I was setting up for an event the other day when it struck me that we somehow think we have to do everything ourselves and that we are weak if we ask for help. This couldn't be further from the truth. I watched a lady struggle at moving a bench by herself. I went over to her and offered a hand. "No, I have it" she said. She was quick to refuse my help. After she had struggled and returned huffing and puffing she beamed, "see I don't need any help" Meanwhile if she had allowed me to take one end or even if she had asked for help in the first place, it would have taken less time and she would not have been out of breath.
When I was a kid I often heard the saying, many hands make light work. It was usually when we had been to my grandparents for dinner and a tea towel was being thrown in my direction. It was my invitation to pitch in. As a family we all would help out at family dinners. Someone would set the table, someone else might be peeling the carrots and potatoes, others would help in the washing up and putting the dishes away. Many hands make light work. Everyone helped out and lightened the load.
At some point we as a society decided that if someone needed to be helped they were weak. So in order to be perceived as strong, we need to do everything ourselves. And in this dog eat dog world, if you want to play with the big boys you must be strong and self sufficient. The problem with that is we are not here to be insular. We are here to help each other along our individual paths. We are all part of something greater and we need to support each other, whether it be physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually. Actually, a strong person is the one who realizes that they can not do everything and seeks out those who can help. It makes sense since we all have different talents or abilities that we can't be good at everything and need others to help us along our journey.
When we work together we are connecting with one another. When I offer to help someone I am opening my heart and offering a connection. But when we refuse that connection, that help, we are closing our self off and refusing that person. For example, I have heard many women say they don't want their husband or partner to clean the kitchen or help make dinner because he does it wrong. Well, it many not be wrong, but it is not the way she wants it done. But what really is at play here is that he wants to help, to support her and to connect with her. When she says no, she is says no to that connection. It really does not matter how the onions are chopped in the grander scheme of things, what matters is that we open our hearts, connect and support each other. Daily we are disconnecting from each other because of technology, distance and the speed at which we believe we have to live our lives. We are small fragments of something much bigger than us, and we spend our life looking for those other fragments, our other half or the members of our Soul family to connect with. So while we each have our own path to walk, we still need to be strong and recognize when we need help and ask for that support. Every time we connect with each other we become stronger. We are not here to struggle by ourselves and there are times when we need help carrying the load we have. So be strong, ask for help and connect.
Last night I was at an amazing event and had the opportunity to meet some wonderful business women. And naturally, when you are at these events meeting other business people, the age old question comes up, "So what do you do?" How do we answer that question? How truthful are we? Do we give them a easy superficial answer or are we truthful and give them something deeper and more complicated that can lead to meaningful connections with each other and our self.
Many years ago when I was a consultant for a popular kitchen product company we talked about our 30 second commercial, it was our answer to "so what do you do?" The concept was that you could creatively answer that question in a mere 30 seconds ....... and, for me, sound like all those infomercials on TV. I never particularly cared for this approach. I really don't have a neat and tidy answer for that question. My answer is often, "well, I do many things"...and then I proceed to rhyme off the many hats I wear. What I really want to say is, "I hold space for my clients on their healing journey"....but seriously, no one knows how to respond to that. It would likely be a wide eyed Oooooo as they look for a way to get out of the conversation. People want a tidy, easy to understand answer that doesn't make them feel awkward. So now I say, "I am a Reiki Master and I use art and dance as part of my healing methods." This gives the person who has asked the question a more accessible answer and leaves room for them to dive deeper into who and what I am about with further questions.
Let's face it, regardless of how much we try to not to be judgey... we do judge each other in those very few seconds we meet new people. That is reality. We are judging that first impression we get of each other. Interestingly though, that judgement is actually a mirror of our self and not about the other person at all, but we can talk about that another time.
I have also heard it suggested that instead of asking "what do you do?" we should ask people "what do you love to do?" This is great. It allows us to easily talk about our self and what we are passionate about in our life. Many women find it challenging to talk about themselves, they will easily tell you about their children's many achievements, but find it hard to boast about their own. But ask about the thing that they love to do and you can tap into who they are truly. Their answer may surprise them as they may never have been asked this very question.
The choice is simple. Do you ask a question that is looking for a simple, neat and tidy answer? Or do you ask a question that can lead to a connection with the other person. I vote for making connections. Meaningful, honest connections are what we are here for, so let's ask the questions, let's dive deep, let's reveal our true self.
"So what do you love to do?"