“At the end of the day, we all want to be loved, heard and acknowledged”
Our world is more digitally connected than ever but it’s almost scary how easy it is for us to feel disconnected - to ourselves, to other people....to life. The feeling of disconnection isn't a foreign feeling these days and many have felt it at one point or another. So we’re connected (digitally) and also disconnected (emotionally) at the same time? If that’s the case, then the real question is What is connection? In this episode, I have an intense conversation about connection with Danny Levin - mentor, speaker and author of the book The Mosaic. What does it take to feel connected? How do we feel connected? And further yet, Why do some of us feel so disconnected? He teaches us about the 4 Practices of Connection and how to use them to start feeling connected to life.
Danny has a well-established list of experience but he’ll humbly tell you that all of that doesn’t really matter. He has lived as a monk for 10 years, run a restaurant, owned a clothing company, and was the Director of Business Development at the Hay House for over a decade amongst many other experiences. But again, it doesn’t matter. “it doesn’t matter who you were or who you will be. What truly matters is who are you now?” he lovingly teaches. For Danny, his purpose right now is to spread the word out about true connection!
At one point, I asked him what inspired him to write a whole book, The Mosaic, to teach people about connection and he laughed. “I didn’t know anything about the connection. I would’ve thought that I’d be the last person to teach about connection” he said. Although, we really end up teaching what we need to learn don’t we? That’s been Danny’s journey – he lost both of his parents as a small child and when told that his parents had gone to “heaven”, Danny endeavored to find out where “heaven” was. He was in search of connection to God/Universe/Cosmic Force (whatever you want to call it) and in turn also learned about the full breadth of connection including ourselves and other people. His book The Mosaic is about a little boy who tries to find “heaven”. It’s loosely based on his own personal story and what he’s learned throughout his journey, so in a way you can say that this book is his life’s work.
Okay, enough of my babbling! Plug in those earbuds and prepare to soak in the wisdom!
At the end of the day we all want to be loved, accepted, heard, appreciated and acknowledged.
There are 3 things that absolutely everything in this world, animate and inanimate things needs to go through (I got put on the spot for this one haha): a beginning, middle and end.
The middle can sometimes it takes forever long and Danny admits that this used to be his least favorite part of a journey. If you know where the end is, then what’s taking so long to get there! He’s since discovered the abundance of the middle. The middle is actually “now”. As yogis, mindfulness practitioners and spiritual masters will tell you, what’s truly of importance is the “now”. It doesn’t matter what we were or who we’re going to be.
Danny’s discovered that the middle place is where he’s longed to be in his whole life
There are 4 stages of connection:
1. Connection to self
Be just as kind to yourself than you would others. Why would you be harsher on yourself than somebody else. Danny gives perfect example of falling down. If a friend fell down, you’d help them up, stay with them and make sure it’s okay. If you fell down, the self talk might sound like “you’re so clumsy, why would you do that! Get it together argh!”
Kindness begins first with you being kind to yourself
We talked about the analogy of putting a wall up to protect ourselves and in turn not actually showing up fully. You’re not the walls that you built around yourself but sometimes we forget that. We end up becoming walls meeting other walls which is why we feel so disconnected.
When we are kind to ourselves, we dissolve the wall. That’s why it’s so important. There’s no point in dissolving wall between you and others (kindness to others) if you keep building up your own walls because there will still be a disonnection
2. Be vulnerable and open
Vulnerability allows us to open up to each other
When we know that the world is in complete support of us doing what we are meant to do, we open up.
We were never meant to do this alone. We were meant to do it in collaboration with everything around us
Qualify what we want to receive and who we want to give to
4. Build connection (the mosaic)
We find commonality with each other and come together
The mosaic: when groups of intentionally kind, purposeful people come together and further the creation of a world that we want to pass onto our children
“peace by piece” – we can find commonality with each other, even if just a sliver
Danny shares a beautiful story of an unforgettable lesson that his developmentally delayed daughter taught him. When she talked to him and he didn’t hear, she would scream. If he still didn’t listen a tantrum ensued. If she still didn’t feel heard at that point, then she’d destroy something.
Huh, that’s very much like us isn’t it? It’s the perfect analogy for when we don’t feel heard. When someone doesn’t feel heard they yell, then they make a scene then finally as a final attempt, they destroy something (a relationship, a career…)
All that can be alleviated by acknowledging each other’s beliefs. It doesn’t mean that we need to agree, but most times it’s enough to just be listened to.
When people are heard, it becomes love. Just like when Danny finally heard her daughter, the rage became laughter.
Danny is on a mission to get us from being mindful to “heartful”
To be heartful means to be able to allow us to feel each other and stand with each other through our pain. To reach out to somebody to say “I was never meant to do this alone, can you please help me”
Our practice is made up of moments and moments make up with momentum.
What does one moment of kindness go?
Collect enough moments to create momentum so that it’s there to propel you even if you find yourself a little lost sometimes.
The biggest lesson that Danny wants to share with you through his book is to BE KIND TO YOURSELF. Start there and everything will change.
If you have any questions for Danny or want to learn more, connect with him through: