Loneliness and mindfulness

Updated: Dec 1, 2020



Recently I read Together by Dr. Vivek Murthy, an exploration of our deep, instinctual need to participate in community and bond with others. Murthy’s message about the impact and pervasiveness of loneliness seems to get more relevant with each pandemic day. He explains how natural it is to feel lonely. When your body needs water, he says, you feel thirst. When you need food, you feel hunger. When you need human connection, you feel lonely. It’s just as primal, just as basic of a need. Social contact is critical to our well-being; its absence-- loneliness-- is a known risk for poor health and accelerated mortality.(1)


If you hadn’t noticed, I’m pretty committed to in-person gatherings. While many founders focus on building apps and scalable technology, I ran out and bought a 2006 RV to refurbish and drive around so I could bring people physically together in a small space. Eye contact. Touch. Those are my jam. But they are certainly not what the pandemic ordered.


I’ve often felt lonely this year. I struggle with how or if to physically be with others. Interactions can feel guarded, awkward and rushed. Distancing and masking mutes facial expressions and makes it hard to hear. I notice my friends’ quaranteams and plans that don’t include me, and I feel left out. I can’t remember feeling this insecure since high school.


So, I practice. I notice and interpret sensations in my body. I notice resistance. I notice difficult emotions and disappointment. I seek acceptance and try to suspend judgment. I make extra time to care for myself and others, and cultivate gratitude.


And I Zoom. We can find community and connect to each other and to resources, even in our pajamas.


Please join me for a virtual workshop or two. It’s FREE, my holiday gift to you.


(1) https://www.pnas.org/content/116/9/3488