Month: October 2016

Connecting Through Touch

Welcome to Day 7 of 31 Days of Connection! If you miss any posts, stop by Day 1 for all the links to the 31 posts as they are published.


Connecting Through Touch

Touch is one of the ways that we communicate nonverbally and is another way that we connect with others. Think about the different ways that we touch people in our lives and how many different messages we send using touch. Holding hands with a loved one communicates closeness and trust. Shaking hands firmly with a coworker communicates confidence and assurance. Putting a hand on a friend’s back communicates helpfulness and togetherness.

Touch helps create a connection. If we go through the day and never touch anybody, we are missing out on another layer of connection with others. To work on improving that connection, try using touch throughout your day. Some of us naturally reach out and touch others all the time. But others will need to get past the uncomfortableness of touch. It takes practice and stepping out of your comfort zone. But in order to connect better, it’s worth stepping out. And there are so many ways to do that, depending on your relationship with the person: shaking hands, holding hands, a hand on a shoulder or the back, a hug, an arm around the waist, a fist bump, and more.


Day 7 Daily Connection Challenge:
Reach out and touch someone! It could be holding hands with a family member or touching the back of a friend or shaking the hand of a stranger. But make it something that you don’t normally do or with a person you don’t normally touch (unless you know it would make them feel uncomfortable).

Thank you for joining me for Day 7 of 31 Days of Connection! How are you doing with the challenges? Have you been able to keep up? Let me know in the comments! And make life easy for yourself – click here to sign up to receive the posts in your inbox as they’re published.


Connection Through Intimacy

Welcome to Day 6 of 31 Days of Connection. If you miss any daily posts, just stop by Day 1 where you’ll find all the links in one place.


Connection Through Intimacy

Intimacy is extremely important for connecting with those closest and dearest to you. There is intimacy in marriage, including sexual intimacy. And there is intimacy with other family members and friends. One of the meanings of intimacy is a close, familiar friendship or relationship. Intimacy with someone turns into a deeper connection with that person. Without that close connection with at least one family member or friend, it’s harder to understand connection and to reach out to connect with people around you.

I’m not here to go into any detail about sexual intimacy in marriage. All I’ll say is that it is extremely important, even when one or both spouses do not feel like being physically intimate. If a marriage is struggling, often connecting through physical intimacy can begin to help the struggle. There are a few blogs that actually do discuss sexual intimacy – we should not be embarrassed to talk about it! Here are a couple you can start with: To Love, Honor, and Vacuum and Intimacy in Marriage.


Intimacy in our closest relationships with family and friends takes some effort and takes being intentional. An intimate relationship with a family member or a friend might mean one-on-one time discussing fears and dreams, praying together, crying and laughing, and include holding hands or hugging. The more emotionally unlocked and vulnerable you are willing to be with a person, the more intimate the relationship and the deeper the connection. Intimate relationships and deep connections help us to be healthier and more fulfilled, which usually means that we will be better spouses, parents, and friends.

Day 6 Daily Connection Challenge:
Choose your spouse or a family member or close friend and take time today or schedule time now for sometime this week to work on intimacy with that person. That might be an unexpected date with your spouse, a private talk with a family member, or a quiet coffee date with a close friend. If you don’t already have a relationship like this in your life, reach out and take a step toward making it happen. 

Thank you for joining me for Day 6 of 31 Days of Connection! Leave a comment and let me know if you’re following along with the daily challenges. See you here again for Day 7! Don’t forget to sign up below to receive all the posts right in your inbox!

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Connecting With a Smile

Welcome to Day 5 of 31 Days of Connection! To find links to all the posts in the series, stop by the first post and get all caught up.


Connecting With a Smile

By now everybody knows that there is plenty of research to back up the importance of smiling. Even if you’re not using a smile to connect with somebody, you should be smiling for your own benefit. Smiling is linked to releasing endorphins which make you feel good, decreasing stress, longer life, increased confidence, and more. Even faking a smile has physical benefits, so if you’re not in a smiling mood right now, fake a big old smile while you read the rest of this post and you’ll actually be helping yourself out. You’re welcome.

