths.

LM

Coaching sessions with Laura gave me new perspectives on how to process specific feelings and situations in life.  She showed me how to sit with my emotions, acknowledge them, and then use visualization strategies to move through them.  I now feel more confident and in control of how I choose to walk through life.

CP

From the beginning, Laura put me at ease, creating a safe, open space for me to talk and share freely without fear of judgement. I loved the variety of approaches she used depending on the topic we were working on and it was fun being able to try out things I wouldn’t have considered before! With Laura’s coaching, I substantially grew my confidence in the workplace, overcame fears, dealt with issues I’d been carrying around for many years and, most importantly, learned to value myself and define a path forward into the future.

AG

Laura’s coaching was a breath of fresh air and EXACTLY what I needed at that point of my life. I didn’t realize how impactful coaching was going to be, but by the end of the sessions together, I left feeling refreshed, inspired and genuinely curious about what my future held for me. Because of Laura and her coaching, I believe I became a better person – someone who is more open-minded, someone with a clearer focus, and someone who is willing to explore opportunities and possibilities far more than I ever did before.

VB

I engaged Laura for coaching as I took on an expanded role leading an asset management company in Canada. As a female, I knew I would be a role model and had high expectations of myself. I was feeling overwhelmed and anxious.

In our first few coaching sessions we worked through exercises that allowed me to reflect on my purpose, leadership style and what mattered most to me. I continue to be grounded by the clarity I achieve in my coaching sessions – allowing me to be resilient and confident when challenges came my way.

OS