Deeper Connections

by Lance Ekum on · 71 comments

chain of thought
Creative Commons License photo credit: tractorpirate

"We don't accomplish anything in this world alone … and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one's life and all the weavings of individual threads from one to another that creates something." ~ Sandra Day O'Connor

Connections.

How do you view them?  What matters? 

This weekend I had the opportunity to connect and strengthen some of those relationships with several people I've met through online connections. 

Katie West, founder of The Levity Project, was in Chicago on Saturday to bring a laughter event to the city.  It was an amazing day, and a great way to bring a little extra joy into the world.  As great as that was, that's not the focus of this article today.   Instead, today I'm looking at the powerful and meaningful ways that deeper connections are formed.

I had the opportunity to connect with several people on that deeper and more personal level:

  • Kim Kotecki from Escape Adulthood (thanks for being my riding buddy on our little road trip…and for great GPS skills when I got us lost!!)
  • Stacey Hoffer Weckstein from Create A Balance for Moms (whoa…we really met!  How cool!)
  • John Anyasor from HiLife2B (what a fun event, huh!)
  • Ina Lukas (hey sparkly gazer…don't move!!!)
  • Katie West from The Levity Project (YOU…buddy…are simply awesome!)

November2009
Kim, Stacey, Katie, myself, and Ina after the event

IMG_1034a
Katie, John, and myself in downtown Chicago

When you think about the Internet, what are your thoughts?  Does it seem like this is a warm and welcoming place, or does it seem cold and rigid? 

In it's barest form, what I'm typing here and sharing can be broken down into a series of 1's and 0's (binary code).  Just a bunch of numbers being sent back and forth.  The raw data would look very technical, cold, and not welcoming at all.  I find that so interesting.  This series of 1001001100111100011000111001111 (I have no idea what that says…) data becomes so much more.  It becomes the catalyst to something great.  Great in terms of whatever it is we're here doing. 

Today, that's about connection.  People I never would have met, were it not for these 1's and 0's and the connecting ability they hold.

When those connections can be made even greater – email, phone conversations, and in person meetings – wow!  The Internet has provided such a great tool for connecting people from all over the world.  And when there are opportunities to take those connections to a new level, to deepen that connection – it is so worth it. 

This all takes me back several months, to last spring – when I had my first opportunity to connect "in person" with someone I had met only online.  Stacey Shipman and I found ourselves with a unique opportunity where our paths crossed while both of us were on vacation – giving us a wonderful chance to meet.  It has made for a  developing friendship between us.  I know this is what it is today because we met "in person", and really had an opportunity to connect at a different, more personal level.

Our own personal world is greatly impacted by the connections we have with others around us.  When we can take those connections to a deeper level, and make the connection more personal and real – that relationship is strengthened, and our life is improved.  Especially when those connections are in line with our more inner being.

Your Turn

How do you view the Internet?  Have you made deeper connections with others because of your presence on the Internet (email, blog, social media, website, etc)?  Do you find the world to be a smaller place?

Lance writes stories from his heart, aiming to inspire and motivate, as you align more fully with YOUR true peak. When he's not here, you can find him hanging out with his family, riding a bike, or just generally acting goofy.   Sign up for the Thoughts from the Treehouse newsletter and get additional inspiration in your email inbox!
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{ 70 comments… read them below or add one }

Jay Schryer November 9, 2009 at 10:09 am

Oh, I definitely have formed much deeper connections with people simply because I have met them online. The world (for me) is definitely a smaller place. Just off the top of my head, I can think of friends that I have in Australia, Iran, England, Ireland, Sweden, and Morocco that I never would have known without the magic of the internet. And of course, I have great friends from all across the country that I only know through our online interactions (*cough* Lance *cough*)

And the friends that I have met in “real life’ after having known them online, those are some of the best relationships in my life. I honestly don’t know what I would do without Lisis (from Quest for Balance), for example.

So three cheers for deeper connections!
.-= Jay Schryer´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Dark Side of Music =-.

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Nathalie Lussier November 9, 2009 at 10:20 am

Yes! I have made deeper connections, and even met some of my “online friends” in person as well. It’s kind of interesting because I have been doing this since I was 12… Except back then it wasn’t exactly acceptable to go out and meet your “internet friends”. Now it’s totally cool, and really great to take connections further!

I’d love to meet you someday too Lance. 🙂
.-= Nathalie Lussier´s Last Fabulous Post ..How to Perform a Salt Water Flush to Cleanse Your Colon =-.

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Nadia - Happy Lotus November 9, 2009 at 10:44 am

Hi Lance,

That is so awesome that you all were able to meet! Yay! Sounds like it was fun.

I personally think the Internet is amazing. Life is truly about being connected to one another. We already are but we do not think that we are. Life is what we make out of it and often it is wonderful to share the journey. I have met so many wonderful souls as a result of blogging and they all have made such a wonderful impact on my life.

As for meeting any of my online friends, I only have met one and that was Lisis from Quest for Balance and we had such a fun time. I hope to be able to meet more and more of my online friends. We all should have a get together or something. 🙂
.-= Nadia – Happy Lotus´s Last Fabulous Post ..My November Dose of Tough Love =-.

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Positively Present November 9, 2009 at 10:51 am

Great post about connecting with others! Love it! The quote you used here is great too!
.-= Positively Present´s Last Fabulous Post ..note to self: it’s okay to be happy =-.

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Tess The Bold Life November 9, 2009 at 11:07 am

Lance,
Again your photo, quote and article together are very powerful! Yes I’ve made wonderful friends online and include you as one of them! I was secretly hoping to be in Chicago but was under the weather all week. I went to the doctor Thursday (I have to be really sick to do this) and laid on the couch for most of the weekend. I’m sure I’ll have another opportunity with The Levity Project and Katie so I’ll look at it as the best is yet to come! Thanks for all your support!
.-= Tess The Bold Life´s Last Fabulous Post ..They Said She Couldn’t…She Did It Anyway =-.

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Caroline November 9, 2009 at 11:16 am

The internet is an amazing place, no? I was actually thinking about this a few days ago… How much my life has chaonged since I began blogging. My world has changed in an amazing way. There are some really fantastic and supportive folks I have met virtually. I know for a fact that your comments on my blog have helped me through some tough times. I feel like I have made some really great friends and have grown personally and spiritually. Sometimes I have a hard time wrapping my head around it…how this little box we type on creates a new reality for us virtually….

Nonetheless, knowing you has made a very positive impact on my life and that’s pretty darn cool!
.-= Caroline´s Last Fabulous Post ..Simple: pears =-.

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Daphne November 9, 2009 at 11:17 am

I turned to the internet specifically to connect with people and to find another community of support and wisdom. I have definitely made connections with people in a variety of contexts online (chat programs, video games, blogs) and I find that each has its purpose, even if we never make the connection in person. I really love the quote you picked – quite perfect. I’m so glad the Chicago event turned out well!
.-= Daphne´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Great Clothing Clean-out Project =-.

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Lynn November 9, 2009 at 11:30 am

Looks like you had a great day with friends. I never expected to have so many close blogging buddies, but it has turned out like that. So it makes the internet in the blogging world a warm place indeed.
.-= Lynn´s Last Fabulous Post ..Peaceful, historic and late bloomers =-.

