KinKeeping Takes Work
There’s the Work of BEING A KinKeeper …
KinKeeping requires more than just making a choice to be a KinKeeper. Or recognizing that we are already KinKeepers . We can let these principles fill our souls – we can invite in KinKeeping thoughts and dream up new, important, warm ways to be KinKeepers. We can make that inner choice to be vulnerable, to open ourselves and commit to truly “BE” KinKeepers in our deepest heart. This starts the ball rolling for that amazing, creative process inside us to grow, to include, to love.
… AND There’s the Work of DOING KinKeeping!
And then we can “DO” KinKeeping actions – coming from an honest place that just wants to be connected to others who matter to us. We can take action to strengthen connections between us and those in our families of all kinds. We can step up and be a part of our community, finding ways to help bring people together. There are so many ways to reach out to those we love, those we know, those to whom our hearts are connected!
There’s that old law of sowing and reaping … and yep, there’s WORK involved!
I’m a farmer’s daughter, and so I grew up knowing that a beautiful, green, healthy field of grain doesn’t happen by accident. There’s been a thoughtful, intentional, hard-working process of planning the work, purchasing the seed, preparing the ground, planting the seed, cultivating the rows to get rid of the weeds – and then making sure the plants have access to sun, water, and other things they need to stay vibrant and healthy while they’re growing and flourishing – so the seeds planted can then produce a rich harvest.
We can plant seeds of connection with those we care about – and we can make a difference for our world!
It’s the same with our relationships — knowing we belong and that we matter on the planet doesn’t just happen, either.
In fact, if we never take time to “tend the fields” of our relationships, without doing anything to stay connected to those we consider our “kin”, the harvest will be a field of … WEEDS.
- Weeds of Loneliness.
- Weeds of wondering why we’re alone again tonight.
- Why no one has called us or reached out to us.
- Why we have no friends.
- Wondering if anyone misses us, or thinks of us.
- Wondering if we really do matter.
We must do something! Take Action! It’s time to KINKEEP.
- At least a couple of somebodies have to each DO something in order to produce a harvest of both of them staying tightly, securely, warmly connected.
- Both people have to KINKEEP
- One has to reach out
- And the other has to reach back in awareness of the value of each other – in order to create Community. In order to be part of a Tribe. In order to Belong.
Sometimes, reaching out and taking someone’s hand is the beginning of a journey.
At other times, it is allowing another to take yours.
More about the Work part of it –
We can start with the heart’s preparation. What does your own heart long for? Who are you missing being connected to? Can you imagine reaching out, being vulnerable, checking on those you choose for your various KinGroups? How much energy do you have, how much time could you commit, what exactly might you be willing to do to establish that connection? How much does it really matter to you to intentionally nourish your kin? Go deep and be honest with yourself. The only rule to remember is that YOU NEED CONNECTION. You need to KINKEEP and you need to be KINKEPT by others.
You have an innate need, a hard-wired place in you that must belong. I believe the extent of that need for connection is different for each of us – you’ll figure out what is your baseline for the connections you want to courageously begin as your tightest KinGroup, nurturing and nourishing those links, maintaining them, and enjoying them. Then, as you focus on the intentionality of your new perspective on KinKeeping, you may find yourself s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g out to embrace more KinGroups.
It’s actually woven into our DNA, so that helps us get moving on KinKeeping. So much research has confirmed that humans are hardwired to connect! (Be sure to read, listen to, or watch Brene Brown, Ph.D., on YouTube, Ted Talks, her website, her podcast, etc. – Brene’s leadership in this arena is amazing!)
We all have a need for belonging, for community – and we can help give that to one another thoughtfully, on purpose – doing the work involved and having fun along the way.
It may be that in times of crisis, you have less available energy to reach out with — you can set tiny goals then: Maybe you will send one text a day to check up on a friend. Maybe you’ll write a short email and send it to 3 friends, asking them to respond and let you all know how things are going. Maybe you’ll just choose to go hug a tree, or be part of the 7 pm collective “clapping for our healthcare workers!”, or befriend your own self by doing what you need to do to calm your own anxieties. Set your intention, make a plan, write it down and commit to whatever it is, and cheer yourself on when you DO it! Yay! You’re KinKeeping!
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