I’m still finishing up with my notes from last month’s presentation in Dallas, Texas. I mentioned Dr. Ed Hallowell’s book Connect: 12 Vital Ties That Open Your Heart, Lengthen Your Life, and Deepen Your Soul during the presentation, and I wanted to give you a quick update on a resource I found that lists those twelve ties in an abbreviated–but useful–form. It’s from Dr. Hallowell’s website. The twelve ties are:

  1. Your family of origin. Are you as emotionally close to your family of origin as you would like to be?
  2. Your immediate family. Do you treat one another with love and respect?
  3. Your friends and community. Do you see friends and neighbors on a regular basis?
  4. Work and activities. Do you feel a sense of mission at work?
  5. Appreciation of beauty. Do you make time to enjoy a favorite art form?
  6. History. Do you feel the power of the past in your daily life?
  7. Nature and special places. Are there special places that speak to you in ways no other place can?
  8. Pets and other animals. Do you seek companionship from your pet or other animals?
  9. Ideas and information. Do you feel that you know how to get the most out of your brain power?
  10. Institutions and organizations. Do you take pride in group membership?
  11. Greater truth or spiritual faith. Do you continue to seek the truth by whatever means make sense to you?
  12. Yourself. Do you feel comfortable being who you are?

It’s a down-and-dirty list, but it clearly shows how one can make connecting a spiritual path. Which is something I think we need to do if we’re truly going to make our congregations the kind of connected communities our children and youth need.

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