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Karl Staib - Work Happy Now November 9, 2009 at 12:50 pm

I really think the internet can be both cold and warm. It really is what we make of it. If we use the internet to connect with other like minded as well as different kinds of people it can be very warm. I’ve met some wonderful people over the internet. I let the relationships build over time and then when we talked over the phone or in person it was so easy. It was like we’ve been friends for years.

We have an opportunity to connect with people all over the globe. I was on a conference call a few weeks ago with a woman from Hong Kong. We video chatted, so I saw her apartment and met her kid. It was an hour well spent.
.-= Karl Staib – Work Happy Now´s Last Fabulous Post ..How Your Company Can Bring the Fun Back =-.

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Tristan Lee November 9, 2009 at 12:58 pm

The good thing about the internet is that you can connect with people instantly at any time. The bad thing about it is that it doesn’t have the personal connection you get from meeting a person in real life. The best thing to do is to meet a person both online and offline, and I’m glad you accomplished doing this here! 🙂
.-= Tristan Lee´s Last Fabulous Post ..6 Golden Rules for Attracting More Wealth Into Your Life =-.

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Julie November 9, 2009 at 1:01 pm

How do I view the Internet, Lance? Mind-bogglingly intriguing, beguiling, and crazy-making (I could easily spend all day plinking around).

And it’s a wonderful matchmaker! Yes, the world is far smaller; it now fits in my den. 😉 Have I made deeper connections? YES! Ohmygosh. LOL, in the olden days, we had pen pals. Now, we have instant bonding on varying levels and friendships that blossom overnight. Life is infinitely richer because of this!

Tess and I have met for bubbly chats over iced tea—chats which end far too soon. She’s even more amazingly wonderful in person than online. Tess is the real deal. I just love her!

And Lance, I enjoy our friendship SO much and your surprise phone call even more. I look forward to meeting you and your family, one day, and by the time that occurs, it’ll feel like a family reunion. Awesome! 🙂

Oh, there are so many others who just warm my heart; the connections and warmth and the bonding because of interests in similar things, because of something that just speaks from heart to heart… Davina, Bernie (Walking in Stillness), Liara, and SO many others… There’s getting to know someone online and then taking it a step farther, into e-mail: swapping stories and recipes, being supportive, trading stories… creating a new kind of neighborhood, where friends and acquaintances share warmth and bonding that is as real as a tangible hug.

Then there are those I’ve not met but absolutely know like I know my own self: Evita and Robin Easton. They truly are my soul sisters, each unique yet so very similar and both are like a part of me. Robin and I have spoken of this, how without ever meeting or speaking we know each other in such a deeply intimate way, because we see ourselves so clearly in the other. In my real, tangible, day-to-day life, there are only two other women who even come close to knowing me at this level.

It’s simply mind-blowing that we can receive so much beautiful bounty just through the power of the written word! …through the sharing that occurs online. What I find ESPECIALLY amazing is that despite our different backgrounds, our different histories, our different genders and experiences, we can see how very alike we really are.

By the way, Davina, Tess and I are planning a little gals’ vacation, a Grand Canyon hike, next year. 🙂
.-= Julie´s Last Fabulous Post ..More in Love Than Usual: Celebrating Fall =-.

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Kristin T. (@kt_writes) November 9, 2009 at 1:01 pm

Sounds like such a wonderful day, Lance—I so wish I could have joined you!

Some day we will meet in person, I’m sure, but what amazes me is how real and deep the connections can be between two people who *haven’t* met in person. Since I started blogging and “gave in” to Twitter, the circle of people who make me feel less alone in this world has grown tremendously, thanks mostly to people who haven’t yet had the chance to make me “less alone” in a literal way.
.-= Kristin T. (@kt_writes)´s Last Fabulous Post ..Are we too accepting of the people we love? =-.

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Stacey / Create a Balance for Moms November 9, 2009 at 1:46 pm

Lance, Can you believe…we met in person AND here I am back on your blog. I find the internet warm and supportive. It’s a place where I can share my dreams and where I can find people who will support me in my journey. I have met so many amazing people online and look forward to seeing where this journey will lead us next!
.-= Stacey / Create a Balance for Moms´s Last Fabulous Post ..Inspiring Moms Club: Listen to What Extraordinary Mommy Danielle Smith Has to Say About Life Balance =-.

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Trish @imaSUcceeding November 9, 2009 at 2:17 pm

Looks like you all had such a great time!
.-= Trish @imaSUcceeding´s Last Fabulous Post ..What can YOU do to make a change? =-.

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Sami - Life, Laughs & Lemmings November 9, 2009 at 2:56 pm

I originally started my blog because I love to write, think the multi-media aspect of it rocks and thought it could possibly be a cool way I could make some money. What I found was much more valuable.

Not only was I completely surprised by the meaningful connections I found online but the power to spread something positive blew me away. Every day I see people (some friends, some I’m yet to “meet”) from all around the world doing, saying, promoting and creating awesomeness. The fact that your ebook and RAOKA took off like they did is testament to that.

I am extremely grateful to be part of the online communities I’m in and most certainly find the world a smaller place because of it.

PS. How’s the planning for your Aussie trip going? Don’t forget to include lil old Sunshine Coast in your itinerary! 😉
.-= Sami – Life, Laughs & Lemmings´s Last Fabulous Post ..Kick Arse Question – Surviving a Crisis =-.

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Lisis November 9, 2009 at 4:17 pm

OMG!!! I can’t tell you how cool it is for me to see you and John in the same picture! Since I haven’t met either of you in person yet, you’re still officially in my “imaginary” (aka: online) friends category. But having both of you in the same picture makes you that much more REAL!!! This could only be better for me if I were in that picture too. Next time… I’m coming along!

I also want to thank Jay and Nadia for the mentions. Not only did I get to meet these two in person, but we shared significant moments together that forevermore have altered the course of my life. Sounds dramatic, I know but… well, I’ve had a lot of coffee (and, more importantly, it’s TRUE!). Since meeting them, I’ve managed to meet several other non-blogging readers… three of them are here in Vermont, and are now part of my real-life social network.

I find it to be the greatest thrill when my online world and my real world cross paths and dovetail into one. I cannot wait to meet more of the people I feel like I know so well already. You’re definitely on that list, Lance; so get ready for it. 🙂
.-= Lisis´s Last Fabulous Post ..Adventure: Frolicking in Vermont’s Stick Season =-.

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Tim November 9, 2009 at 5:19 pm

Hi Lance:

I know you had some great weather in Chicago on Saturday…it was an awesome day. I am very sorry I was not able to meet you and connect with everyone because of a family obligation I had going on. I have a post idea coming up about this very topic because I am really starting to experience the sense of “community” through my blog and the other blogs that I visit and I have begun to meet some people in person. I am starting to sense that the world is truly getting smaller. I remember writing to a pen pal in grade school…now, through Twitter, we know what someone is doing half a world away in real time. Truly amazing! Keep up the great work here, Lance!
.-= Tim´s Last Fabulous Post ..Weekend Video Diversion: Sesame Street Turns 40 =-.

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Kaushik November 9, 2009 at 5:49 pm

The internet is amazing. I’ve met many people and deepened connections through internet. I’ve learned and traveled with the help of the internet. It will be interesting to see how it develops in the next few years. Thanks!
.-= Kaushik´s Last Fabulous Post ..Getting into the flow of Awakening =-.

