A Cross-Country Journey of Healing Through Connection

An experiment in moments

In today’s society, so many of us feel isolated.

We pass by one another on the sidewalk; stand behind one another in the grocery store; sit next to one another on the train– yet we feel separate. We feel detached. We feel lonely.

This disconnect is making us sick, literally—over 60 million Americans feel so isolated that their health is damaged in ways that mirror the effects of high blood pressure, smoking and obesity.

Our bodies crave connection,

so why is it that people are becoming increasingly more lonely?

Why is it that we are often praised for independence, instead of being acknowledged for reaching out and connecting.

Just as we need food and water for survival, humans need connection to maintain health and longevity. Our evolutionary past proves that our survival is dependent on our collectivity.

Today, we no longer live as our ancestors did, but our brains and bodies still remain wired to connect. We need one another to thrive, for our emotional, physical, and spiritual wellbeing. A sense of belonging is deeply rooted within us, enabling us to feel truly alive and connected to our ourselves, our communities, and our world.

Being part of keeps us well.

We invite you to put down the phone, turn off the devices, and step back into humanity – alive, awake, and connected.

Welcome to the home of The Connection Cure, a cross-country human engagement project that explores face-to-face connection as a catalyst for healing and wellness.

Our nationwide workshops and connection conversations ignite the spirit, create conversation about our bodies, and aim to de-stigmatize loneliness in our increasingly disconnected society.

Already connected

The Connection Tour

From Wyoming, with love 1.25.19

In my workshops, I often talk about the power of sharing and receiving the story of a micro-moment – a brief genuine exchange, not just with a friend or loved one, but even with a stranger. Social Psychologist Barbara Fredrickson coined the term micro- … read more

From Colorado, with love 1.19.19

Hi friends! It’s been quite some time since I’ve written from the road, and for that, I owe you all an apology. This project has been so many things for me, and in the midst of all those things, it’s also been radically difficult. I find it hard to wri … read more

From Idaho, with love 10.24.18

The N train that takes you from Manhattan into Brooklyn is pure magic –– between Atlantic Avenue and Canal Street the train moves above ground. It’s this epic opening from darkness into blue sky, grey sky, or rainy sky. During this time you’re gifted t … read more

From Weeki Wachee, Florida, with love 10.11.18

The Connection Cure visits legendary Mermaid Vicki in Weeki Wachee, Florida read more

Dark Circles and Definitions 9.11.18

Yesterday morning when I woke up, the first thing I did was look in the mirror. Over the years, this is how I have measured my level of wellbeing; the color of the underbelly of my eyes directly correlates to how sick I feel on any given day. It’s my b … read more

From Las Vegas, with love 9.11.18

The Connection Cure visits the New Vista Ranch, a non-profit organization that supports and empowers youth and adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities read more

