When I’m on the road (which I am now) I dig out my laptop and google the local and organic food options. Then, I drive around whichever town I’m in, getting lost and turned around til I find some amazing gem. (Last week, I discovered Jackie, an un- chef who creates the most amazing organic raw to-go meals for Mama Jean’s Natural Foods in Springfield, MO. One of her listed ingredients is always “love.”) Some people think this behavior is radical and hyper-intense. To me, it couldn’t be more normal. I’m passionate about it. It matters. (And yes, I have my occasional Olive Garden, Taco Bell, and Qdoba moments, as well.)
I thought about my “radical and hyper-intense” behavior when I read this recent post by Seth Godin. It says a lot about how connecting with people on a personal level creates better trust in products, in safety, and in work. In other words, you don’t have to run from spinach if you’re buying from a local organic farmer.
Connection creates trust. Not just about the product or the external thing, but also about you. It creates a trust in your own self and your own choices. Consciously and continually choosing to spend a little more energy, time, or money for something that has been created with more care and personal attention builds into a solid foundation of self-care and self-trust. Once you get that, you want to live a life of it.
I seek out connection. And I’m rewarded, in that connection often finds me. (Leap and the net will appear, no?) I get the opportunity to be a part of daily connections and see the vitality and joy they bring to all the parties involved.
Here are just a few examples in my life:
- The student-run farm at Warren Wilson College sells its organic vegetables at a market in their shed twice a week. I am in love with their faces, smeared with dirt and so proud of what they’ve grown. I am in love with the grateful residents who excitedly walk in the shed to see what goodies are there. It makes shopping for groceries fun.
- My acupuncturist spends two hours with me every time I visit. He is intuitive and expert. He listens intently and explains thoroughly. The treatment rooms are designed with care. Working one-on-one with wonderful healers like him was the biggest aid in healing my bulimia. Yes, it costs pocket money and not insurance money. But I’d rather give my money to something that empowers, rather than something that scares. It’s been a worthwhile investment!
- I had the honor of meeting two bloggers this past weekend: Tom Vander Well and Mike Sansone. They brought their wives to my show in Des Moines, IA. They came only because I’m a fellow blogger. They took a chance. It blew me away. The small connections we’ve made became a big gesture to me. Even though I’m not exactly a “business blogger,” I get why blogging is so popular. It’s the connections and interactions. It’s not just about selling things.
So, how do you connect? And if you feel that you need work in this area, how can you connect? What small things make a big difference to you? And, most importantly, how can you be more connective and present to others in your work or in your life?
Spinach is not the enemy. Don’t get hooked by the hype. Reach out and trust someone.