Time to stretch with a little Social Exercise!

Don’t you love it when you’re new to a group and someone makes an effort to get to know you and helps you feel welcome? We are a social species, and when someone is friendly, kind, warm, and welcoming we take a deep breath and are grateful.

In a recent article by David Brooks at the New York Times, Brooks cites a study that shows how much people underestimate the impact of talking to strangers. We underestimate how open most people are to having a conversation, how much we’ll enjoy a conversation, and how much we can learn.

I am a big proponent of trying out new things. So why not practice a little Social Exercise this week and see if you can be that warm and welcoming person in a group you’re part of at work, school, in your neighborhood, or at home?

Organized Zen is all about getting to your best work. Sometimes a stranger is just the person you need to help you figure out how to do that.

Click here for more thoughts.

Create connection by asking questions!

There are opportunities to build community all around you. My latest was last weekend when I was out kayaking on the Shenandoah River with a Meet Up group of 50 strangers.

When you are on the path to Organized Zen to joyously get to your best work, having a community around you is a delicious support system. And getting connected can start with a smile and a simple question: Where are you from?

Then maybe follow that with: What brought you here today? Where did you grow up? What do you do for work?

You start to build community from the moment you introduce yourself, ask a question, and listen to the answers without jumping in with your own story. You build on that community when you connect one person to another where you find commonalities. And the circle is complete when even the outliers within a group who struggle to start a conversation, are welcomed in and feel seen and heard.

I love this quote from Ross Gay in his new book The Book of Delights: “The more stuff you love the happier you will be.”

Loving the people around you and finding a connection to them is a great step to finding that happiness. I hope this is helpful and that you take a daring step this week to reach out and bring someone new to your community.

Here are my thoughts from a wonderful kayak day on the Shenandoah River.

What are your superpowers?

Your super powers show up when what you’re doing feels challenging but easy.

They’re talents that live at your core and kick in across all sorts of situations.

When you’re using your super powers, time feels like it either races by or comes to a standstill because you are so engaged with what you’re doing.

When your super powers are in play, you feel so joyous and full of energy it tends to spread to people around you.

The really cool thing about super powers is when you combine more than one.

And, at home or at work, when you add those super powers to something you’re deeply interested in – you can be unstoppable.

I had a cool encounter last week that demanded a mix of my super powers and deepest interests. Click here to hear the story!

I’m sending you a powerful wish today that you puzzle out what your super powers are so you can bring them out to the world!

What communities do you miss? What communities would you like to be part of?

Introvert or extrovert, the pandemic reminded most of us how much we love and miss our fellow humans when we can’t be with them. In this talk, I share ideas for reconnecting, and offer a few ideas for ways to find and connect with communities you’ve only dreamed of.

Here are my thoughts!

Life is fun when you live it with a big heart. I hope you have fun with this one!

If this video is helpful, please like, share, and subscribe on YouTube. You can find all of my talks on YouTube by searching for “Janie Downey.” Thanks for your help spreading good news :).

See the strangers around you and feel the strength of Community

I’m sharing thoughts today on how a community can form with a group of strangers – which can sometimes get you out of a bind! This is a story of one very strange Patriot’s Day where I got stuck on the road in a terrific rainstorm. It could have been a sad, frustrating time but ended up being one of the best days ever.

Here’s the link on YouTube.

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I hope you have a wonderful day and a very fun weekend.

When Trevor hit a BIG wall in life, he formed a community to help others

Last week, I posted about the important role building community has in getting to your best work. In this post, I’ll tell you about am amazing community my son-in-law Trevor Maxwell built while fighting Stage 4 Colon cancer.

If you’re looking for inspiration today, please click here!

If you know someone who needs the same inspiration, please share. And while you’re on YouTube, please subscribe to my channel if you haven’t already. Subscribing is a super helpful way to help others find the message.

Thank you!