the power of human connection

Personal, The Wild Collective

The power of human connection & good old fashioned medicine.

Human connection = good medicine.

Today I wanted to take a break from all the education heavy material (although I think my last 2 emails were some of the most popular to date!) and go back to what I like to call good old-fashioned medicine.

Things like,

  • Getting outside – sunlight, fresh air, & time in nature.
  • Moving your body.
  • Adequate hydration.
  • Nourishing, whole foods.
  • Getting enough rest.
  • And, ✨connection ✨.

I’ve been talking to quite a few patients lately who are going through a rough time. It’s like there’s something in the air or collective-consciousness.

And I’ve noticed a few themes that I can relate to myself.

  • People can look like they have it all together on the outside, and be suffering big time on the inside. Never judge a book by its cover. Check in on your ‘strong’ or ‘independent friends’. Sometimes they are the least likely to reach out to friends, family, or health practitioners when they are struggling.
  • Asking for help is HARD. Accepting help is hard. Working through feelings of being a burden to those who love and care about you is a process. 
  • Admitting out loud we need help is a whole other thing: then we ‘have to’ do something about it.
  • Many people retreat when they are hurting. If someone you love seems to be pulling away or isolating themselves, definitely check in on them.

Based on personal experience and speaking with patients, I wish we would all check in with each other more often.

How often do we ask how someone is doing and each exchange auto-pilot responses? 

The difference is palpable when someone looks you in the eye and really asks to know how you are doing. 

Do you do this for your people? Do you have people trying to hold that space for you?

So many of us are busy, with a lot going on in our brains. I think we need to carve out more time to slow down, reflect, and connect with our people to truly check in with ourselves and them.

So many people suffer in silence, not knowing how to reach out. That’s because it takes practice to be vulnerable and we don’t always feel like we have people who can be a safe space for us to truly open up. 

I don’t have all the answers. I wish I did. I do know there are a lot of people craving connection and a space to share what’s truly going on with them. 

And if that is you, you’re not alone.

Feeling this way this week reminds me of one of my motivations behind launching the Wild Collective. The women’s health curriculum is 🔥🔥 but the connection piece is priceless once you experience it.

This collective is just a group of women that have the same life difficulties as the rest of us.  No judgments. No questions. It really summed up what Wild Collective is really about: Women sharing their life difficulties and triumphs. Women learning new things and sharing personal stories about their bodies, their physical and mental health, and their journeys. I had never met any of the women before, but sharing on zoom made me feel a connection to these women


Watching women open up more and more over the 10 month experience was my favorite part of the Collective. Being vulnerable is a skill, it’s courage in action.

I love this quote by Brene Brown (a researcher who studies courage, vulnerability, shame and empathy):

“The definition of vulnerability is uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. But vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our most accurate measure of courage. When the barrier is our belief about vulnerability, the question becomes: ‘Are we willing to show up and be seen when we can’t control the outcome?’ When the barrier to vulnerability is about safety, the question becomes: ‘Are we willing to create courageous spaces so we can be fully seen?”

If you’ve never watched Brene’s OG Ted Talk on vulnerability, it’s 1000% worth a listen. Connection is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives (neurobiologically). 

And you know what unravels connection? Shame. Brene explains that at the root of shame is the fear of disconnection. 

Go watch the TED talk – it’s worth your time, but in the meantime here are the Cole’s notes: 

  • Ask yourself, “is there something about me that if other people know it or see it, that I won’t be worthy of connection?”. In order for connection to happen we have to allow ourselves to be seen (which is vulnerable AF).
  • The difference between those who feel a deep sense of worthiness (a strong sense of love and belonging) and those who do not feel they are good enough is the belief that they are worthy of love and belonging. The one thing that keeps us out of connection = the fear that we are not worthy of love and connection. This difference is the key.
  • What did all these worthy people have in common? The courage to be imperfect. And the compassion to be kind to themselves first, as that is a requirement to be kind to others. They were authentic, another prerequisite for connection.
  • “Vulnerability is the core of shame, fear, and our struggle of worthiness, But it appears it is also the birthplace of joy, creativity, belonging, and love”.
  • We can’t selectively numb. So when we numb our vulnerability/hard feelings, we numb joy, gratitude, happiness. Which leaves us feeling miserable and void of purpose.
  • You know how blame is described in the research? A way to discharge pain and discomfort. 

So this week, I challenge you to let yourself be seen (deeply seen). You are enough. We are all worthy of love and belonging.

If this post spoke to you click here to join my upcoming Science of Sisterhood Masterclass.

- Dr. Willow

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



I help women achieve optimal digestive and hormonal wellness through a root cause, individualized approach to medicine that utilizes functional lab testing, diet and lifestyle modification, nutritional and herbal medicine, and acupuncture to re-establish lasting health.


The Wild Collective: my women's ♀️ group health program

Gut health program coming soon, stay tuned 👀!




Between my wait listed practice, building my Wild Collective communities, and being Mom, I don't email often, but I'm working behind the scenes to bring you major value and I'd love to be able to tell you about it when it is ready (along with some more personal shares).