Share your moments

#connectioncure

  • There is no better expression than this one to describe my last three weeks in Miami. Absolute joy. Belly hurting laughter. Workshopping of workshops. Unbelievable support. Deepened friendships. Pirates and boaters and a diverse community of liveaboards who constantly have each other’s back - no matter what. There is a problem with the Connection Cure, and that is, I always want to return to the communities that move me. So instead of figuring out how to solve this problem, I’ve surrendered to it. I’ve decided to slow down, to return to the places that inspire me, to keep these relationships flourishing, and to embrace every freaking moment of it. Until next time Miami. I heart you. #connectioncure #connectioncureflorida•
📸: @passionlives
  • It’s often so easy to forget about the simplicities of life for me. The moments where I sit without distraction and just connect to me. The last two weeks living on a sailboat have forced me to return to a quieter place within myself, appreciating life without much technology distraction, and questioning why most times, I make things so hard and difficult. Being on this little boat reminds me that life and thoughts and connections and joy can be simple if I let it. I have no idea what’s next - where or how or when - but right now I’m cool with just being. It’s a new thing I’m trying on and I can breathe a lot better this way. Also, the sunrise helps too. #connectioncure #connectioncureflorida #nomad
  • @holaveromarquez and I met over ten years ago in a writer's workshop in a tiny NYC studio. We arrived as strangers, spending one evening a week around a small wooden table reading and writing stories from our lives. Led by a red haired, leopard legging-ed, red lipsticked writer, we, over the span of a few months, began to listen to the moments that mattered to us. Since that time, Vero and I have woven in and out of each others lives, connecting and reconnecting as the years went by. No matter how long it had been since we'd spoken, there was always an intimate knowing of one another, having been linked through the stories of our past. Last week Vero and her family opened their home to me in Miami and to my surprise, during our last dinner together, she pulled out a folder with some of my printed stories from 2009. Ten years later we sat around a wooden table re-reading these stories with quiet reflection on how we've changed. Sharing and receiving stories seems so obvious that sometimes I forget that there is always more to hear. This is what human brains are designed to do - connect, mirror, listen, feel - but how often do we (do I) forgot to ask someone to “tell me more.” Veronica was my quiet reminder to never stop being curious about the people in our lives and the power and connection that comes through sharing the moments that make us. #connectioncure #connectioncureflorida
  • One year ago today I was eating peanut butter and apple sandwiches with Mermaid Vicki, a stranger whom I drove 7 hours to meet at a roadside attraction in Weeki Wachee, Florida. After spending four hours with her, Mermaid Vicki invited me into her home for the night and I spent the next two days listening to her stories of the unity and mutual care in the mermaid community. I interviewed her for hours as her stories of magic and connection poured out of her. Since that time, I have traveled across the U.S, meeting powerful and fascinating women who have opened up and offered me a window into their worlds. I have heard stories of loss and pain, power and self connection, and the magic that happens when women champion one another without competition. In reflection, I can say with great certainty that listening to these stories has forever shifted me, and increased my desire to keep listening and sharing these stories as I continue on. Today, I honor mermaid Vicki who said, "Well, I’ll tell you one thing, there’s not another creature on earth like a woman. We create, we envision, we master, and we have a fierce resilience. Women are magic." #connectioncure #connectioncureflorida
  • because connection is everything ⚡️💜 — @lisadaron you are a gem in this world and the connection cure is an incredible project that is literally healing communities globally. grateful for my team who came out this morning and were truly seen. #connectioncure #joblove #thesweatlifemia
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huge thank you to @tanitainmia and @circa39miami for hosting us and really putting the cherry on top of this experience 🌴 // and the OG connection and thank you goes to @k_stern1214 for opening up the opportunity. love to you beauty 💕
  • This photo was taken today after an early morning workshop with the heartfelt staff of lululemon Miami Beach. They showed up and shared pieces of themselves and their stories that moved one another to tears. They talked about the ripple effect of connection and engagement, they shared incredibly vulnerable moments, offered stories and experiences, and shared in their joy and gratitude. 
It’s moments like this, with people like these, that always outweigh the tough and lonely times on the road. It’s experiences like these that remind me that the moments that make me feel connected and alive outweigh the moments that make me feel the opposite. Connection and engagement creates a ripple effect. That’s why we engage in conversation around it. Because when we talk about our potential to shift our bodies’ biochemistry, just through connection, maybe it will make us more apt to talk to strangers, to listen to someone’s story, to go deeper with someone already nearby. What I love about working with lululemon is the potential they have to engage in micro-moments with every single person who walks through their door. This team talked about their immediate impact, and the science was just an additional backdrop to expanding the definition of wellness and looking at how that term can be accessible to all. #connectioncure #connectioncureflorida
  • Six months on the road, never fully unpacking my suitcase once, staying in over thirty one different homes, hosting over twenty nine workshops, from mountains to lakes to oceans to deserts, going to dairy farms, fire stations, churches, haunted old hospitals, drive-ins, state fairs, potato museums, yurt parks, and national parks, with strangers and with friends, riding on scooters and flying in two seater airplanes, sharing coffee and pie, elk and huckleberries, yuca pancakes and wine, venison tacos and beer, in kitchens across the country, and ready for another six months!! Onward 🚗💨#connectioncure #nomad 📸@home.sweet.idahome
