Strategy that Surprised Me

ᗪᗩᖇᒪIᑎG, I’ᗰ ᕼEᖇE ᖴOᖇ YOᑌ 

ᗪᗩᖇᒪIᑎG, I KᑎOᗯ YOᑌ’ᖇE TᕼEᖇE

Over the last four years, I’ve (re)learned that relationships are a success strategy. 

Just as you might workout, eat for your body type and needed energy level or want to get great sleep for your system to feel ready for the goals ahead that day, or how, on the business side, you might invest in a mentor to show you the how-to of next level thinking and doing or of powerful communication for growth, taking time to nurturing relationships is as much the powerful manifestor (the original story from Thursday about taking time to (re) find my passion and what I have learned after loss is here: 

True relat-ing inside relationships is the creator of an energy that kicks up good stuff in all areas of your life.

I remember when I was first working with Karen Salmansohn on the book about death (really, about life) and telling her that in writing a book on the subject I knew I was also committing to writing a book about the things that happen when we *don’t* have connection or community. 

One which rises to the top today is loneliness (we have a lot of it in society today due to the uber-focus or dependence on both the virtual and digital).

I remember vividly as a middle schooler feeling uncomfortable if I thought someone was lonely. That hasn’t changed today, but the understanding of how togetherness sustains us has. 

The simple calls, visits or vulnerability we make space to honor or give to those we love (or who we would like to understand more deeply) is anything but. 

They’re not simple. They’re powerful igniters of strength, understanding, and humanity that we need to balance out the growth (and wear and tear) of our modern ways and days.

We are social creatures. Our wiring begs for us to be connected — and often. When we aren’t or go long periods without, we suffer.

Although I’ve known the goodness that comes from nurturing relationships or connection intellectually (and benefited from them all throughout my life in beautiful ways), I’ve never felt it (or done as much about it) to the depth, breadth, and width I do or feel it now. And if I have to admit that it took a loss to get me here, then I will.

::: It took loss to get me here :::

It was easy/easier to be a “good” friend, sister or daughter when we didn’t have kids or on the day before the grief journey began or was it? I’ve heard myself joke about this, as have many friends.

At some point, we can snuggle up to the ‘you make time for the things/people you want to make time for’ truth and see and feel schedules accommodate and time/energy magically expand as we start to receive the benefits of a renewed closeness.

After re-evaluating most everything during the journey back to one’s own life after losing a beloved, I realized something else…

As a woman curious about the world, I’ve almost always felt restless between adventures. Loss highlighted that for me more. 

What genuinely started as an experiment (#friendshipexperiment) in connecting or re-connecting with those I love, even apologizing to some for falling off the face of the earth, helped me see (RE-see) that creating tender or unique experiences *for* those I love was not only a worthy goal, but a practice — something now to keep doing over and over. Not only that, I realized that this was one of the very things that would also mitigate the restlessness felt between the adventures of other kinds that I still wanted to take on. 

There’s no substitute to genuine effort or to experiencing something special together that then leads to a conversation that expands the relationship because of what’s been broken down (walls, maybe) and been given (life — always).

A few days ago, my dear Robyn, texted me the podcast episode “How to Listen with Compassion” (I highly recommend it: with Thich Nhat Hanh and in it, he shared the following three lovely and very simple mantras. They express the grace, purity, and tenderness that can be found or re-found in relationships should we decide to give to them in new ways:

  • To say to someone when they need you: Darling, I’m here for you (repeat at least 3x).
  • To say to yourself when you, yourself, need someone: Darling I know you’re there (repeat at least 3x).
  • To say to someone whom you’ve hurt: I know you suffer (as a result of my words or actions) and that is why I am here for you (repeat 3x).

He spoke eloquently about what “deep listening” is and how our very presence standing there with someone (genuinely wanting to be there) already brings quick relief; it offers them the “immediate chance to suffer less”. 

He spoke about not being able to go very far without community and I’ve seen both to be true.

In my last share on Thursday, I mentioned that sometimes the best thing we can do to find purpose is to let it find us. Today I add ~ when we find the goodness in our relationships again, as if for the first time (it will feel like the first time), purpose is cheekily there, too. 

And if we *keep* making the effort…keep doing the flying to, the making of the phone calls, the writing of those letters (and, as importantly, a good receiver of all of the above and of someone’s love for *us*), and not just to or with the easiest of our friendships or family relationships, but to our more challenging, we’ll find our purpose there, too.

Make happiness your business by creating your authentic brand…enjoy your business, enjoy your life! 

Life is good,​

Michelle Ghilotti
Success Designer, Brand Activator & Social Entrepreneur 

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