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Audra Krell November 9, 2009 at 6:07 pm

It’s funny to me, because I’m going to meet two people this week, that I have known on the Internet for years. I have been skeptical of this in the past, because of a family member that met one of his wives on the Internet. He developed this fake relationship with her that lasted for months and when they finally met he didn’t know how to get out of the relationship. So he moved 1000’s of miles away, and married her. It didn’t even make it a year. But I think the key here, is that I have been honest with the people I’m going to meet and feel that they have been authentic with me. Plus, as far as I know, we probably won’t become engaged. ha! I’ll keep you updated on that.
But seriously, I’m jealous you got to meet your friends in person, but very, very happy for you. What a great weekend you must have had!
.-= Audra Krell´s Last Fabulous Post ..Regift This =-.

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Laura Neff - Life Leadership Coach November 9, 2009 at 7:22 pm

Hi Lance!

I just spent the entire day in person with an amazing woman, who’s quickly becoming a good friend, who I met via Twitter and Facebook! She drove 2+ hours to hang out, play, and also work–we spent 2 hours apiece focusing on and helping one another with our busiensses. It was an awesome day, our fourth in-person play date, and I’m so looking forward to more. We’ve met one another’s husbands, and have also introduced one another to OTHER great folks via this great wide web.

So, though that’s just one example, I shout a resounding YES! The web feels warm, community-filled to me. Sometimes overwhelming in all it offers, but also a place where I connect, learn and grow because of people like YOU! 🙂

Thanks for this thought-provoking, confirming post.

Laura

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Keith November 9, 2009 at 8:16 pm

Hello Lance!

I definitely look at the internet as a warm and welcoming place. This, however, has not always been true for me. Before I began blogging, the internet was a place where I would go for information and/or to research something. It was, and is, a valuable resource to me in that regard.

Nowadays, thanks to people like you and several others, I look at the internet much differently. I have made some very real and meaningful connections. I have “met” some wonderful individuals and my life has been enriched by the stories they have shared, the teachings they have offered and the encouraging support they have given.

I am very thankful for the connections I have made. Thank you, Lance, for being one of those connections.
.-= Keith´s Last Fabulous Post ..Random Acts Of Kindness! =-.

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Laurie November 9, 2009 at 8:58 pm

I have made a few friends from the Internet. People I wish I could met someday soon. People who have touched my heart and supported me and hopefully who I have left better than I found them. People I would love to just sit and chat away the day with, getting to know even better. People like you Lance.

I have also reconnected with people from my past and enjoyed getting to know them all over again. The Internet is incredible. It makes connecting so easy.

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FatFighterTV November 9, 2009 at 9:28 pm

The Internet is an amazing connector, isn’t it? I’ve definitely made connections with people I probably never would have before. And you’re right – it’s awesome when you get the chance to actually meet in person! You can never have too many friends.
.-= FatFighterTV´s Last Fabulous Post ..Biggest Loser trainer, Kim Lyons’ new DVDs fight diabetes (+ giveaway!) =-.

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Evelyn Lim November 9, 2009 at 10:20 pm

I have met a couple of my online friends in person and in fact, am organizing a meet-up as a group. Your photos look amazing! Looks like you folks have been having a great time!
.-= Evelyn Lim´s Last Fabulous Post ..Awakening Into Awareness =-.

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Kim of Kim & Jason November 9, 2009 at 10:43 pm

Hey Lance!! (my road trip buddy) Getting the chance to meet you in August and having some amazingly fun laughter opportunities with you has been such a gift to me. They say “You are who your friends are.” Boy, that’s pretty neat to think about, in terms of the Internet. As you know, there’s a lot of junk online… and yet whenever I visit your site I leave a better person, smiling and challenged to think a little differently about life. Thanks for offering that each week… and for our newly formed friendship!

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Patricia November 9, 2009 at 10:49 pm

I really enjoy my Internet connections and feel very blessed with the community that develops when I am on line and on computer!…I love comments and that someone reads what I have to say…

I tried to meet two bloggers in Edinburgh but we missed connections – I was crushed a huge blow after all the planning and maneuvering. I think we will only realize the importance of these connections in the years to come…they are a gift and make us practice our communication skills.

Great quote and post – thank you for sharing.
.-= Patricia´s Last Fabulous Post ..Food as a Spiritual Practice =-.

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Srinivas Rao November 9, 2009 at 11:18 pm

My first experiences with meeting people from online in the real world were through Yelp and all were positive. I’m connecting more and more with bloggers as I profile them in my podcast and I’m sure it’ll only be a matter of time before I meet many in person. Rob sutton wrote a great post about how he went to the Atlanta Bloggers Meetup. It seems to be happening more and more lately, which is awesome. I love seeing the collaboration that is going on in the blogosphere.
.-= Srinivas Rao´s Last Fabulous Post ..6 Things I would do differently if I started my blog today =-.

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Zeenat{Positive Provocations} November 10, 2009 at 12:15 am

Wow…so much fun you guys have had..!! Me sad cause me is so so far away 🙂 But the best part about the internet is you can share your treasures moments…and we can still feel like we were right there with you 🙂 Lisis, said it rightly…seeing you and john both int he same pic…just lit up my face 🙂 Both awesome people together!!!!How amazing is the internet????
For me the internet holds special value…cause other than making really beautiful friends online…..I actually met my darling hubby online too….!!! 🙂 Yeah we exchanged 4 or 5 emails. Then exchanged phone numbers…and then met..and well today happily married with a little angel…the internet for me is simply miraculous.
I had literally lost hope i would ever meet anyone i could actually get married to….cause of my past experiences..and then this charming man comes along..and sweeps me off my feet.
If it wasnt for the internet..i wouldnt know what happily married means 🙂
So for me its nothing short of a Miracle 🙂
BUt its how we use it that makes all the difference.
With Lots of love and smiles
Z 🙂
.-= Zeenat{Positive Provocations}´s Last Fabulous Post ..Do you really Think??? =-.

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Davina November 10, 2009 at 1:24 am

The Internet is a busy place and because of it the world does seem smaller. And yet… my tendency is to spend more time online and less getting out and then… the world becomes smaller, if you know what I mean. More and more bloggers are connecting in person these days it seems, and that may be the case for myself as Julie has mentioned. I bet you were excited to meet your fellow bloggers Lance. And, I love this quote!
.-= Davina´s Last Fabulous Post ..93 Million Miles From Home =-.

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Barbara Swafford November 10, 2009 at 2:23 am

Hi Lance,

How exciting you got to meet fellow bloggers AND shared photos. It’s one thing to see their avatars or photos on their sites, but to see you all together is awesome. Oh, what great memories you’ve made.

Although I haven’t met any of my blogging buddies in person, I’ve talked to a couple on the phone and have emailed others. When the connection goes off the blog, it makes it all so much more real. Blogosphere can be such a wonderful place – where else can we meet so many great people all in one spot?

Definitely, the internet makes the whole world a lot smaller.
.-= Barbara Swafford´s Last Fabulous Post ..If He Can, She Can =-.

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Lance November 10, 2009 at 5:24 am

@Jay – And that’s what is so neat, the connections that can be formed all over the world, with the a few keyboard strokes and mouse clicks! Ahem *cough*, someday we shall meet!! And that you’ve had the wonderful opportunity to meet Lisis in person…Jay, I think that is so awesome! As you well know, I feel the same way about her that you do – one amazing woman.

