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I immerse myself daily in books and articles on therapeutic approaches, neuroscience, philosophy, culture, and the spiritual aspects of our being. I find the study of our brains and consciousness and how they tie to our sense of meaning and existence fascinating. I'm not an expert on these topics; however, through my extensive studies, and my therapy practice working with people, I've found a common denominator. It is something that affects all of life and I believe is the source of both troubles and sorrows, and joys and bliss – that “something” is connection.

It's understood that all mammals, humans included, are innately endowed with three basic needs - safety, satisfaction, and connection. Over millions of years of evolution, these three traits have emerged as being the most critical for their survival. For most mammals, connection is a natural part of everyday life; joining with others of their species in interpersonal interactions that further the bloodline thus ensuring survival. Somewhere along that long evolutionary path, humans steered in a slightly different direction and developed consciousness. Consciousness allowed room for judgment and fear and the accompanying degrees of intensity that comes with each.

We all experience physical, spiritual, intellectual, and emotional connection; the last being arguably the most fragile. The reason, because judgment and fear wreak havoc on establishing emotional connection with ourselves and others,  therefore disallowing the natural existence of connection exhibited by our fellow mammals. This doesn't mean we can't have it, it just means we need to use the very thing that makes us human, our gift of consciousness, to allow emotional connection to be part of our existence. We get to choose. Too often we listen to the whispering voice of fear in our heads; trusting that voice starts the demise of a beautiful, deep, emotional connection with ourselves or our loved ones. Unfortunately, the voice of fear has taken control of many of our lives; through the endless programming of our caregivers, teachers, and society in general, it is the prominent voice from which we operate.

Remember, we have a choice. So how do we change? We re-program. It is as easy as it sounds, but we have to focus our attention on doing it, and therein lies the rub. It is difficult to switch from autopilot and choose instead to engineer a new program of thinking. It begins with check-ins throughout the day; exploring what is going on in our minds, thoughts, and feelings. For instance, what is going on in your mind right now? What physical sensations are you aware of? What are your senses telling you? What about your feelings, what are you experiencing? Check-in right now. That is personal awareness, and in those moments of personal awareness is connection with yourself. When we have connection with ourselves, only then can we truly connect with others.

That is my mission; learning and teaching connection through awareness. I invite you to join me on this road to discovery. We'll do it with a sense of curiosity and adventure.

Through this blog, "Rooted in Connection", my webinars, and my forthcoming podcast, "At the Root" as well, there will be much to share. Sign up for access to the adventure; I will never share your info, and you won't get inundated with useless emails - just new routes to the next leg of the journey.

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Greg Kiper Counseling
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