The promise of wellness and satisfaction has never been as ubiquitous in our culture as it is now. Images of happy people stare out at us from magazine pages and television screens; they are successful and busy, hurrying from the office to the opera, eating healthfully and acting responsibly. We are a nation of achievers but, as Dr. Edward Hallowell makes clear in Connect, what sustains us—emotionally, psychologically, physically—is connectedness, the feeling that we are part of something that matters, something larger than ourselves that gives life its meaning, direction, and purpose.
Hallowell examines the real life most of us lead—overwhelmed, harried, pressured—and outlines the steps we can take to connect ourselves to the people and things that matter to us. He elevates the simplest forms of communication, understanding, and self-knowledge as examples of the human moment: the basis for the bridges we build to one another. He tells stories of personal growth—one woman’s plan to bring a neighborhood together, another woman’s assembling of a makeshift family, a real estate developer’s institution of company-wide weekly pizza dinners—and identifies in them twelve vital ties to a more connected life. Hallowell concludes that within each of us exists the capacity to connect with the people around us—our parents, spouses, children, friends, and colleagues—to become who we want to be and to be happy with who we are.
Edward M. Hallowell, MD, was an instructor at Harvard Medical School for twenty years and is now the director of the Hallowell Centers in Seattle, San Francisco, New York City, and the Boston area. He is the co-author of Driven to Distraction, Delivered… More about Edward M. Hallowell, M.D.
1. Your family of origin Are you as emotionally close to your family of origin as you would like to be? 2. Your immediate family Do you treat one another with love and respect? 3. Your friends and community Do you see friends and neighbors on a regular basis? 4. Work and activities Do you feel a sense of mission at work? 5. Appreciation of beauty Do you make time to enjoy a favorite art form? 6. History Do you feel the power of the past in your daily life? 7. Nature and special places Are there special places that speak to you in ways no other place can? 8. Pets and other animals Do you seek companionship from your pet or other animals? 9. Ideas and information Do you feel that you know how to get the most out of your brain power? 10. Institutions and organizations Do you take pride in group membership? 11. Greater truth or spiritual faith Do you continue to seek the truth by whatever means make sense to you? 12. Yourself Do you feel comfortable being who you are?