Words by Charla Grant
As I sit here and write this, I think about everything that happened in 2022. Joy, sorrow, anger, excitement – such a mixture of emotions. Another year that felt like it was sent to test us in many ways, but one where we were reminded of our strength, kindness and creativity as a city.
I think about all the people I’ve been lucky enough to connect with through The Grateful Arts Club. As a new community interest company I’ve had a front row seat to just how many people there are all doing such great work in our city. From charities and CICs, to the businesses supporting them and all the people giving what they can to Go-Fund-Me projects, food banks and independent businesses.
There is so much goodness happening all around us and it is a joy to belong here. I can’t help but feel like life will continue to test us in 2023 which makes how well we come together in times of crisis and how connected we feel to one another so important. We all share this primal sense of belonging — a feeling that is fundamental to our wellbeing and happiness.
So, how do we belong?
In our own worlds belonging to ourselves feels like a very good place to start. It seems like all my work with gratitude and joy has led me back to how well we connect with ourselves. I read somewhere that ‘our connection to others will only be as deep as the connection to ourselves’ a thought I often reflect on. It makes me realise how truly understanding ourselves is the key to creating deeper connections with others. To help with this can you pause to check in with yourself and how you are really feeling? Work on how you communicate that more clearly?
In our community helping someone feel seen is one of the biggest gifts that you can give. I wonder if we all worked a little harder at really seeing and listening to those who cross our paths, what could we learn? Could it help us understand each other a little better? Help us feel even more connected and strengthen our community? The extra time and care you give could make such a difference to someone’s day and that kindness only makes our city a better place.
Find out more about creating a deeper connection to yourself and others over at @thegratefulheartsclub