@Nathalie – Ha!!! Yep, something about doing this when we’re 12 seems “not cool”! Not that it couldn’t be a very awesome thing, it’s just that there are so many strangers out there too. And the Internet does provide a different level of anonymity. As adults, though, and with people we’ve developed some sort of personal relationship with – meeting each other is so good! And Nathalie…someday we shall meet too! And I look forward to that day very much!

@Nadia – Hi Nadia. It was such a fun day!! I love this line you’ve written: “Life is truly about being connected to one another.” So true, and I guess then it’s to what level we are connected. Meeting in person is one way to deepen that connection, although there really are many ways – just like I feel with you, even though we have YET to meet in person. Someday… And that you had the opportunity to meet and spend time with Lisis is so awesome! A great big meetup – now that sounds like it would be so much fun!!

@Positively Present – We’re never an island unto ourselves are we. Connections are always there, and then it’s to what depth they are developed. Thanks much Dani!

@Tess – And that goes both ways, Tess! You are so easy to talk to, and open to growing and deepening those connections. Yuk…about feeling sick. I hope you are feeling better now. Okay, so if we could talk Katie into a Levity Project in the southwest…in the winter…hmmm….

@Caroline – The Internet really is so amazing! It is hard to fully fathom just how powerful and connecting this can all be – you so far away from me – yet able to get a message to me in a matter of seconds – all transmitted by some 1’s and 0’s…wow!! What is also so amazing is how the Internet can connect people who have some commonalities…like you and I. And what a positive impact that is for everyone! Thanks for being here and making my life better Caroline!

@Daphne – The Internet, especially as it’s become more social – is a great place to build community. And I agree, that this doesn’t have to happen in person to build strong relationships – that’s just one way out of many in strengthening these connections. Thanks so much, Daphne – Chicago was awesome!

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Katie West/The Levity Coach November 10, 2009 at 6:43 am

Lance….let’s see. Do I make good connections online….hmm…This is a tough one.Whew…a stumper!
Ha ha! No, it isn’t! I LOVE making connections online. And YES, I LOVE meeting in person. Getting to meet and hang out with John, Kim, Stacey, and who was it…..oh, yeah, YOU was an incredible part of my day. I was still bussing baout it by the time I got back home to Maine.
To be honest, a lot of people in Maine look at me cross-eyed with The Levity Project (it is an awesome state, but a little reserved here) and so having these online connections keeps my faith going. It really has been a vital part of my journey. And continues to feed me.
I am ecstatic that I am alive in a time when global connection is as easy as pushing the “send” button. This delights me and it fits with what I believe that our spirits have the ability to connect beyond time and space.
In my wildest dreams, The Levity Project could continue to be a place for online connections to meet , celebrate and make a change together.

And yes, the Southwest is looking like it is on the map for 2010…try me for other places-the requests have been coming in.

Thank you Lance. I still think Tinker Toy fits you well since you have a unique ability to being us all together. Cheers
.-= Katie West/The Levity Coach´s Last Fabulous Post ..To Laugh or Not to Laugh? =-.

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Lance November 10, 2009 at 7:06 am

@Lynn – It was a wonderful day with friends! And really, so great to meet so many in person. When I started all of this, I too wasn’t thinking about the close friendships that would form. That’s been the sweetest part of all of this! It’s great have YOU here, Lynn!!

@Karl – Karl, that’s a great point. Just like any relationship – the Internet is just a tool to help facilitate building those relationships…but only if we choose to do that. After talking with someone online, I have found that it’s easy to talk to them in person or on the phone. It all just flows very naturally, and that’s because of the time invested up front. Video calls are pretty awesome too! It does make it all feel more personal.

@Tristan – Yes, you can connect instantly with others through the Internet. For me, I have found this to actually be very personal too. I suppose some of that depends on who we’re communicating with over the Internet. There’s definitely something, though, about that offline contact that can take it all to a new level.

@Julie – Hi Julie. My name is Lance, and it’s great to meet you! (oh, you already knew that, didn’t you!!!) I think that’s so awesome that you and Tess have had the opportunity to meet in person. And that’s another great thing about the Internet. I’m guessing that you two would probably have never connected had it not been for your connection on the Internet. And then to find out how close you two were to each other – wow! Unfortunately I’m not that close to you! Still…yes, we WILL meet someday! And that’s a day I very much look forward to. Talking on the phone with you was like taking this to a deeper level, and so, so good. So many amazing people out there (like YOU!) – and finding ways to connect is all so good. Now…that Grand Canyon hike – that sounds pretty sweet!!

@Kristin – Hi Kristin. I know, it would have been great to have connected on Saturday, but this just means there will be another time to make that happen! And I understand that whole Twitter thing. It seemed strange and confusing at first…and now I see it as kind of like hanging out at the coffee shop – a great place to meet up with friends! And that is pretty wonderful too!

@Stacey/Create A Balance for Moms – Hi Stacey!!! It’s all so awesome – meeting you and having you here today! I know we’ve been working to make this happen for some time, so this was so great! YOU definitely qualify as amazing!

@Trish – Thanks much Trish, it was a wonderful day!

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Lance November 10, 2009 at 7:37 am

@Sami – Hi Sami! Yep, I kind of dig the whole technology angle and had those pipe dreams about making money too! It did become much more for me too – and the meaningful connections is what did it! Watching your RAOKA project take off has been so awesome – because I see it connecting people around a cause. And it’s a cause that becomes a personal thing in our daily offline lives, but is shared amongst online friends – melding the two worlds together! Connecting with you has been truly great…which means, you know, that WHEN I do make it down to Australia…you are stuck with me! And my family! Ha!! Seriously, though, I really do want to see this happen – and that’s another awesome thing – is how the whole world can seem friendly, as I think about all the amazing places to go – and knowing there could be someone there who can make it all feel more like home. Sami…this has to happen!!

@Lisis – Lisis, that’s exactly what I thought when I saw you and Nadia together in pictures! How much more real it felt, all of a sudden. No, I’m not sure it’s dramatic about how you feel about Nadia and Jay – they are amazing people, and that they’ve helped to shed some insight into your own life is pretty magnificent! Bringing the online and offline worlds into one is amazing! And hey, guess what? I AM ready!! We have to meet! In fact, Nadia suggested a great big reunion…hmmm….I wonder…

@Tim – The weather was so awesome on Saturday – wow!! And hey, other commitments come up…and we do what we have to. This just means there will be another time! Community can develop in many ways – and offline meetings is only one of those. And it all makes the world smaller and more friendly! Great having you here, always!

@Kaushik – The Internet’s secret is in the people behind it – those using it. Where it all goes – wow – it’s hard to even imagine!

@Audra – Well, that’s another great point. How do we really tell if a person is being real online? I’m not sure I have a good answer for that, except if there’s a way to see if they are consistent. As we develop deeper relationships, even before meeting in person – there is a bit of a “gut feel” as to what seems right. I’m excited for you Audra – getting to meet two people in person this week! Ha!! I’m sure your husband wouldn’t like the whole engagement idea!!! You are funny! This was a great weekend to take a couple of relationships to a new level. You know what else, though – someday – we are going to meet! I know it!! We’ve talked enough about it…it has to happen! And I promise not to ask you to marry me (both our spouses would disapprove!). Really, though – I feel like we know each other well, and meeting in person would be icing on that cake! And I love cake!!

