Connection & Shared Humanity

Connection (noun)

  1. a relationship in which a person or thing is linked or associated with something else

Did you know that around one-third of Australian adults are not involved in any social or community groups? This is an eye-opening statistic when we know that being part of a community can have a hugely positive effect on mental health and emotional wellbeing. Community involvement provides a sense of belonging and social connectedness. It can also offer extra meaning and purpose to everyday life. Also known to lower levels of anxiety and depression, and raise self-esteem, the feeling of community can help us have a healthier mindset, improved self-worth, and greater enjoyment of life.

Lost Connections

In fact, in the book Lost Connections, author Johann Hari takes this knowing one step further, as he explores the cutting-edge science of curing people suffering from mental illness without the primary focus on medication. He uncovers the truth that many of these conditions are a result of environmental and psychological ailments. His well-researched argument is that the key to treating many of these mental health conditions is in re-establishing lost connections in our lives and that social prescriptions are a great way to help people by making them feel valued and connected.

Rather than turning to medication as the first and only port of call, Hari tells us that doctors are starting to realize the value of connection. They help people reconnect with others around them, have meaningful work, meaningful values, and give a chance for people to overcome trauma from their past.

In effect, social prescriptions reconnect the lost connections. 

Coming Home

At Cool Karma Collected, community is everything. We have seen time and time again the magic that unfolds throughout an eight-week journey with a group of strangers when holding space for each other. When giving each other permission to be whole-heartedly, exactly who they are. Coming together for just 2.5hrs each week over the course of eight weeks facilitates something truly remarkable, it fosters connection, community and shared humanity all in a safe and supportive space. Connecting to a  group of strangers, in a way we don’t often have the opportunity to – can ultimately feel like coming home. A deeply nourishing and enriching experience for everyone involved. 

Interested in learning more? Get in touch, we would love to hear from you.


The Magic Ingredient

Sitting in a stranger-filled room, attempting to pay attention to sensations, thoughts, emotions, and breath… perhaps feeling hot, fidgety and frustrated thinking “and I’m supposed to endure this every day, for the next eight weeks…?!” To most, this may seem like a mild form of torture…

The truth is that whilst we have heard the above many times, what we also know is that our eight-week mindfulness program also offers the potential for something most of us in this crazy-busy world are craving right now; a little more ease, freedom, and a lot less stress.

And it has been proven.
Time and time again.

In fact, over the past forty years, it has been favored by almost all scientists who are interested in studying the effects of meditation on our health and happiness. The program was originally developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1979 for chronically ill people for whom conventional medicine had done all it could. In the last few years alone, hundreds of scientific studies showing its benefits have been published leading to the significant increase in awareness of Mindfulness that we have all probably been privy to. 

Why me? Why now?

Though the program started for patients with chronic pain, the scope of who it can benefit has widened to almost anyone and everyone.  We see people sign up for a number of reasons – they might be suffering from chronic stress, pain, insomnia, or simply wanting a little more presence and purpose in their lives. Whether it is executives, athletes, business owners, mums and dads,  doctors, psychologists, yogis or students, One thing they all have in common, is that each commits to show up for 2.5 hours each week, to 45 minutes of formal meditation practice each day, and to a day-long retreat held in full silence. This is no small feat for anyone, but rarely does anyone drop out. 

Whilst this may initially seem like a big commitment, the potential payout is also big. Participants of MBSR report everything from improvement in relationships, to greater stress resilience, relief from anxiety, depression, and chronic pain. 

So what is the magic ingredient?

The magic ingredient? Well… it’s the sheer number of practices in the program that makes drilling down to find the key ingredient so difficult. Is it the meditation? Is it the everyday mindfulness? Is the mindful movement? Is it the content and gentle inquiry that is delivered by the teacher? The safe and supportive environment? Or is it simply the very fact that each week people feel more and more connected with one another as they realise just how similar the inner workings of their minds really are?  

So really, it’s not just one thing. It’s a multitude of reasons that make this program so profound. Especially when it’s offered in a way that is so contextually relevant and with the potential over the eight weeks to really embed these practices into your life. 

Got questions or would like to chat more about MBSR? We would love to hear from you.

For an extensive reading list of MBSR research see here.