Social Connection

THE POWER OF COMMUNITY: PROM NIGHT AND BEYOND

Hi, I'm Ally!

I'm an executive coach, speaker, trainer, and mindset shifter.
And I'm committed to making a positive impact in this world.

OVERWHELMED?

 Subscribe to
the weekly email!

TIPS PLEASE!

Becoming more present in today's distracted world.

top categories

Strategies that boost resilience through purposeful goal setting.

Simple mindset shifts to prepare for life's unknowns.

Tips for managing stress and avoiding burnout.

Over a year ago now, I felt that we hit a roadblock with respect to my oldest son’s education. He had gotten through the first eight grades with a TON of additional special ed resources, a full-time aide for years, and me spending COUNTLESS hours working with him to simply keep him afloat. (Much at the expense of the other three boys).  The fact was, we received ALL services we ever desired, and were so lucky to live in a school district that made it possible. But there was something missing, and something that the public school couldn’t provide. He just didn’t seem to fit in. He didn’t have his people.

Socialization was ALWAYS a struggle for Will. And it was really difficult to “put himself out there” in such a large public school. The good thing was, Will WANTED to be social, which is not the case with all children on the spectrum. The bad thing? He didn’t know how to do it, and often interjected himself conversationally in an inappropriate manner. And when mistakes were made, they often resulted in angry peers or administrators. My gut told me I had to find a new environment.

STUMBLING UPON THE RIGHT SCHOOL

As I began searching smaller private schools in our area, an ad was pushed by the google. The ad was for a school that promised to help children with learning challenges … BELONG. GROW. SUCCEED. It was that first one… BELONG, that got me.

Being neurotypical, I never had a true appreciation for the importance of belonging. It just came naturally to myself, and to my other children, who have an abundance of social invitations. But poor William never belonged. He never had a play date. And almost never a birthday party invite. Could this school deliver on such a promise? We decided to do something bold, and send our emerging high schooler to a boarding school to help him belong. And they said that once that happens, the growth and success would follow.

Fast forward a school year to last night, which was Will’s first prom. Donning his navy blazer and tie, he joined his small group of co-ed classmates who attend the school. He took selfies with friends. He listened (and perhaps attempted to dance) while the DJ play his favorite (explicit I’m sure) songs. He laughed, joked with his buds, and stayed out late. Last night was the end of an amazing year of feeling “typical.” And it doesn’t take that HUGE smile in every photo to convince me that he feels like he belongs.

THE HUMAN BENEFITS OF BELONGING

William is not alone in his need to belong. Humans have an intrinsic need for community and a sense of belonging. We are social creatures. And this fundamental need transcends mere companionship; it provides emotional support, identity, and a shared purpose.

Belonging to a community enhances our mental and emotional well-being, offering a network of people who understand and share our experiences, values, and goals. It fosters resilience, helping us navigate life’s challenges with a support system in place. In essence, community fulfills a basic human necessity for connection, contributing to our overall happiness and sense of fulfillment.

I am approaching the end of a course, alongside many others, where we routinely share our challenges, support fellow classmates and collectively work towards reaching our business goals. These short weekly break-out sessions have been a highlight of my month, and I can say with certainty, the highlight of theirs as well.

It also gave me both the tools and confidence to roll out a future offering that will provide clients with the support that they may need in reaching their personal and professional goals. Alongside a community of like-minded people who can help lift and encourage as WE work collectively in living a life of intention, purpose, and peace. A group coaching model that uses our human need for connection to help us thrive. And at a time in history when we feel more alone than ever.

Will is thriving because he found a community of people with shared experiences, and similar life challenges. A group that understands why he sometimes does what he does. And one that together, is continuously learning from their mistakes.

But Will and his classmates with learning challenges are not the only ones who need this type of community. We ALL do. Whether it’s checking out what’s to come in MY future community-based program, getting involved in a local charitable effort, or joining an online forum of individuals with a shared interest… we ALL benefit from connecting with like-minded people. It helps us tackle life’s challenges, and feel supported when things aren’t going well. We could ALL benefit from finding our people. So get out there, like Will did, and find yours.

+ show Comments

- Hide Comments

add a comment

Reply...

OBSESSED WITH INTENTIONAL LIVING, MINDFULNESS AND LIFELONG LEARNING.

Hi, I'm Ally.
Executive coach,
speaker, trainer and mindset shifter

Observing the declining state of mental health in a world of non-stop news, work-life overlap and distractions galore, Ally became committed to learning and sharing simple strategies, based on the research in the field of Positive Psychology, to help individuals and teams thrive.

Learn more

Ally Meyers is a certified executive coach  and speaker with workshops that translate the science of happiness into strategies to manage stress and increase resilience, productivity and well-being.

WWW.ALLISONMEYERS.COM

%d bloggers like this: