I’m writing this on a train on a sunny Saturday afternoon heading off to meet some inspiring women. A lovely ex-colleague and friend of mine has organised a meet-up in London. She is someone who always lights me up and fills me with energy. Her positivity is contagious and I love spending time with her.
When she mentioned the meet up to me last time we spoke my immediate response was to think about all the reasons I couldn’t or shouldn’t go. It’s a Saturday, I should be spending time with the kids. It’s a long journey. I won’t know everyone there. And then I paused and asked myself, ‘Do you want to go?’ and the answer was a resounding ‘YES!’ So the next question was, ‘How will you make it happen?’. A chat with my lovely, supportive partner later and a quick look at the train timetable, and I confirmed I would be going.
It’s interesting to me that this wasn’t a straightforward decision. Connection is a core value for me. It is core to my business, to my well-being, to who I am. And yet saying yes to this meet up, and others like it, or coffees with contacts, can feel really hard. Like a luxury. And I know I’m not alone in feeling this way. For allowing feelings of guilt to take priority over connecting with friends, contacts and colleagues. And then we find ourselves saying, ‘I haven’t seen anyone for ages’. We’ve given our energy to everything else that needs it. We’ve allowed duty to outweigh what we need for ourselves. But it comes at such a cost.
I know for myself that it’s my network of friends and colleagues (actually they are friends too!) that lifts me up, that supports me, that champions me, that inspires me, that puts opportunity in my way and that provides a whole heap of fun. And however busy I am, that stuff is too good, too important to de-prioritise.
So how are you making time for connection right now? When was the last time you were lifted up by your network? Where are you finding your inspiration? Without connection we merely survive. What’s stopping you from staying connected? Is it worth it?
I’m on my way home, on a packed and sweaty train, and I am full of energy and ideas and excitement and joy. Feeling the impact of connecting with brilliant, like-minded women is buzzing through my veins. It has built me up. It has reinforced my belief that when we come together we can achieve anything we set our minds to. It has reminded me that it is always worth making time for this. It is always worth battling train cancellations and mis-placed, unnecessary guilt. It is at the heart of everything. Stay inspired, stay energised, stay connected.
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