Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Raise Your Hand If You Ever Feel Like Losing It

Is there one body without a hand raised out there?

Every day pressures in our own lives can bombard us. Not to mention, all the societal issues we witness each day.

Week three into 2011 and I've had a hard time keeping it together already.  Almost 2 weeks after the Tucson shooting tragedy, and I am still stunned, shocked and saddened. Every aspect of who I am was rocked by that event.

Wife -  among the victims there were at least two husbands and one husband-to-be. 
Mother -   all the victims were someone's child
Public Servant -  the presumed target was an elected official

I've lost sleep. I've cried. And I had downright fear last week and I went to our first village meetings of the new year.

Imagine that. And I'm not even sharing all the personal challenges I am facing already in this young new year.

One of my observations about people is that, more often than not, they want to keep a game face on rather than deal with the anxieties that shake them.  It's easier to paint on a fake smile and not really feel the "blows" we're dealt in life.  It's easier to say “I'm fine” rather than pause and be truthful. I actually practice being truthful in an approriate way as much as possible and a few days ago I learned something huge from my five year old.

Evan joined me one recent morning in "the green chair." "The green chair" is a comfortable, cozy spot that the whole family fights for when we are all awake. I get up at 5:15 am daily to enjoy it in peace. He climbed in about 6 am and asked "what's wrong, Mommy? You seem sad." Split second decision - do I fake it for this emotionally astute sweetie or do I gently share?

"Well - I am sad and have a few hurt feelings right now but I'm gonna be ok," I stammered out with a smile. With a caress to cheek and a smile he replies, "ok, then. I love you." and bounced off.

Not only did I feel better immediately but GET THIS - later that night when putting Evan to bed, he asked to pray.

"And Lord - help anyone who has hurt feelings to be healed. Amen" was his final request.

I can't help but smile even as I write, my 5 year old boy lent me a hand of support during a rough patch. He did not cower or wince because Mommy had a weak moment and shared it with him. Oh - quite the opposite - he stepped up. And that's the point.

Regardless your role - wife, mother, husband, father, business owner, employee - it's okay to feel down. It's okay to feel scared. It's okay to be vulnerable. It's okay to not "have it together" every day, all the time. And it's okay to share that with others.

In fact it's imperative to share your fears, anxieties and hurts with those you do life with. That's the only way they can support you and help you through the rough spot. It also reassures others that they can share their rough times with you.

So now I have a new question;  Raise your hand if you are going to let others know when you feel down?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Open Your Heart For Haiti

As time goes by,  our relationship with significant tragedies dissolves unless we were directly impacted.

Take a moment and think about that statement and remember your relationship with the following tragedies:


Hurricane Katrina

Tsunami in Indonesia

We all have memories from the media images seared in our heads and hearts and I bet as time goes by,  they are fuzzier and fuzzier.  I am forever tied to 9/11 as I was a marketer for United Airlines home on maternity leave when that happened. I am strangely tied to all my co-workers of that era - forever.

The Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina are not quite so personal but I certainly remember mobilizing funds to help. It was another tragedy that moved me more so than the others and based on a quote from my senior pastor, Bill Hybels, during this height of the media coverage; I vowed to not ever forget the impact of the earthquake in Haiti.

"Anderson Cooper will move out of Haiti and on to the next big story soon and our brothers and sisters will need us even more."

Upon hearing that our family donated funds - more than we normally contribute and we kept looking for ways to keep the Haitian people  and their plight in our hearts.

As we approach the one year anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Haiti, I want to take a moment to introduce you to a way to strengthen your relationship with those who still desperately need our support

I recently heard about an initiative, Heart of Haiti founded by Fair Winds Trading CEO Willa Shalit that in partnership with Macy's gives everyday folks like you and me,  the opportunity to partner with artisans in Haiti to continue the reconstruction of that country.

Isador makes coasters and tile wooden trays like you see here
 Buy purchasing everyday items made by Haitian artisans - you, too can deepen your relationship to the people still putting their lives back together since last year. Follow this link:  to learn more and get you unique item today!

Let's all open our Hearts For Haiti!

I was selected for this very special “CleverHaiti” opportunity by Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Use It or Lose It

You are obligated to use momentum or you will lose it.

Yeah, I said it.

And it's true.

This time of year people are motivated to do something new. The messages all around us emphasize the importance of "fresh starts" and/or  "new beginnings." 

The piece they miss is taking advantage of the momentum that comes with their new action.

Dictionary says momentum is "strength or force gained by motion or by a series of events."

I highlighted motion because that is the key.

Doing stuff. Then doing more stuff.

This year is off to a fast start for Relationships Matter Now, LLC and while I am marveling (and at times struggling to keep up), I am leveraging this momentum to add more and more to the plate.

No idea how I'm gonna get it all done but banking on forward motion to propel me.

Take advantage of today's momentum to fuel tomorrow's result!