@Laura Neff – Hi Laura. This is a great story you’ve shared! That’s what I find so amazing about the Internet, is how real and meaningful and true friendships can be formed. Maybe it’s that we’re taking away, at first, some of the hang ups that might hold us back – knowing that there’s distance that separates us. In the end, though, this can lead to beautiful friendships! And Laura, it’s been so great getting to know you over the last few months. I would love to meet in person some day!

@Keith – Hi Keith. Yes, for me too – when I think back to when I used the web for only non-social aspects (research, etc), that level of warmth wasn’t there. And getting information is still a wonderful thing about the Internet…it’s just that it can also be so much more. It’s great having a connection with you, Keith…and I do hope that our paths cross in the offline world some day…

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Lance November 10, 2009 at 8:07 am

@Laurie – Hi Laurie. Yes, I know exactly what you are saying – there are so many wonderful people out there. And the Internet has been a great way to bring these people together! Laurie, someday we WILL meet…and that’s a day I very much look forward to.

@FatFighterTV – Hi Sahar. Yes, the Internet has really evolved into a great tool for connecting people together. Someday, we shall meet. And maybe that’s what it would take for you to get that video I keep promising!! Maybe if I hand delivered it…

@Evelyn – Very cool that you are organizing a meet up! Meeting in the offline world is so good! And I want you to know, Evelyn, that having had the opportunity to talk with you on the phone was a wonderful experience…and one that means a lot to me! Saturday was a great day…and that’s because of the people I had the opportunity to hang out with!

@Kim – Hey road trip buddy!! I think back prior to August and how we only peripherally knew each other – and then to today and how much deeper and more meaningful that connection, or really friendship, is. And that’s because we’ve connected on a deeper level, met together as families, and…well…got lost together (was I watching the road at all???). Really, though – moments like getting lost – while completely unplanned – are also something that brought us closer as it’s a common bond we share…all part of life and how amazing all of it is! Anyway, getting to really know you and your family has been a real blessing! And that the Internet is what initially led to the start of our friendship…that’s pretty sweet and wonderful!

@Patricia – Connections can come in many ways. Comments and emails are other great ways to strengthen those connections. I’m sorry to hear it didn’t work out as planned in Edinburgh, although maybe they will happen in the future. And that’s a good point about our communication skills – an important part of both online and offline connections.

@Srinivas – Meet ups are becoming more common. I think that’s because there is a real desire to take relationships to that level. And even within a local area, we may not fully realize all the amazing people that are out there and close to us – if we just knew how to make that connection. Meet ups excel at that. Podcasts are great too – because it means putting our voice out there – and that’s a deeper connection too.

@Zeenat – Awww…thanks so much Zeenat! You are super kind and gracious! The Internet is amazing…and it’s put me in touch with amazing people – like YOU!! How awesome that you met your husband online. That’s definitely something that has played a big role – in relationships that can develop because of online connections – or services that help to match people up online. So happy for you and the family that you’ve created…that all started with a connection through the Internet!!

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suzen November 10, 2009 at 9:31 am

Hi Lance!
I have a theory about you! I most definitely feel in bones that you are a JOY WEAVER! How you connect with people, in person and thru blogging, weave people together a la joy – and love – and voila – yes, you are a weaver!
I consider myself blessed to be a thread on your loom! The blanket of love you are creating right before our eyes here makes me – and everyone you touch – feel the warmth!
.-= suzen´s Last Fabulous Post ..Tears of Fears – Veterans Day & Personal Story =-.

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Evita November 10, 2009 at 10:14 am

Hi Lance

So glad to hear you had such an amazing event with Katie and the gang in Chicago! That is so awesome!

This whole post is so warm and wonderful and definitely makes me think of my own connections on the net. It is amazing because I have never met in person yet, anyone I have become friends with online – but most of these people know parts of me more deeply than or authentically than people that I do know in real life.

I have made so many wonderful connections that have even gone so far as to turn into friendships! You, yourself are a perfect example for me and I really value our connection that has turned into a friendship!

I feel so blessed to have met so many wonderful souls and I echo Julie’s words in that despite our differences, we come together here on the net in such amazing and uniting ways! I just love it!
.-= Evita´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Web of Ideas and the Future of the World =-.

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jen November 10, 2009 at 10:26 am

I definitely see the upsides to the Internet, and mostly regard it as warm and friendly. This is so contrary to how much of government viewed it during the many years I spent working in PR and public affairs. Those early impressions of stalkers and pervs really embedded themselves in the minds of many people. I don’t really see much distinction in accessbility to information about my life with me involved on the Internet or not. My dearest friendships in recent years have been forged via blogging and Twitter. In some ways, it’s starting to feel like the most natural and authentic way to make friends. Am I crazy?

I love the photo of the chain and I love the quote from Sandra Day O’Connor. You are such an amazing human being, Lance, and I always wish there were more people like you! Thanks for the compliment on my new header!!! I forgot to respond on Twitter.
.-= jen´s Last Fabulous Post ..5 world views shaped by sesame street and the berlin wall =-.

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Angelia Sims November 10, 2009 at 11:02 am

Lance,
That is wonderful! What an amazing birthday present. It looks like ya’ll had fun! What a good looking crew.

I have met many online friends, e-diets, exercise friends, sparkpeople, online dating and even my boyfriend I met on a Facebook application which was one out of 8 million people.

I would have missed out on so much if I had stayed closed off. Great post, I love your description of connection, sooo true.
.-= Angelia Sims´s Last Fabulous Post ..What happens in a box, stays in a box….. =-.

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J.D. Meier November 10, 2009 at 11:07 am

Great points and examples on connection.

What I like about the Web is we can find like-minded people to learn, share, and grow and make things happen. I also like that we can find people to challenge us, change our points of view, and improve our thinking. Mostly, I like the fact that the Web gets us beyond the confines of wherever we are, so we can link up with anybody in the world in a richer, simpler way.
.-= J.D. Meier´s Last Fabulous Post ..4 Stages of Competence =-.

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Jannie Funster November 10, 2009 at 11:16 am

When I think of The Internet I think of sunshine skies, crazily aromatic wild roses, happy bunnies frolicking in meadows, smiling children, belly laughs, dancing men in kilts, freshly baked brownies and peaceful flowing streams on June nights when the moon bursting with song.

But should I start liking the web, I’ll check back in with you. 🙂
.-= Jannie Funster´s Last Fabulous Post ..Mystery Blogger “Over The Top” Meme` =-.

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Lance November 10, 2009 at 12:23 pm

@Davina – We are not alone on this venture through life, are we. And how awesome if you are able to connect up with Julie! In person meetings are filled with new possibilities!

@Barbara – Hi Barbara. You know, that’s really a big part of it…the memories that were created, and the strengthened relationships from personal contact. All of that is awesome! Talking on the phone and emailing are also great ways to take these relationships to the next level – and definitely making them more real. The blogosphere is like this sphere that spins…creating pockets of people with similar interests. That’s a great sphere to be a part of!

