How does the chain of connections start? Well, Connections.Media picks someone we feel drawn to hold space for. Like anything, it is a feeling in your gut, something you just have to reach out and begin. Then we follow the journey from there, as one person picks the next, based on the conversation that took place on that day, in that moment. After 5 conversations a theme reveals itself, and a chain is complete.
Follow this theme of "AWARENESS"
Town of Birth: Durban, South Africa
Occupation/Job/Life Purpose Work: REIKI Practitioner/ Teacher
“My kids asked me once, ‘What's the difference between pretty and beautiful?’ And I said, ‘Pretty is how you look to people and beautiful is how you feel to people, what's on the inside.’ My son said, ‘Oh, I want to be beautiful,’ and my daughter said ‘I want to be pretty.’ And I don't judge her for that. My son’s just not concerned really with what people think because he's not judging, whereas my daughter is. She's looking around and making her little observations, and she likes to experiment and try different ways of acting and different ways of talking.”
I’ve had some of my favorite conversations over the years with Philip.
“I'm more shy around certain people, but I do sort of adjust to the situation. I’m empathic, so I automatically adjust to what I'm feeling and what other people are feeling. When you're so open you can either shut down, or you can be too open and just give it all away, or you can learn to be open and protected at the same time. I feel like I'm open now, whereas I've gone through periods where I was shut down.”
Barbara Brock’s thoughtful, observant nature lends itself to supporting others. Her friends, sister, and children rely on her quiet strength, but even in her professional life, she uses her calm presence to help people find their own center. Barbara is a certified Reiki Jin Kei Do Master Teacher-Practitioner and Hatha Yoga Teacher, and she and her sister Samantha started The Living Room together where they offer self-healing services and internal therapies.
Though her work is based on healing others, she believes that the best healing comes from within. Her sessions help her clients recognize their own power and their own ability to help themselves, rather than offering them the quick fix many people desire.
Even in her own life, she practices what she preaches. She keeps a careful eye on her own well-being, and is not afraid to ask for help or take care of herself when she notices that her emotional reserves are drained.
“It's like the whole microcosm/macrocosm thing. We're all little baby universes. If you think of the universe as a body, we are each little part of the body. ‘As above, so below,’ as that saying goes - we have such an effect on the people around us. It seems like a lot of people are sort of starting to become more aware, which is a little scary because some people are focusing too much on the bells and whistles. It’s like if you plug in a speaker to a voltage that it can't handle, it's going to fry and that's happening to some people. They’re trying to go too fast.”
If you were a soup, which soup would you be?
I’ll be a soup kitchen. I’m just not very good at having favorite things.
Do you/how well do you tend to plants?
My plants live a surprisingly good, long life for the amount of times I remember to feed them.
What is your life philosophy?
A few months ago my son decided we should have a family slogan. He and my daughter submitted what they thought to be the most important rule in life. His was, “If it’s not either kind, helpful or uplifting, SHUT UP” My daughter’s was, “Mind your own business.” Combined, those pretty much sum up my life philosophy.
What does “emotional responsibility” mean to you?
Ultimately, I see it as taking responsibility for our own feelings, actions and reactions. Instead of blaming others for how we feel and behave. It is evident when you’re in a conversation with an emotionally responsible person, you don’t have to worry about accidentally (or even intentionally) offending them. If you try to offend an emotionally responsible person, they will not take it personally if it’s not the truth and they will just agree if it is.
“This process is different for everyone so I can only answer it from my experience. I don’t remember when I became aware that I was feeling other people’s stuff. So, the knowing it’s happening is the first step. If I mistake everything for my own, it’s overwhelming, depressing, confusing. I have to keep myself as close to a known baseline as possible. Which means if I want to change my environment, the people I’m around, or what I’m putting into my body (all of which I do pretty much every day)I have to be aware of how I’m feeling physically, emotionally and energetically before I make any changes (baseline).Then once any of those variables are added or changed, I have to be aware of how I respond physically, emotionally and energetically. And be able to separate that from the physical, emotional and energetic feelings I’m feeling that are actually others’ (people, animals, plants, etc.) feelings.
I’ve noticed that I compartmentalize to protect myself. Everything. Each body part is its own microcosm of the macrocosm that is my body. It keeps things simple. And I remind myself that holding onto the feelings doesn’t help the other person. No matter the situation (one on one with a person, in a crowd, knowing who I’m feeling, not knowing who I’m feeling, feeling someone long distance, feeling the collective energy, etc) letting the feeling leave my body with the intention of helping the other person do the same, if they want, is a good practice.
Just to stick to a consistent, healthy baseline.”
Samantha Perlmutter. Samantha came up so many times in the conversation. In my mind, at least : )
“It seems like I would like to save people, but I think that's kind of rude or disrespectful. I like to nurture people. I like to allow people to be themselves. You can't heal somebody else, you’ve just got to provide a space for them to do it themselves. In my sessions, you will process some things on the table, but most is set up to process on your own afterwards. But some people want someone to tell them what to do. They forget about themselves - but we are each our own best healers and teachers.”
Editor in Chief: Becca Finley
Article: Caralie Byrnes
Photos: Caitlin Billard
Stay tuned for the ‘Connections’ book coming out January 22, complete with all 55 Connections, and how they fit into the Charleston community. Brand new pics + quotes.