How Can I Help?
Everyday I wake up with this question in my mind. It’s the question that glows in my heart like a hot coal. It’s the question that gets me out of bed and that keeps me writing my blog.
It’s what keeps me opening doors and offering smiles. It’s what gives me the energy to listen deeply and to meet everyone with my heart as open as possible. It is the question that haunts and compels me more than any other question I have ever asked.
I feel called to help and it’s wonderful and inspiring. It’s also huge and terrifying.
Who am I?
Sometimes I think, Who am I to think I can help? Who am I to think that anything I write or do can have any effect on others? I’m not a business mogul, a celebrity, or a Nobel Prize winner.
But the question doesn’t care. The question only asks again and again in my heart. How can I help? How can I help? How can I help?
I think this question asks all of us in the same way. We are by our very nature a cooperative people. It’s one of the reasons our species is so dominant. But despite this, we often choose to ignore this call.
Why We Don’t Help?
We don’t help because we are afraid to be seen as weak. We don’t help because we think other people don’t need our help. We don’t help because we are caught in scarcity mentality. A scarcity mentality is when we are afraid we won’t have enough, so we become less generous and more defensive.
But these ideas don’t tell us the truth. Being willing to help is actually a sign of great strength and other people always need our help. They may not need our advice or opinions, but they do need our attention, our willingness to listen, and our encouragement. And the more help we give, the more we will have when we actually need it.
Helping builds strong bonds. It’s the foundation of deep friendship. And it’s the underpinning of great communities.
How to Help
1. Listen –
Many of us have grown accustomed to interactions with others who are just waiting for their turn to talk. But something amazing happens when we stop thinking about what we are going to say and just listen. Hearing someone and then reflecting back what they said is unbelievably nourishing and helpful in almost any situation.
I use a particular type of listening taught in Non-Violent Communication (NVC). It’s an amazing way to learn how to connect with anyone no matter how different you may see the world.
2. Be Present –
Being with someone who is in pain or is suffering can feel uncomfortable. It’s tempting to try cheering them up or offer them advice. But if you can stay with them and hold space for their feelings you can offer them a rare form of help they may desperately need.
3. Tell Them You Care –
It’s so easy to turn away from others. The feelings that we have for one another can be hard to talk about and express. But expressing them can give others hope and a feeling of connection that they deeply need. So don’t wait, tell those you care soon and often.
4. Smile –
Smiling costs you nothing, but offers valuable help. Smiling lets others know that you are kind and accepting of them. It can lift someone’s mood or just help someone reconnect to their own happiness. Smiling can also make you happier even if there’s no one else around.
5. Small Acts of Kindness –
Actions say much more then words ever could. The trick is to make your actions simple and impactful. Don’t hesitate or try to do something too grand. Grandiose gestures often end up being about you and your generosity. Simple acts of kindness are about responding from your heart
Helping isn’t a project you take on. It’s a state of alert generosity. Once you decide to help others, opportunities will appear. The more patient you can be and the more willing you are to respond when something arises the more chances you will find to help others. Finally, remember that though helping others is awesome it is also a gift to let other people help you as well.
I NEED YOUR HELP:
I’m starting to put together my first full length E-book which I hope to have out by Jan 2014. But I need your help. I want to know what you care about, what you want to learn about, and what you struggle with.
Do you have questions about mindful living you’d like answered?
Do you want to learn more about mindful eating?
Do you want to learn how to do 100 mindful pushups?
Not only will the information I gather inform what I include in the book. I’ll also use it to make this blog more relevant and helpful to the challenges you face everyday. Finally, if you do any of these three I will send you a link to an embarrassing video of me singing country music.
Thanks so much for being so awesome and for reading my blog. The former is not dependent on the latter and the latter is something I am very honored by.
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