Pruning for Purpose

As we start the new year, I’ve been thinking a great deal about what I want to hold on to and what I’m ready to let go of, whether emergent dreams, outdated beliefs or something in between. A necessary pruning of the heart, soul and mind, I’ve learned that when spread too thin, we lose our capacity to commit fully to anything or anyone. Try to move in too many directions at the same time, and we end up going nowhere fast.

222-prune-treeLike trees that grow in the garden of our life, this seasonal act of cutting back and cutting out not only removes dead weight that no longer serves its purpose and robs us of our energy, but creates space for healthy new growth, necessary to reach the places we are trying to go.

While I love building bridges and connecting with others; while I am relentlessly curious and eager to learn, I’m also learning that part of this pruning involves turning down the volume and velocity of social media. Don’t misunderstand. There are those whose words and wisdom I follow, value and appreciate, and I’m grateful for endless opportunities to connect, engage, learn from and share with others. Still, I’m nevertheless learning that for me, a closet introvert, living in a constant state of hyper connectivity pulls me off-center and robs me of the ability to deeply listen, whether to my own heart or others.

I’ve struggled with this in the face of opposing advice. Read any book, blog or article on writing and the art of social engagement and the advice is the same: create more engagement instead of less — more tweets, more posts, more acknowledgements, more following, and more followers. But sometimes in life, doing less actually creates space for something more — more meaning, greater depth, and deeper joy. At some point, when engagement exceeds our capacity to stay centered with ourselves; when we spend more time managing our message than engaging in meaningful dialogue, a course correction is in order.

Perhaps the answer lies in intentionality. The clearer I am on my purpose, the greater my ability to let go of what no longer serves. The more intentional I am with my time, values & priorities, the deeper my capacity to connect with others — not from a platform or podium, but from a more grounded, rooted place; a place that invites relationship, engagement and real dialogue, anchored by authentic connection and a renewed sense of connective purpose.

I’m curious… are there areas in your life that need pruning back to enable connection with your deeper purpose?  How do you filter out the noise of life to allow space for deep listening and connection with others? 

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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