  • Thinking about how grateful I am for my adorable moms who always, always, knows how to ask just the right questions. #connectioncure #mamacure
  • Sometimes in life you meet a community of people who shift you. In October of last year, I came to New Vista, an organization that works with adults who have intellectual and developmental disabilities, to host a connection cure for staff. What I realized when I got there was that I wasn’t there to host an event, I was there to learn about boundless joy and connection, and experience from and with them. During my week with New Vista I fell in love with the community. I fell in love with their unwavering ability to give and to love, and their commitment to the work they do. Yesterday we spoke about emotional contagion. Our bodies ability to feel what people are feeling and thinking and to spread that emotion like a ripple. The members and staff of new vista are constantly spreading joy and love. They are the absolute most divine example of what it feels like to be surrounded by contagious joy. I don’t know how I got so lucky to be a part of this community. I don’t know how I got so lucky to learn from them and to love with them, but I plan to keep showing up with an open heart as long as the door is open. #connectioncure #connectioncurenevada #newvista
  • Day 177 on the road: I've never been one to enjoy my own company without distraction. It's something I’ve never realized about myself until I spent months being forced to have experiences, explore beauty, and have moments of awe and wonder with no one to share it with. Previously I would have simply called this lonely, but I'm noticing that the more time I spend with myself without distraction, the more I see my lonely turning into alone. I've spent most of my life waiting to do and experience things with others. I've exhausted so much energy feeling ashamed when I didn't have anyone but myself to be with, and this often meant missing out on experiences. But what the connection cure is teaching me is that the simple act of having experiences by myself, taking in the earth, taking myself out to dinner, traveling and noticing, fills me up in a different way. Instead of turning to someone to share it with, I have to turn to myself. I have to be enough. Today I spent hours exploring. I didn't talk to one stranger. I didn't listen to one podcast. I smiled without anyone seeing. I said, "holy shit this is beautiful," and no one else heard. I sang with the windows down, I strolled through archways, and took myself out for a margarita. Today was the first day I could feel that I've met a beginning - traveling alone instead of lonely. #connectioncure #nomad
  • This is Ginger. She was raised on pie and connection. Growing up on a farm in Arkansas, it was commonplace for the neighbors to care for one another. Her mother's type of caring came in the form of pie, most specifically her special strawberry pie that still to this day elicits memories and nostalgia for her entire family. Pie equaled connection, not just for her friends, family, and neighbors, but for anyone anywhere engaging in the experience of sensory feelings, taste, and emotion. Keeping her mother's tradition alive, Ginger opened Ginger and Baker, a cafe in Fort Collins, Colorado that sells pie with a side of community and connection. When I stumbled upon this pie shop, I didn't even know pie was something I loved. But, the design of the space was so inviting I couldn't help but continue to show up, day after day. And every single time I sat down at this pie shop, community was created. Strangers began conversations with strangers, stories were  told, micro-moments (and macro-moments) were being had. I fell in love with this place so much so, I would drive an hour and a half just to sit at the counter. I was given more free pie and ice cream then I ever thought one human could indulge in, but each time, I did, and I welcomed more, because every single piece of pie baked here was infused with belonging. "I created this place for community and connection," Ginger told me. "I believe there is so much kindness in our country, and I wanted to highlight how that kindness can be shared over the experience of pie, something that brings joy to most everyone." Colorado people, Denver people, any people coming near or through Colorado. Stop by Ginger and Baker. Eat pie. Meet strangers. Share stories. Spread kindness. #connectioncure #pie
  • The pie shop has a marble counter that wraps around the cafe in a rectangular shape giving patrons no alternative to connection. Next to and across from are strangers sharing in the tradition of pie, huge pieces of coconut cream and cherry slices line the counter, a universal pathway to conversation. Suzanne is working behind the marble with an energy that has invited most everyone to sit down. She strikes up a brief conversation and before I know it she has disappeared and returned with three slices of coconut cream, their best seller, and quite honestly the best pie I've ever tasted. Her name tag reads, Community Ambassador, and it doesn't take long for me to realize that Suzanne has a special story. Losing her 25 year old daughter Liz ten years ago from a seizure, she has made it part of her life to promote connection and kindness, following in her daughter footsteps, and encouraging people to share small moments of genuine love with strangers. 
We agree to meet for breakfast the next day (she even invited the Mayor), and after two hours of storytelling Suzanne takes me sightseeing in the mountains. As we drive up to Horsetooth Reservoir she shares with me the story of her daughter's life, and how after her passing she received hundreds of letters in the mail from strangers sharing how Liz's kindness impacted their lives. "It's not about accolades, it's about this right here," she says as she hits me on the leg with a smile. She drops me off at the pie shop and we agree to meet at 5pm today. She’s invited me to church with her and her family– once an old dance club, the space has now been converted into a church filled with "marvelous misfits" as Suzanne explains. A church who's motto is real relationships, acceptance, and authenticity. “You know I'm Jewish, right?" I say to her. "Girl! We accept all. I'm gonna help you work on your stereotypes." As I jump out of the car, I thank her and just as the door is closing she says, "Girl, I love ya." #connectioncure #connectioncurecolorado

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