Life is pretty hectic just now, but I get withdrawal symptoms when I am not writing. So I wanted to share some thoughts I have been having lately, in what could turn out to be my shortest post to date.
Have you ever noticed that after you hear a word for the first time, it suddenly seems to be everywhere? Or your friend introduces you to a band they love and then you hear their music on TV? When these things happen, it almost feels as though the stimulus was always there, it’s just that your consciousness was not ready to receive it.
There’s an old expression, which says that “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” Lately, this has taken on a much greater meaning for me. There has been so many times recently when I have heard or seen something, just at the moment when I needed it most. I definitely think it is happening because I am more ready.
I owe this readiness, in no small part, to reading a great book called “The Art of Asking” by Amanda Palmer. I hadn’t come across Amanda before, but I heard the book recommended and decided to check it out. I wholeheartedly recommend it. She is a fascinating lady and it is particularly well written. The main theme of the book is about encouraging people to ask for the things that they need. Having read it, this sounded like great advice. Typically of me, I decide to embrace this, and jumped headlong into asking people for things!
My first ask was in the form of a request for a book (I didn’t end up getting the book, but it did end up opening some other doors for me.) The funny thing about asking, is that it requires making yourself extremely vulnerable. You expose a need in yourself and of course, you have to be open to hearing the word no. Amanda eluded to this in her writing, but it takes experiencing it for yourself to truly appreciate how scary it is.
In order to be a ready student, waiting for her teacher, I have had to learn how to really ask. In a challenging time in my life, I have had to learn how to say “I am struggling, can you help me?” The most recent experience of this was with my 28 day challenge. I struggled with it way more than I was expecting to. The rest of the group were doing great and part of me really wanted to retreat into the shadows. I didn’t want people to see that I, of all people, did not have my shit together (not even a tiny bit!) The crazy thing was, as soon as I did admit it, as soon as I let it be known that I was in trouble, the support I needed came to me, and I was able to turn it around.
The older I get, the more I realise that in order to have the fullest and most authentic life possible, I need to be truly open. Yes, this means taking risks. This means leaving myself exposed to pain. But, it also means being open to all the joy and wonder that people and life have to offer. When you learn to ask, you will soon discover who will step up for you and who will slink away. Recognising a need in others, and doing what you can for them is a truly noble act. To those who have stepped up for me recently, thank you, you know who you are. To those who have decided to slink away, thank you, now I know who you are. Be well xxx