Connection

“Since you cannot do good to all, you are to pay special attention to those who, by the accidents of time, or place, or circumstances, are brought into closer connection with you.” – Saint Augustine

I have had the privilege of living all of the United States during my adult life. The weekends of September have been filled by spending time on the East Coast with people I met in Arizona & Minnesota. The month will be capped off by hanging out with my mom the next two days, and going on a day trip to see another friend from New Mexico.

I can be easily distracted by football on TV, Internet on my smart phone, or sending text messages to people that are miles away. One of my friends I was able to spend time with helped me remember and look around at how many people are on “their devices.” (I was one of them at times.) I love modern technology and all that comes with that, but I sometimes forget to use it as a tool.

My goal today is to make deeper connections with those I meet, and take advantage of that opprotunity.

Affirmation: I am connected to all. I take advantage of those moments to connect at a deeper level with you.

Call to Action: How are you connecting to those around you? Do you have a technique you use to make a connection with a stranger?

Restart

 

“it’s never too late to start over!”

 

This morning I am making a late post because I needed to start over!  I needed to take all that I had worked on before and let it go so that I could begin to create a new experience.  This was not my intention or my plan but as you read my words it is my reality.  I had to restart this blog today because the situations surrounding my creative mind were blocked by something more pressing and gripping that was drawing me to clear up before I moved forward.

 

So what is this event that has caused me to dump the old and start new?  My first call this morning from a client was accusatory, my second was from a worker who was lost, in a rush to go out into the world and meddle with everything and start the fixing process, I then locked my keys in my car.  I am not really sure how I did this since I have some sort of smart key that is not tasked to do such a thing but I suppose I need to be smarter than the key.  This morning I was not successful at that process.

 

So at first I react because the world so desperately needs me to fix it(false).  I need to get all of my work done quickly so I can screw off on a friday afternoon(false).  I will not be ok if my plans fall apart(false).  I am in control of my world and environment(false).

 

What I know to be true this morning is that the world will not fall apart because my plans have begun to get changed.  If I focus on this bad start I will never be able to have a triumphant finish.  So in this moment, still early in the day, I choose to start over and let go of the troubles that I found at my feet first thing this morning.

 

Affirmation It is my choice to release the past and start over.  In this moment I choose to start over.


Call to Action  What are you holding on to that is keeping you from a fresh start?

Searching & Finding

Special thanks to our guest writer this week.

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill

About a year and a half ago, I found myself on the brink of emotional and mental burnout. The frustrations in my life stemmed from multiple areas – my inability to break into my career, mounting school loans from graduate school, unhappiness in my relationship and an ever-increasing fatigue from the job I had taken in the meantime to make ends meet. Eventually, that frustration melted into melancholy which then gave way to a quiet numbness that pervaded my life.

Ultimately, I grew weary of my own ennui and decided that I had to make a change. I started aggressively networking with anyone and everyone I could find in my field. I looked at my finances and created a realistic budget to take the pressure off of my school loan payments. I broke into my career. I left my controlling and emotionally abusive boyfriend. I reached out to family and friends. I breathed a sigh of relief. I smiled. And still, in the midst of all of these great changes in my life, I still felt like something was missing.

On a whim, I did a quick internet search to see what volunteer opportunities were nearby. On an even greater whim, I signed up for volunteer training at the local hospice. I wondered if I was ready to take on such emotionally taxing work. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to make a difference.

Recently, I started working with a small group at the hospice that sends financial aid and various resources to a sister hospice in Uganda. Through a video chat with the workers in Africa, I learned that their hospice also runs a daycare and helps young students get the money, clothes and supplies they need to go to school.

After the meeting, I started collecting gently used clothes I find. I searched through closets. I washed. I folded. And as I looked at this pile I had collected, I thought, “This isn’t nearly enough”. This past Wednesday, as we did another Skype call with the Ugandan hospice workers, we each went around the room to say hello and give a quick update. As I gave them my status report, their faces immediately lit up with big, bright, brilliant smiles. From thousands of miles away, through the magic of the internet, I saw these wonderful people clapping and cheering…for me. “Thank you”, they said. “Thank you so much! We really appreciate it!”

In that simple gesture of genuine gratitude from a group of humanitarian workers in Uganda, I finally found what my life had been missing.

Affirmation: My life has meaning. My contribution matters. I can make a positive difference in another person’s life.

Call to Action: Test the boundaries of your comfort zone and reach out to help someone new.

Believe

Two friends of mine went to nursing school together. Upon completion of their education outside factors kept them away from the profession that they worked so hard to be a part of. They both kept the jobs that they worked through school and at one point or the other started to think that they would never be nurses and probably didn’t want to be anyway. The jobs available weren’t for new graduates and no one was hiring without professional experience. The catch-22 was that nurses were in a high demand at the time and still are to this day. Through networking and perseverance the first student finally gets the job she has worked so hard for and has been excelling at for almost a year now. Recently, after some persuasion and motivational conversation, the first nurse has inspired the second to pursue her career and is now gainfully employed. The second nurse was thanking the first nurse that inspired and motivated her to reignite that passion and start working in the field that she studied so hard for. It is no doubt of mine that both of these women will be leaders in their industry in no time. Their brilliance and compassion give all of their actual patients and us potential patients the confidence and comfort in knowing that we are receiving the best care possible.

This story makes me think of the traits that it took for them to finally realize their dreams: perseverance, encouragement and belief in others. Sometimes when we aren’t realizing our full potential we need our fellows to give us that extra boost. Our fellows can’t give us the encouragement we need unless they know our dreams.

Affirmation: I am worth believing in. I have lots to offer the world and people want to help me.

Call to Action: Tell somebody about your dreams, keep telling people about your dreams until you make them a reality. If you are living your dream take interest in your fellows, see how you can encourage them and help them realize their dream.