Warning: This blog post is going to get a little woo-woo.

I’m not inclined toward long flights of ethereal new age speak or reflection on religious mysticism. But this past year has been a very different time. So strap in for a little woo-woo.

When social distancing started getting enforced almost a year ago, our intense cravings for human connection began to get mediated through digital means. Given our sometimes wide geographic distances, you would have thought that the two-dimensional screens through which we now interacted would have stilted our connections. And, though it may have made small talk and incidental conversations more difficult, it could actually deepen our awareness of connection in other ways.

When the pandemic hit, I was already assistant teaching a six-month pranayama course (yogic breath practices). We were already gathering for most of these classes online, but now we were being forced to take even the weekend workshops virtually. Like so much of life at the time, we were really scattered because of the disruption of our normal patterns and feeling disconnected from everyone except those in our immediate households.

Linda, the primary teacher of the course, invited us into a heart-centered practice – breathing first into our hearts, then sending that pooled energy to ourselves, then out to each person in the group; and finally to others outside the group who may need the supportive heart energy. The loving connection felt warm and tingly, extending through my entire body and beyond it. Yoga meditation practices often move through these “layers” of self, called koshas. Practicing in and through the koshas reminds us that we are simultaneously physical and energetic beings, connected to ourselves and beyond ourselves all at the same time.

I’ve had many palpable energetic experiences like this one in the past year – during my yoga studio’s reiki share (Learn more about this energy healing experience during this week’s Mindful Monday video), while sharing communion meals and candle lighting rituals with my church online, and during meditation and yoga practice with dear, fellow yoga practitioners who live near and far.

Here’s the strange and somewhat unexpected 2020 learning: The physical separation is likely enhancing our awareness of the energetic connection. Our yearning for physical connection being so strong enhances the energetic connection itself. The universe may become supercharged when we rest into the tense paradox of the physical and the energetic, the distance and the connection, our groundedness and our expansiveness.

Since it seems like our physical separation is going to last even longer than we expected, let’s feel into the paradox of the distanced connections in which we may forge even deeper, more intimate relationships.

Go Deeper: Heart-centered meditation will be front and center in two of my February events: