It’s Better to Give than What?

It’s Better to Give than What?

Caring for family…
Friend in trouble…
Client in need…
Spouse over-worked…
Child wants help with homework…
Another Mom can’t do carpool…
PRESTO!

There we are, the “I’ll-be-there-for-you” women…super-hero giver, offering comfort, advice, support, food…no matter what we are in the middle of, no matter if we, ourselves, are in need….no matter what.

Does this describe you?

You believe it’s better to give than to receive.

You feel great satisfaction in being selfless.

You like to show your love by giving to others.

You get secret comfort from being in control.

You think people will like you.

You have a hard time asking for what you need…for what you want.

This has certainly has been me.  For most of my life.

Consider this…by receiving, you give much

A year ago I had a physical injury – and it brought me to a standstill…enforced stillness.  I couldn’t exercise, I couldn’t clean the house, I could not bend my knee…difficulty walking, difficulty standing for long periods, difficulty sleeping without pain unless I was very still.  Some days, I couldn’t even drive.  I couldn’t do all the things I had planned to help my son prepare for his move to college – his freshman year!

I.did.not.like. 

I could barely tolerate the mere thought of letting my family do everything that I normally do.

But they were eager.  EAGER to be able to give to me in the way I always gave to them.  EAGER to be able to take care of me for a change – to show, in a different than the usual way, their love for me – their ability to care for and nurture and support me, physically and emotionally.

And that’s when it became crystal clear…

One of the biggest gifts I could give them, and myself, was to let them do this and accept it graciously and with much love.  When I received from them the kind of caring that I am usually the master of, it let them see a side of themselves they liked.  It showed them they are capable of nurturing and supporting in the most basic, physical sense, and it added to their power-base of human-ness.  And it helped me heal in a profound way…many ways.

My ability, reluctantly at first, to receive turned into a gift of love and caring – without any action on my part – for both myself and my family.

The ability to receive can be one of the most loving gifts you can give.  I’m not perfect at it yet.  Far from.  But it’s getting easier.

Try it, with sensitivity that it’s a new way of being for you, and it may take a little while for you and those who love you to get comfortable with it.

Now…about being able to ask…working on that!  😉

Reluctant Lover

Technology sucks.

This is what I used to think.

For a long time, I’ve complained about technology…how complicated it can be, easier to use a paper calendar, how much it intrudes in our lives.  Really…just a crank about it.  You’d never know I was a software developer in a previous life.

Then it started to slowly change.

I resisted getting a cell phone… if people want to reach me they’ll call the house and leave a message.  But I acquiesced and found a lovely freedom by being able to communicate when I was not home without having to dig for a quarter to use the pay phone – and now pay phones barely exist.

Then it was my idea to get our son a cell phone when he was in the 4th grade.  It was the year of 9/11, and we were all a little fearful – couldn’t exactly pinpoint the fear all the time, but if we could reach each other, when running late for example, it felt better.

The ability to start my own business as a VA for non-profit organizations was only doable because of PC’s and the internet, cell phones, and knowledge of maintaining websites…and that’s what enabled me to be a work-at-home mom.

Texting?  Oh, I used to get so annoyed when my son would text a friend instead of calling…how were these kids ever going to learn to communicate as humans?  But now I’m hooked… it’s a great way for me to contact my son when the need presents itself, or to text my husband with a list when he offers to stop at the grocery store or for takeout on his way home from work – and now I just text friends to check in and say hi.  Who knew?

Classes on line, forums on the internet, webinars, Facebook, Words with Friends

…and Skype!  Skype is my absolute favorite.  I truly disliked it when I first tried it with a friend from the UK.  He wouldn’t communicate any other way, though, so I had to sign up and give it a try.  I’m delighted I did because it has meant free computer-to-computer calls to friends all over the world, coaching clients on line, and face-to-face time with our son during his first year of college.

But finally, these past 3 weeks have made it very clear to me that I’ve just been a reluctant lover – trying to resist the inevitable pull of technology’s charms.

