In this digital age, where connectivity is measured by how many friends one has on Facebook, it is easy to get confused about what real intimacy is and how to create the close emotional connections that truly nourish our hearts.

It is sad to see how our hand-held devices have become the go-to place to communicate. It is not unusual to see people sitting or standing together, each focused on his or her screen rather than the other’s face, a potential moment of true connection lost. Similarly, the preference for texting over live voice conversation is another lost opportunity.

While the dopamine hit in your brain when the phone dings its notification may give a moment of pleasure, like any addiction it is ultimately empty and only leads to craving for more. So how can we satisfy this very real, basic human need for connection?

What I’m talking about is emotional closeness or intimacy. This requires letting down the social mask and making ourselves vulnerable. We all long for this: to be known and seen for who we are and how we are in any given moment. But how many of us actually take the risk to show ourselves in this way to others?

We have learned to protect ourselves from this kind of vulnerability. Our bodies are tense and stressed with this protection because in our culture vulnerability is seen as weakness. But I want to argue for it as a different kind of strength. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to express the tender sensitivity that is hidden deep in our core.

Without a doubt, there are good reasons we have built up walls to protect it. But true relationship is not possible without letting those walls down. And living inside them we flounder for lack of contact. However it may look on the outside, whatever face we put on it, inside we are lonely and lost.

We need each other. It is that simple. Pretending we don’t, or shouldn’t, is what has created many of the problems we see in society today. So it is a radical act to come out from behind our masks and reveal ourselves. I believe the world is thirsty for this kind of courage.

Because I recognize how scary it can be, as well as how important it is, I am offering a new group as a safe place in which to practice this with like-minded, open-hearted others. Together, with my facilitation, we will soften and relax, come out into the open, and be present with each other.

If you long for the kind of deep intimacy that is possible when we gather with the mutual intention to connect from a place of embodied presence and emotional vulnerability, this group is for you. Call me at 505-577-4607.