As friends, families, and co-workers, we are either in a state of expansion or contraction. Our social flow is never still.
Whether we are deliberate or not, we are growing closer together or drifting further apart when we gather. This means that simply gathering isn’t enough.
Up here, we’ve observed two things that seem to help groups gather with a momentum toward expansion.
First, whether intentional or not, new experiences with old friends fuel fresh connections. If you’re feeling empty after nostalgic dinners of storytelling of times past, a new experience will birth new ties and build upon old tethers.
River dips, group gongs, and 107° F aquatic yoga tend to awaken a sleeping social rhythm with those you hold closest, and some group leader is often the one to make it all happen.
Second, digital detoxing creates a personal presence. These days, it's nearly impossible to spend a few hours, let alone a few days, with those closest without being pulled into anywhere but here, anytime but now, and anyone but them. What pulls us away? Phones, social media, emails, and the constant barrage of attention distraction.
By design and by geography, we’ve noted that next to hot healing mineral pools, a cell phone, and WiFi-free experience is perhaps the most important thing groups can discover.
As the Holiday season settles in, it’s not too late to re-imagine how you gather with your people. Whether on our shores or not, we strongly suggest combining a fresh new experience with no phones involved.
For now, four years, we've watched Ashley Cleveland from Outdoor Afro HQ deliberately lean into new experiences with their community of outdoor enthusiasts, and something tells us it's always for the better. And yes, that something is the laughter we can still hear echoing in our canyon.