After picking up my son up from his first year at college a few weeks ago, he was able to Skype his dad with his iPhone to show him ALL the stuff in the car (Really?  We brought all that down last September?!).  Even though my husband had an unavoidable trip to Belgium that meant he wouldn’t be with us – he could be with us!  How cool is that – driving home while listening to my son having face-time with his dad…

In these last 14 days, I’ve fallen head-over-heels.

I had to make an unexpected trip to Belgium because my husband had emergency eye surgery.  Technology and timing were critical to so many things we were able to do to help him have a more comfortable experience, even though he was a continent and an ocean away…

…from using cell phone texting to find our eye doctor in the states so he could talk to my husband before the surgery, to actually getting here and using my European cell phone to access www.translate.google.com when I don’t know how to say something in French – it’s the best.tool.ever (besides pointing) for a non-linguist like me.  It will actually ‘tell’ me how to say what I want to say.  How amazing is that – to be able to ‘communicate’ in almost any language with the help of that cell phone I resisted so much in the beginning.

And back home, using my computer, writing a blog post, posting an interview, coaching via Skype, staying in touch with friends, family, and neighbors, all at a reasonable cost.

Technology is helping to bring the human race closer, communicate better and more often, make global changes in the world (even toppling dictators), and it’s helping us realize in a concrete physical way that we really are more connected than we ever knew.

But in my own little world of loved-ones all over this globe, it just brings a long overdue smile of delight and contentment to my face, and a feeling of gratefulness in my heart to be so connected whenever the need arises.

I actually feel a little lost now (don’t tell my husband or son), when I don’t have an internet connection or a way to access it.

I’m finally, whole-heartedly, committing to this enchanting seducer I’ve been trying to spurn.

Well…almost whole-heartedy.  TV remotes?   Not so much…but anything could happen!

A Rocky Love Affair

Evolution…. 

Little girl self-love…
Wishing for boobs, stuffing bra with Kleenex before church (getting caught!)
Thinking calves too skinny, doing exercises to build them up
Sneaking on eye makeup (getting caught!)
Crushes on boys, imagining kissing
So eager to be a teenager
Comparing, despairing

Teenage self-love…
Wishing for boobs 🙂
Hating my stomach, dieting at 13
Permanently learned the calorie count for every item of food in existence
Bikinis, Mini-skirts, Hot-pants
So eager to be an adult
Comparing, despairing

Adult self-love…
Wishing I could lose 3 pounds (THREE!!!) before wedding
Stomach not flat enough
Resigned to my boobs – no – starting to actually like
Cellulite!
Watching the years pile on my body, wishing I was younger (already)
Comparing, despairing

Pregnant self-love
Boobs!
OMG – loving my stomach!
Eating for two, mindfully
Did I mention cleavage?!
In.My.Body
In awe…no compare, no despair

Wife/Mom self-love
Gain weight
Lose weight
Repeat
Love with the lights off
Wishing I was younger
Comparing, despairing

Older Woman self-love
Still a wife, still a mom
Healthy food, moderate exercise
Thankful…for my loyal body, softer, rounder…comfortably sexy
Love in daylight
Comparing to the me 10 years from now … appreciating what is
No despair

Grateful, joyous, loving, abandon

…Loved

King-sized Fear

My husband and I went to see The King’s Speech yesterday, starring Colin Firth.  It’s about King George VI becoming King of England when his brother abdicated the throne to marry an American divorcee.  He had a major obstacle to overcome before he could be effective…or accepted…in leading the nation and people he loved through war.  It was a fabulous movie and exactly the movie I needed to see in order to write this post.

You see, last week I decided I was going to do an interview series based on people over-coming their fears.  I’ve lined up several amazing people who are willing to talk to me about this topic and how it changed their lives…

…And I’m afraid I won’t be able to pull it off.

I love hearing about others’ lives and how they navigate them, but I don’t know how to interview!  How do I create questions beforehand?  How do I get the person to open up and really spill the beans?  How do I present it to my readers?  All these questions and fears about the process and delivery of said process…But that’s what this series is about – navigating through the fear – authentically – and it’s important.

