Drawing of person part of the stars and universe

Your neighbor loves football games, high school reunions, and family gatherings. What do they have in common? A desire to be connected with others. We are social creatures wanting to feel close with family, friends, and our community.

As with many people, your neighbor keeps quite busy engaging in one event after another, hoping to meet new people. Your neighbor, as many of us, may be minimizing the connections we have with all of life while striving for more.

We are already deeply connected. Our atoms come from exploding stars, literally making us stardust. We wouldn't exist without the sun that warms us and nourishes the plants. The water and food that sustains our very life are of the Earth, making us one with the Earth and all other earthlings running around.

Most of us are unaware we are interconnected with the bacterial cells in and on our bodies that outnumber the human cells. We are also integrally connected with the farmers, carpenters, and garbage collectors without whom we would not exist.

In Survival Mode, our awareness becomes more narrow, thus limiting our ability to deeply feel all these interconnections and experience ourselves as part of a village. This lack of awareness explains how we can pollute our food source and discriminate against those who labored to get the food on our plate.

Thriving Mode reflects an awe and wonder about this world of interconnectedness we live in. We feel a deep gratitude and compassion towards others whether we know them or not. We also foster the connectedness with ourselves by treating ourselves with loving kindness. Although your neighbor will likely continue to seek lots of social events, when in Thriving Mode, there is less pressure to attend events because of feeling the warmth from all the connections already present.

The next time you look at the night sky, remember we all came from those twinkling stars. Be filled with awe and gratitude that you are a part of the Earth and its many villages. How do you want to express your starlight within the village today?

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