@Katie – Katie…let’s see. Do I know you??? You look familiar. You are dropping names I have heard before. Where is it we have met?? Chicago? Downtown?? Seeing you in your umbrella hat on Saturday…it was almost surreal. And then, it also all felt like I was just meeting someone I’ve known forever. Maybe we did cross paths in the seventh grade! It was all such a great day. And having time to just hang out afterward was all sorts of awesomeness – again! Your wildest dreams, Katie, are starting to come to be – just look at what occurred on Saturday! A mingling of online and offline, celebration, and change! And all of that wrapped about the word “joy”! Keep on thinking big – you are making worldwide change…one person at a time…

@Suzen – Uh-oh…theories!! Well…this one you are sharing sounds pretty sweet and wonderful! Suzen, thank YOU!! Your words are touching and meaningful to me. And you know, I think you can say this…because it’s part of your own fabric…joy shines from you! And we, too, shall meet one of these days! I know it…we’re too close not to…

@Evita – Hi Evita. “Katie and the gang”!! I love that…kind of like “Kool and the Gang”!! Marching (or playing) to their own beat…and one that’s catching on!! While I haven’t met many people, the moments I’ve had are so filled with what is “right” and “good” in this world. And really, that extends beyond in person meetings. Evita, you have said it so well – how it can be that sometimes we connect more deeply and authentically with people online – and miles and in person meetings don’t change that. I value very much our friendship, and really consider you a close friend. And you know what…someday…we will meet. And having the strong connection we do already, it will all feel very natural and real. Pretty sweet…

@Jen – Right…if you think back a few years, the thought of the word online came with the connotation of “predator”. And I’m sure that’s still there…as it is in real life too. Which is sad. What’s awesome, though, is the shift that has occurred which has made the web as social as it is. And this has truly allowed friendships to form where they never would have otherwise…deep and meaningful friendships. And no, I don’t think you are crazy (ha!). In fact – I think you get authenticity more often through the Internet because people maybe don’t feel like they have to put up a facade. And the chain…it just really seemed fitting as we think about how we’re all linked together. Jen, you are super kind and giving…and know that I see those same qualities in you – you shine!!

@Angelia – It was a blast! And so awesome that you participated from a distance – in public – and taped it!! Very cool!! And just look at all the amazing connections you have made…right down to the man in your life! So awesome…the power of the social web!

@J.D. Meier – Getting beyond the confines of where we are is such a great way of looking at what the web can do. And with the social aspect that is now prevalent, it’s really getting out there amongst the people…people from all reaches of our world! And that is so awesome!

@Jannie – The dancing men in kilts scares me for some reason! Maybe it’s time for some more freshly baked brownies….hey! my computer just made a batch…says they came across the Internet, directly from Jannie! Why thank you much, my friend! They are delicious!! And…don’t go to liking the web…stick with loving it! It all makes you so lovable – just like the sunshiny skies…

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Diane November 10, 2009 at 12:31 pm

Hi Lance!

I have experienced amazing new realtionships connections from the internet.
So far I have not met anyone person to person but I do hope one day I will.
Phone conversations have been really amazing and such a blessing in my life.
Emails on more personal level and all these kindnesses that have truly given me a gift and enriched my life.
Many people have lifted me up from so far away from where I reside. made my day and brightened my world. As your posts always do for me whenever I read them. Thanks for sharing your life with me, Diane

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Extreme Fitness Blog November 10, 2009 at 1:24 pm

A friend of mine from NYC Facebook messaged me asking if a new friend of mine here in Miami was the sister of a girl she had roomed with in Austria in ’97. Turned out she was, and suddenly the world felt that much smaller. And that kind of stuff is happening more and more each day…
.-= Extreme Fitness Blog´s Last Fabulous Post ..Insani-Tea =-.

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Mindful Mimi November 10, 2009 at 1:57 pm

Lance,
How great is that to be meeting all these people?!
Well, the internet is both a small and big place for me. Small in the sense that I keep myself attached to a happy few but I enjoy the possibility being able to reach the happy many.
It sure has changed the way we communicate. But I still prefer to set with my girlfriends around a cup of tea, in person, and chat and laugh and touch. There is nothing better than that.
So great that you could meet with them and reduce the distance.
Mimi
.-= Mindful Mimi´s Last Fabulous Post ..Sunday laugh =-.

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Wendi Kelly-Life's Little Inspirations November 10, 2009 at 2:02 pm

Hi Lance,

I can’t believe you were SOOO close and I had no idea! It’s my own fault for being so darn scarce and always so behind on reading. But I do eventually still get here!

I love my internet buddies and yes I have met some of them and we have become very close. Some I have even worked and are currently working on business ventures with. The Net opens up an exciting wonderful world that can be az huge as your imagination will allow.

To think I would have never heard of Christine Kane if it hadn’t been for blogging…among other things. I can’t even imagine…..
.-= Wendi Kelly-Life’s Little Inspirations´s Last Fabulous Post ..November Hope =-.

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Wilma Ham November 10, 2009 at 3:44 pm

Hi Lance
You are definitely a connector in real life and on the net as well and thus wherever you go you attract people around you.
The internet is although virtual still a real life community. We humans always look for like minded people to have conversations with and to feel that we belong.
To validate our thoughts, to deepen out inquiries into life, boatbuilding, or whatever.
We humans look to connect as as our physical communities shrink, we are blessed with these virtual communities that accommodate our basic human need for love.

Yes, the internet definitely plays a huge role in connecting and supporting the tipping point.
You as a connector have a role to play and you do.
Go Lance go and may you connect us for a long time to come. Group hug to all of us, Wilma
.-= Wilma Ham´s Last Fabulous Post ..Questions, the doors to our hearts. =-.

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Robin Easton November 10, 2009 at 4:36 pm

Dear Lance, this is so so amazing. I sure know that if my book brings me to your hometown that I will just HAVE to meet you and sit and talk. Really talk. You are just that kind of person. As to the internet. It is amazing in that contrary to what so many say (that it is cold, impersonal, you don’t really get to know people and so forth) I have found that it totally the opposit. But then I think just like in life: we get back what we put out. Contrary to what the media would often have us believe, I also have found that the world is FULL FULL FULL of really good people, kind people, compassionate people, people who care about the world, the environment and so many other challenges we all face today.

I have found only deeply loving and compassionate people at my blog. I am so stunned most days by the comments people leave that I feel I can’t possibly come up with response that are adequate enough. And the posts that these people write, including you, just blow my mind in their depth, openness, kindness, insight and love.

I think it is very Life affirming. I am so glad you all were able to meet. How cool is that?!! Very! You all look so happy. This is a fun post and an important. Hopefully from it and the comments people can assess what the internet might mean to them. I just know: “put out love and get back love”.

Thank you my dear dear friend. I responded to your last comment on my blog. It just wrenched my heart with it’s depth of sincerity and honesty. It’s important that you read my response. Lance you bring the best out in people and you give the best. So your whole being is surrounded with so much light and vitality. You just jump off these pages.

I am just sooooo glad you are in my life and in the world.
I am sending you lots of love and a BIG hug.
Robin
.-= Robin Easton´s Last Fabulous Post ..When We Don’t Speak of Death =-.

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Marelisa November 10, 2009 at 4:54 pm

Hi Lance: It’s so cool that you’re meeting so many of your online friends in person. I haven’t had the opportunity to do that yet. You and Stacey met while you were both on vacation? Wow, talk about synchronicity. 🙂
.-= Marelisa´s Last Fabulous Post ..27 Jubilant Happiness Books =-.

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Diane Fit to the Finish November 10, 2009 at 5:29 pm

Meeting bloggers is awesome! I’ve met some in person and some over the phone! It’s always fun and exciting. I’m glad you had the opportunity.

I feel the internet has widened my circle of friends. Even though I don’t know them I do know them in a way. I do make an effort to keep up with my actual “touchable” friends on a regular basis!
.-= Diane Fit to the Finish´s Last Fabulous Post ..Don’t Talk To Me Now! =-.

