Connection: 25 Days

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Day 25 – “Catch”

Inspired by The 100 Day Project I decided, 25 days ago, to start my own “100 Day” creative discipline. The goal is simple: choose a theme or focus area and for the next 100 days document/create/design something relevant to that theme.

I chose the theme of connection and decided to explore it through photography. That was my first impulse and my only guideline: connection explored visually. To enhance my accountability for the project I decided to share each day’s photo on both Facebook and Twitter. This helps me create both a track record and an expectation of continuation.

Connection has been a significant edge for me for as long as I can remember. Last month, as I was working on a section of my book – a collection of blog posts organized under the themes of “understanding,” “”exploration,” and “connection” – I found myself struggling to articulate what I wanted to say about that final category. I came up against feelings of inadequacy and immaturity relative to my ability and willingness to connect and to connect well. I felt a little silly as I attempted to “author” something about a subject long so difficult for me to understand.

The simplest way to explain it is that in connection I find comfort, strength, purpose, love and assurance. I also find a deep vulnerability that it will not last – that I will have to feel the pain of that loss – and I do what I can to make sure that I don’t.

I believed that a daily discipline that challenged me to look for connection, to think about it, notice it and document it might just be a way to continue to normalize some of those uncomfortable feelings and open me up to some new ways of experiencing one of, if not the greatest joys of life: being in meaningful relationship with other people.

Here at the 25 day mark, I’ll give you a brief description of one specific day to help explain how this experience is shifting my attention, and heightening my attunement to connection. On Day 16 – June 17 – I completely forgot to document or post a photo. When I realized this at 7:00 AM the next day I was angry at myself for breaking the chain so soon. My posting that day simply said “forgot.” When a few people started “liking” that post I was humbled by their recognition of my very human mistake and what I interpreted as their appreciation for my honesty about it. I was just so frustrated that I let connection – and my project – slip my mind until I remembered that June 17 had been a tough day for me. Creatively, I felt stymied, not getting the results in my writing that I was looking for. When that frustration mounts I tend to go “inside,” to lock up, disassociate and become critical. I tend to disconnect. No wonder that I missed a day. Connection was not present for me because I wasn’t available for it.

As this project unfolds I will document my learning at each 25 day interval. I look forward to the learning that comes from it and, along the way, for the opportunity to connect with you.

You can view the first 25 photos here.

Day 13 -

Day 13 – “Origami”

DAVID BERRY is the founder of RULE13 Learning. He speaks and writes about the complexity of leading in a changing world, especially the parts where he doesn’t handle it very well. If you enjoyed this post someone else might, too. Please pass it along.

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