Often, we see successful people doing successful things and our minds tell us it must have been easy for them.  But is that true?  Especially in this era of social media, we usually show our best face, put our best foot forward, hide our weakness, hide the process of growth required to be successful – as we define success.

King George the VI had a terrible stammering problem…FROZEN with fear.  How familiar is that – other words to describe it? …stuck, overwhelmed, not ready.  Yet the process King George goes through to correct this problem – has to go through to lead a nation at war – does not include the elimination of fear, but acknowledging it, revisiting it, relying on supportive people, getting wise counsel, laughing at it, getting angry at it, and, especially (and especially funny) cussing at it!

And that’s what my interview series will be about.  We are going to hear the stories of some pretty courageous people – ordinarily courageous – super-heroes in a quiet and powerful way.  They show the heart of fear and courage, the steps one takes to get to the other side of fear – learning to make fear, if not an outright friend, at least a tolerable acquaintance.  Because we all know it will visit us again and again in this lifetime.

And even though most of us are not leading nations, we are leading our lives.

Stay tuned and join me for my first interview – in whatever format it is shared – as I talk to Sarah Bamford Seidelman, Life Coach, about her journey from respected Successful Practicing Physician to major woo-woo Queen of Animal Totems, Squirrel Radio.  It’s bound to be an enlightening, admirable, courageous and normal story of a modern-day hero.

How did you get to your hero status?  What fears did you stare down?  What is it like on the other side?  I’d love to hear from you.  Please leave your comments below or email me here.

King-sized Fear

My husband and I went to see The King’s Speech yesterday, starring Colin Firth.  It’s about King George VI becoming King of England when his brother abdicated the throne to marry an American divorcee.  He had a major obstacle to overcome before he could be effective…or accepted…in leading the nation and people he loved through war.  It was a fabulous movie and exactly the movie I needed to see in order to write this post.

You see, last week I decided I was going to do an interview series based on people over-coming their fears.  I’ve lined up several amazing people who are willing to talk to me about this topic and how it changed their lives…

…And I’m afraid I won’t be able to pull it off.

I love hearing about others’ lives and how they navigate them, but I don’t know how to interview!  How do I create questions beforehand?  How do I get the person to open up and really spill the beans?  How do I present it to my readers?  All these questions and fears about the process and delivery of said process…But that’s what this series is about – navigating through the fear – authentically – and it’s important.

Often, we see successful people doing successful things and our minds tell us it must have been easy for them.  But is that true?  Especially in this era of social media, we usually show our best face, put our best foot forward, hide our weakness, hide the process of growth required to be successful – as we define success.

King George the VI had a terrible stammering problem…FROZEN with fear.  How familiar is that – other words to describe it? …stuck, overwhelmed, not ready.  Yet the process King George goes through to correct this problem – has to go through to lead a nation at war – does not include the elimination of fear, but acknowledging it, revisiting it, relying on supportive people, getting wise counsel, laughing at it, getting angry at it, and, especially (and especially funny) cussing at it!

And that’s what my interview series will be about.  We are going to hear the stories of some pretty courageous people – ordinarily courageous – super-heroes in a quiet and powerful way.  They show the heart of fear and courage, the steps one takes to get to the other side of fear – learning to make fear, if not an outright friend, at least a tolerable acquaintance.  Because we all know it will visit us again and again in this lifetime.

And even though most of us are not leading nations, we are leading our lives.

Stay tuned and join me for my first interview – in whatever format it is shared – as I talk to Sarah Bamford Seidelman, Life Coach, about her journey from respected Successful Practicing Physician to major woo-woo Queen of Animal Totems, Squirrel Radio.  It’s bound to be an enlightening, admirable, courageous and normal story of a modern-day hero.

How did you get to your hero status?  What fears did you stare down?  What is it like on the other side?  I’d love to hear from you.  Please leave your comments below or email me here.