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farouk November 11, 2009 at 3:16 am

Thanks for pointing to us the importance of such a beautiful concept, i guess one of the keys of success in life is having deeper connection with people, not only it will give the person emotional support and prevent loneliness but it will make him happy too

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Ricardo Bueno November 11, 2009 at 5:04 am

Isn’t it amazing how easily the internet connects us to one another?! You meet someone, you interact… And then, when you meet in-person, the only thing you want to do is hug the person even tho it’s the first time you’ve ever met!! Forget the handshake, come here!

The internet has allowed me to connect with a vast number of people personally and professionally. It has been and continues to do so and I appreciate each and every single one of those moments. The best ones are the ones when you really do get to connect with someone off-line. There’s nothing more empowering or reinforcing to a relationship than something like that!

I’m glad you got to meet a lot of great folks Lance! You’re a great guy and I’m sure they loved connecting with you just as much as you loved connecting with them 🙂
.-= Ricardo Bueno´s Last Fabulous Post ..A Couple of Books for Your Social Media Library =-.

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Jeanne November 11, 2009 at 5:08 am

I love all you share?
.-= Jeanne´s Last Fabulous Post ..Lest We Forget =-.

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Joanna November 11, 2009 at 7:08 am

I have found “my people” on the internet. There are some cold and unwelcoming pockets, but weeding those areas out is easy. Getting to connect with people from all over the world has been such a blessing in my life.
.-= Joanna´s Last Fabulous Post ..A Penne for Your Squash =-.

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Stacey Shipman November 11, 2009 at 7:14 am

When I started blogging I never expected that I’d “meet” so many people. And now to meet in person, talk on the phone, etc, is truly amazing!

So great to meet you last spring and I look forward to the next opportunity. I never thought I’d have a friend in Wisconsin. Very cool!

Great photos and so glad you had a good time.

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Lance November 11, 2009 at 8:01 am

@Diane – Hi Diane. In person meetings are great, but that’s definitely not the only way that deep relationships can develop, as you are well aware. And when another person has a way of brightening our day – whether that’s through email, phone calls, meeting in person, etc – it all feels very good and warm…and that’s pretty great! Thanks so much Diane.

@Extreme Fitness Blog – Wow, that’s a very cool story…and really does show just how small the world can be! Thanks for sharing that here…

@Mimi – Hi Mimi. It was a really great day! That’s a great point about the Internet being both small and big. Once we get a circle of friends, the world really does feel smaller, as we can connect with people from all over (like YOU!). The Internet can seem big though, just in it’s possibilities…and that’s pretty exciting too. Meeting in person is a great “connecting” time, I agree. And that can take many forms…

@Wendi Kelly – Hi Wendi. Gosh, I’m sorry we missed you. And I tried to think of the people I knew in the Chicago area, to let them know about this…I slipped up. Maybe this just means there could be another time down the road, though… Collaboration is great isn’t it, especially when we connect with people that we can deeply relate to. And hey, I’m completely with you on teh Christine Kane connection…

@Wilma – Hi Wilma. There’s something very meaningful for me in being able to connect at a deeper level, and the Internet has really facilitated that happening. I think you are really onto something with this idea of the basic human need for love – and that’s not something I expected at all when I started this out…yet, it’s become one of the real sustaining pieces in it all for me. Thanks so much for being here, Wilma, and for your beautiful words you are sharing.

@Robin Easton – Robin, if you get anywhere near here…we must meet! I too find that the Internet is filled with warmth and love. And I think you are onto something with this idea of we get what we give. You are a shining example of love in action, through sweet and beautiful words. Deeply meaningful conversations have developed from being here. With you and with others…in such very real ways. Saturday was like the icing on a wonderful cake…being able to meet “in person” and just really connect at a different level. And Robin, thank you always for what you write. I have read your comment, and am touched deeply by what you’re saying. Thank you for being here, and more importantly, thank you for becoming a part of my life… Sending lots of love right back to you!

@Marelisa – Hi Mare. It really was so awesome to meet on Saturday. And meeting Stacey last spring really was like the stars lined up to make it happen! Because of our schedule, we only had one day that would work – and I’m so glad it did! Meeting Stacey and her husband was a thorough treat, and really just made the relationship between us that much stronger.

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Wendi Kelly-Life's Little Inspirations November 11, 2009 at 8:11 am

Lance,

No worries!

Looks like I was in San Francisco anyway, so this time it just wans’t meant to be. And as you know this year has been a bit of a roller coaster with weddings and other stuff. I’ve been playing catch up all year. But now that my son’s wedding is done and we are all happily settled I feel like I am starting to get back into a routine and looking forward to spending lots more time catching up with my blogging friends. I’ve missed you all!
.-= Wendi Kelly-Life’s Little Inspirations´s Last Fabulous Post ..San Francisco Simple =-.

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Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord November 11, 2009 at 8:18 am

I absolutely love and cherish the connections I’ve made via the Internet. My blog has connected me with hundreds of people who feel as close to me as those I share a zip code or even DNA with. (That would be family, by the way!) Good people attract more good people, and the Internet seems to exacerbate the rate at which we come together. I’m so grateful for that, and Lance, I’m grateful for you and your blog. You bring us together every week in such a loving, uplifting way, and you give my life richer meaning.
.-= Megan “JoyGirl!” Bord´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Ultimate Unknown =-.

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Lance November 11, 2009 at 9:22 am

@Diane Fit to the Finish – Definitely awesome!! And even when we have people we haven’t met in person, through other connections, we can definitely get to know these people that might be separated by great physical distance.

@Farouk – Hi Farouk. Deeper connections really to add so much to our lives, and to our overall happiness. And being in that state is pretty awesome!

@Ricardo – Ricardo, you really seem to excel at this…taking those online connections into the offline world. Hugging seems so natural here, doesn’t it!! When we can really connect, that is so deeply good. And the beauty of the Internet is that we start that connection online, without any hangups to what someone looks like, and get right to what that person is saying. And then when we take it offline, wow!! You shine at this, Ricardo!! Keep on being out there, and bringing people together!

@Jeanne – Thanks much Jeanne!

@Joanna – Hey Joanna…you know what?? You are one of “my people”!! I think we gravitate toward that which we best connect with. And the Internet just broadens that circle. Joanna, it’s been so good getting to know you, and I hope that connection just continues to grow between us!

@Stacey Shipman – I know!! I never thought about how connecting this would all be. And it’s become the part that means the most to me. Stacey, meeting last spring was so awesome, and it was because we’d really established what I felt was a pretty strong connection already. And then to be able to take and make it even more personal – meeting spouses, sharing dinner – so great! Now…to get you on a vacation to Wisconsin…hmmm….

@Wendi – Hi again Wendi! Okay, whew… I know it’s been a roller coaster year for you, and it really is great to see you here again!

@Megan – Hi Megan. Isn’t that pretty amazing how the Internet can bring us so close together? Wow!! And that richer meaning to life – you know, I think that’s in the true sharing amongst friends. Friends, like you, Megan, who make this all so worth doing! And the day will come, I know it, when we will meet in person. And that will be a great and amazing day indeed!!

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Chris Edgar November 11, 2009 at 1:47 pm

I get a kick out of hearing all these stories of bloggers meeting each other in real life — I haven’t done that yet with most people I regularly talk to in the blogosphere but I’m definitely looking forward to it. One reason is that, as bloggers, we’ve almost inevitably got our game faces on, and we edit our content so it’s just right, and so on, and there’s a raw, unedited quality to being face to face with someone that I like.

