Our connectedness to each other, personally and professionally, is essential to the continuous development and expansion of the quantum shift we are seeing in mindfulness practices and holistic natural, functional, and integrative medicine.  Systematic study of self-reports suggests that an individual’s belief systems, expectancies, and assumptions exert a strong influence on his/her state of well-being.  Thus, the shifting belief systems of our populations, as part of a growing universal consciousness, contribute to the overall well-being of human beings and move us forward on a path to wellness.  Yet, there is much work to be done.

            It is my belief that we are all connected with a universal source that fuels our growth spiritually, vibrationally, energetically, and physiologically.  Technology is enhancing this connectedness as we live in a time in which the sharing of information is happening at a pace never seen in the history of human kind.  Yet simultaneously the use of hand-held devices, such as smart phones and tablets, may be furthering the cause of isolation.  As children and adults, couples and friends sit at a table playing computer games or even texting each other (across the table), a fundamental part of being human begins to fade from our society.  Rather than speaking to each other and growing relationships in more complete communicative pathways that include body language, eye contact, and human touch, on some levels we begin to see an erosion of basic humanity as connectedness is being replaced by electronics and robotics. 

            We ourselves have become more robotic, a society of rules and laws defining us, instead of being united by basic human dignity and an understanding of the journey we all walk together.  We all travel on the highway of life, yet we may be side-tracked by the occasional incident of road rage.  We truly are all connected, yet we have developed unfortunately complex structures in our daily routines, dogmatic religious practices, regimented school systems, micro-managed laws and rules, that differentiate and divide us, hiding our true selves and our commonality from each other and our communities, rather than working to unite us and our society as a whole.  Inherently, such structures and regimentation have also served to intensify the stressors on us as individuals and resulted in much of the illness that we see among our people.  Wellness will grow as we shift our consciousness and understand the many factors affecting our health as individuals and as a society. 

            How we communicate greatly affects the outcome of our communication and our ultimate connectedness.  Unfortunately, the English language differentiates before it generalizes.  What I mean by this is that we talk of a white woman rather than a woman who is white, or an autistic child rather than a child who has autism.  The subliminal concern herein has to do with the mindset inherent in our tendency to prioritize by the order of the terms.  Thus, we are initially focused on race, disability, or the like, rather than the basic humanity of the individual.  Due to this kind of prioritization in our language and culture, we are inclined to note the differences first, rather than the commonality.  Perhaps this is part of the mindset that has led to so many police shootings of common citizens simply living their lives without an understanding of the screening and type-casting going on in the minds of the police. 

            As our understanding of the divide has grown, de-escalation has become a very important aspect of police work as both new recruits and seasoned professionals are now starting to be trained to understand the similarities and their own mindsets and biases that may cloud their judgment in highly stressful circumstances.  We are all connected and as a society we have a huge need to understand these connections first.  To paraphrase Steven Covey, the author of the Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, in order to improve our connectedness we need to seek first to understand.  By focusing our efforts on understanding the other person first, clarifying and verifying our mutual understanding, and only then coherently feeding back our own interpretations to help others understand our views, we further the cause of peace, civility, serenity, and connectedness as a society.