Studies also show that smiling is considered contagious. The brain reacts when it sees a smile and gives you the urge to copy that facial expression. It’s very hard not to smile back at someone who smiles at you. And that’s why smiling is a fun way to connect with people. How does it make you feel when somebody smiles at you? It makes me feel like people are generally good, the world is not such a bad place, and gives me a little boost of self confidence all at the same time. But more than that, it’s a moment of connection. A smile shared between two people can be a passing moment of connection, but has the potential to turn into friendship, romance, new business, and new opportunities. One never knows where a smile may lead.


Let’s make that effort to start connecting with a smile – a simple task that doesn’t even require words. Try smiling at everybody and see what happens – your family, friends, coworkers, strangers at the store. If you’re not a naturally “smiley” person, it takes a little practice, but it’s worth it. You’re connecting and making somebody else feel good when they see you smile and they smile back. Plus you’re doing something good for yourself at the same time. Win, win!

Day 5 Daily Connection Challenge:
Smile at as many people as you can today, even when you don’t feel like it, and see what happens.

Thank you for joining me for Day 5 of 31 Days of Connection! Picture me smiling at you right now! Leave a comment and let me know the results of smiling at everybody. Come on back for Day 6!


Connection Begins With You

Welcome to Day 4 of 31 Days of Connection! If you have missed any of the posts, hop on over to Day 1 and you’ll find each post linked up there as they are published.


Connection With Yourself

What do I mean by that? Am I saying you should sign up for your own email list and follow your own Facebook page? You should do those things (hey – you should be your own biggest fan), but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about connecting with your inner self. The inner self that gets neglected and is probably part of the reason you’re drawn to a series on connection, actually. I’m suggesting to you that you should put some effort toward yourself first before making efforts to reach out and connect with others. If you neglect yourself, your efforts at connecting with others will still work, but may fall a little short or feel a little hollow.

Connecting with yourself is about taking a timeout from your busy day (I know, I know – easier said than done) and thinking, planning, dreaming. It’s asking yourself questions and actually listening to the answers. If you’re Christian, it involves even more – reading and listening to Scripture and praying – self can’t be trusted without some guidance from the Holy Spirit.

This timeout for yourself needs to have as little distraction as possible and as much quiet as possible in order for you to really be able to think. That may mean getting up earlier, going to bed later, locking yourself in the bathroom, stepping outside, sitting in your car, or an extra-long shower (not really recommended when we are in a drought situation). I’m not saying it needs to be an hour though that would be great. Try for just 15 minutes each day. If you’re in a season where even 15 minutes is almost impossible – then try for 10, or even 5. Make it a priority.


How to Connect

This is the time to ask yourself all sorts of questions, like: Why am I overreacting to certain things? Why do I keep struggling with this one issue? What about myself have I been neglecting? What help do I need and how can I ask for it? What would I most like to do if I had a full day of doing anything? What dreams have I been pushing out of my mind? Are there baby steps I could take toward making those dreams a reality someday? But it’s not just about trying to answer questions.

Questions help you get to the root of things you are struggling with or missing. But you should talk to yourself as well and remind yourself of a few things, like: I am precious. I can strive to do better than yesterday, but do not have to be perfect (perfection is impossible – only Jesus was perfect). It’s okay to admit that I need help and that I need connection with other people. I can set goals and make plans and take small steps to move forward. I can love myself and love others, in spite of any faults.


How you connect with yourself is up to you – questioning, talking, praying, reading, crying, dreaming, planning, writing, or some other way. There are so many ways and it will look different for each person. The point is to take that time and do it. Then you’ll be in a better position to work on connection with others and to improve your personal and professional relationships.