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Hilary November 11, 2009 at 3:25 pm

Hi Lance … definitely and I’ve grown through those associations .. these here.

The connections with friends and family – they either love it or hate it .. but recently with the loss of my uncle I can stay in touch with his younger friends, my friends now .. and with the cousins .. on the other hand I’m a good communicator particularly hand writing letters, and email …. and via the phone when necessary .. & in person ..!

Personally I feel I know people through the net, friends and relations too – but I have others who absolutely hate not connecting by talking – yes I can understand, and I suppose I type .. but at least I can communicate at all hours of day and night via email -so they hear from me .. but they need to ring. Others -it’s fine we just email ..

Brilliant medium – even if it is millions of Os and ls .. you talk to me!

Thanks – Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories
.-= Hilary´s Last Fabulous Post ..Fireworks and Bonfire Night – November 5th =-.

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Jenn Z November 11, 2009 at 7:31 pm

Lance, I love this post! I do feel that there is this ‘global village’ that is so enchanting and quite REAL! Interesting enough, I met my hubby online 10 years ago and we are soulmates! I have discovered other lovely friends online over the years and truly this has become my other home. It is so cozy to inspire one another in this ‘open space’ and create something that would not exist otherwise (when you’ve never met them, except here)- sacred togetherness. I am so happy for you that the Levity project went well and that you were able to meet some more of those in your network. It really is exciting to do this!! I hadn’t realized how close I was to the event until the few days before, but maybe if you have another one next year I might see if we can come. We’re in IL! 🙂 Much luv, Jenn
.-= Jenn Z´s Last Fabulous Post ..8 Organic Steps to Become Deeply Rooted in Love =-.

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Jannie Funster November 11, 2009 at 9:48 pm

Best brownies on the web here, Lance! Thanks.

Looks like I might be having another blogger meet-up next week with an Austin buddy. He’s baking us a black forest chocolate cake. And I’m bringing the beer!

🙂
.-= Jannie Funster´s Last Fabulous Post ..First Pictures With My New iPhone 3GS =-.

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Lance November 12, 2009 at 5:08 am

@Chris Edgar – That is one of the great things about personal meetings – you see the real deal. I find that this all just makes these relationships even stronger, as the “real deal” is a complement to the online presence.

@Hilary – Hi Hilary. Yes, when there’s a great distance that separates, the written word is a great medium. And much of that “realness” can still be conveyed – especially in emails back and forth – and relationships can become very tight because of this. So, it’s all good – and it’s what works for each of us. There are a lot of factors in it all. The real value in it is when everyone is “real” in their forms of communication…

@Jenn Z – Hi Jenn! Gosh, I didn’t realize you were in IL. Definitely, if any opportunity presents itself in the future, we have to look at connecting up! And what a great online to offline story you have – of meeting your husband this way. Thanks so much for stopping in Jenn…

@Jannie – Hey, it’s Jannie! What?? There were brownies here…how did I miss them!! Were you hiding them?? Beer and chocolate cake! That sounds like a winner! (note to self: must find reason to travel to Austin…).

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Elliot Lozano November 13, 2009 at 10:44 pm

Really love this… connections are what make us happy.. and it is great when we can get connections from more and more people around the world. Deepak Chopra cites studies in his film the Happiness Prescription that indicate the happiest people or societies in the world are those who have deeper relationships. This concept is also shared as a common trait of living longer in the book the Blue Zones in which it discusses places in the world where people live the longest healthiest lives.

As you mentioned about the internet, our quest for happiness can be assisted with the connections we make out in the world. Since launching our website, my wife and I have had visitors from over 36 countries.

As a final note, I wanted to mention the quote that Terrah and I have hanging over our doorway in our bedroom as a reminder from Thomas Paine.. “The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.”

Let us embrace the connections on a global scale.
.-= Elliot Lozano´s Last Fabulous Post ..Sharing a Piece of Inspiration… Ben Harper’s Better Way Song =-.

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Elliot Lozano November 13, 2009 at 10:45 pm

o another thing… Lance, I saw you took those in Chicago… love Chicago.. I grew up in the midwest near that area. looks like you had fun.
.-= Elliot Lozano´s Last Fabulous Post ..Sharing a Piece of Inspiration… Ben Harper’s Better Way Song =-.

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Peggy November 15, 2009 at 12:41 am

Hi Lance,

Great post! For me, the Internet has been my way of staying connected – ever since I had the ability to be “online” starting in 1995, when my dad gave me a 577 Mac Performa before I moved to Germany. Since then I can’t remember when I wasn’t part of some online community. For a few years I had the most popular history forum on MSN Groups. That was fun, but the flammers and spammers got too much, so I found another history forum for my members and deleted mine.

I finished my masters program online – what a concept…get your degree online!

When I became a stepmom and thought I was losing my mind, I found a stepmom support group and then found members who were practically in my neighborhood! I’ve made some phenomenal connections in this group!

In my blog community, I have yet to meet anyone in person, but I’ve connected with so many over the phone. I hope to meet most of them at Blog Her next August. In this particular realm of life transformation, I have a feeling the first person I’m going to meet is Tess Marshall. 🙂
.-= Peggy´s Last Fabulous Post ..Music As My Writing Muse =-.

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Debra November 15, 2009 at 7:25 pm

Stopping over from Jen’s blog to say hello. I have enjoyed what I have read here so far!

I just did a post about why I adore blogging and it does make the world a MUCH smaller and brighter place. It seems that you find people online who are more caring and honest which is something this world needs more of.

Great post! How nice that you had the opportunity to meet so many wonderful blogger!

Happy Sunday,
Debbie

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Lance November 15, 2009 at 8:46 pm

@Elliot – And to Deepak Chopra’s study…I agree very much! Relationships with others, when they are deep and true – what a place of happiness to be! And isn’t that so amazing when you think about it – how you have had visitors from 36 different countries come to your site. Could those connections have been made without the Internet? No way! And what a great quote above your bedroom door! Here’s to embracing all the connections that touch our world…

@Elliot – Chicago is a great city…and being there reminded me I really should visit more often, as close as it is for me. It was a great time to be together – Katie really pulled together an amazing group of people!

@Peggy – You go way back at building communities on the Internet…that’s awesome! And I think there’s something about connecting at a deeper level that can occur online…and then to meet in person, it’s like meeting someone you feel like you have known forever. And those connections aren’t limited to in person meetings, as you know. Phone and email connections can also really take those connections to a new level. Blogher sounds like a great event to bring women together from all over (from what I’ve heard from others). And hey, Ms. Tess would be a great first person to meet!!

@Debra – Hi Debbie!! That’s been the real surprise for me with blogging, it’s the connections I’ve made…which I had no expectation of going into it. And it’s been so amazing! And the Saturday opportunity to connect with several awesome people was just a great moment!! Happy Sunday to you too!

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Elliot Lozano November 15, 2009 at 11:10 pm

Lance, glad you liked the quote. I know you enjoy quotes. I thought you might like the new drop-down quotes pages Terrah and I have added to the site.. I think you’ll like the categories…
.-= Elliot Lozano´s Last Fabulous Post ..An Awe-Inspiring Montage: 17 Breathtaking Photos of the Sun’s Magnificence =-.

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