Day 4 Daily Connection Challenge:
Take 5-15 minutes as a timeout today to connect with yourself. If you’re Christian, you get an extra layer to the challenge – use your timeout to also read a Psalm (if you need a place to start, try Psalm 34) and pray.

Thank you for joining me for Day 4 of 31 Days of Connection! Are you signed up to receive these posts in your email inbox? Click the link today and git ‘r done! Come on back for Day 5 and a way to connect that anybody can easily do.

The Daily Connection Challenge Checklist

Welcome to Day 3 of 31 Days of Connection! Find all the posts in the series linked up to Day 1, as they are posted.


The Daily Connection Challenges

If you’ve been following along since Day 1, you know that I have a simple daily challenge to go along with each topic. So far, I’ve been easy on you. But as we go through discussing how to work on connection in our lives, the challenges will get a little tougher. Not tougher because they are very time-consuming tasks, but because they may take us out of our comfort zone and require a little extra effort in our day. The challenges that are already in your comfort zone will be easy to cross off your list, but I think you’ll find a few things that you will try and talk yourself out of doing. I want to encourage you to use these daily challenges as a way to hold yourself accountable to put forth that extra effort.

In order for me to make the effort to work to improve something, I find that accountability really helps me. Use the daily challenges and me as your accountability partners. Document the day’s challenge, what you did and how it went and then come back and comment on a post or on Facebook and let me know. I have a couple of printables to help you (because printables make it all better, right?!).

Day 3 Connection Challenge:
Download the Daily Challenge printables and start using them to keep up with the Connection challenges.

Daily Connection Challenge Printables

Printable #1: This PDF has all 31 days listed on one sheet with a spot to list that day’s challenge and a spot to list what you did to accomplish the challenge. Print out and keep track in writing or save on your computer and track it there. Just click on the image to take you to the download!


Printable #2: This PDF is to help you focus on just today’s task. Print out and trim it. Grab an old 5×7 frame or find one at the dollar store, get some dry erase markers and write your daily focus right on the glass. Click on the image to get the download!


Thank you for joining me for Day 3 and I hope you find the printables helpful! Let me know what you think in the comments. Now you’re all set up for success with the rest of the 31 Days of Connection. Come on back for Day 4! Let’s do this together!


Connect with Lisa Marie

Welcome to Day 2 of 31 Days of Connection! Stop by my Kickoff Post to get links to all 31 days as they are posted.


I’m glad you’re here! I’m looking forward to going through 31 days of finding new ways to connect and improving our efforts at connection. The first part is easy – connect with me!


Connect with Me

I would love to connect with you in the way that works best for you and your online life. Let’s go through these 31 days together and help each other get better at achieving Connection (hey, I’m writing this to help myself too, you know!). I want us to feel like we are working through this as a group of friends rather than as strangers stopping by to read another stranger’s posts. What way is easiest for you to keep up with the 31 Days of Connection Posts?

connectSign up for my email list. You’ll receive each day’s post right in your email inbox. Super easy! Or just use the inbox delivery to check out the title and come on over to the blog to read it.

connectFollow my Facebook Page. I’ll be sharing the links to each day’s post on my Facebook Page so you might see it in your timeline or can stop by the Page to get the latest link.

connectFollow me on Instagram. I’ll be posting each day’s graphic and title there. If you click the link in my Instagram profile, it will take you to the home page of my blog where you’ll find that day’s post.

connectFollow me on Twitter. A link to each day’s post will be showing up on Twitter as well. If that’s where you like to hang out, then I’ll see you there!

Or if you prefer the fun of blog-hopping, stop by each day and say hi! I’ll be right here waiting for you.

Day 2 Connection Challenge:
Pick a new way to connect with me if you haven’t already so we can journey through this series together.

Now wasn’t that simple? I’m going to ease you into the tougher stuff. And hey – I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment and tell me where you spend most of your online time during the day.

Come on back tomorrow for Day 3 of 31 Days of Connection and a helpful printable just for you!