17th February, 2014
Today I realised that I have been on this Dead Before Midnight journey for six weeks.
It’s taken many twists and turns, and every day I have learnt something about myself and how I walk my talk in this world. Some days I am surprised by my actions. I am more generous and caring than I realised! Other days I am confronted with an ugly truth, which compels me to step it up and clean up my act. In my defence, I am committed to this journey. My resolve to be a better human being, to be a leader and hopefully a role model burns inside my heart. So I search out what I think I may need to teach me a better way, or assist me with new thoughts or ideas, and to enrich my soul and open heartedness. There is much reading, and much talking, and plenty of soul searching and accountability!
It has only been six weeks and 48 gold stars (although who’s counting right?) but I feel like I have been travelling the universe for years. This is predominantly because of the people I am meeting, or re-discovering, and the way I am thinking about my role in their lives, or their role in my lives.
I am convinced that the conversations I am having are meant to be – for the two of us. I am trusting that the lessons learnt are important for my heart and my being – for both of us. And I love, love, love that the time I now take to be present for everyone I meet leads me to feel incredibly grateful for this life; extraordinarily rich.
I didn’t realise that I was working from a deficit model. Always seeing what I didn’t have. Always winging “Why me? Why them?” Always defaulting to a darker place because my view was obscured by a ridiculous idea of success and what I thought it looked like.
But I have so much more than I realised. My life is literally overflowing with beautiful and generous people who care for and love me. I have so much luscious, positive energy flowing around me, and I am gifted with an abundance of opportunities to create something wonderful every single day; Literally EVERY SINGLE DAY! I am so grateful to be able to see this.
Over 48 gold stars I have realised that life has a weird habit of giving back as much as you give. Try spending the day focussed on giving and being grateful for everything that you already have and you will see what I mean. Be determined to give back at every turn, at every possible opportunity. I promise you, you will walk away feeling impossibly richer than when you woke up!
From small offerings like smiling warmly at strangers or saying a kind word to donating money, buying a colleague lunch, or helping someone with their project. Send a gift to someone who would never expect something from you. Simply stop and have a conversation – be genuinely interested and listen. Focus on working through the issue so you can be helpful, not a judgemental road block! Empty your change into the charity tin – all of it! Or better yet, donate that $20 note.
I will never forget my husband and I getting lost in Shibuya, in Tokyo, a few years ago. We were trying to find our friend’s apartment and had gotten confused with the numbering and street signs. We asked a Japanese man who was cycling past us if he spoke English and if he could help us. He was more than happy to, but also wasn’t exactly sure where the apartment was. Instead of leaving us, he took us into the community day centre for older adults, which was a few doors down, to see if they could assist. Within minutes we had a group of staff and our friendly cyclist pouring over a detailed map and helping to find the location. Finally they found where our friend lived and pointed it out on the map, giving us instructions on how to get there. Then our cyclist friend decided that he couldn’t risk us getting lost again, so he walked with us to our friend’s apartment building and again helped us to work the intercom system on security doors at the front of the building. He waited until we were buzzed in before he left us with a friendly wave. WOW! How kind. How generous of him to take time out of his day to help us. All in all it probably took 15 minutes from when we stopped and asked for assistance, but the experience had a massive impact on us and we were incredibly grateful for his help.
Anyway, if you are following my DBM journey, or embarking on a life changing journey of your own, I hope that you too are realising that you are richer than you think you are, and that you are taking the time to give back to the world around you.
“You are essentially who you create yourself to be and all that occurs in your life is the result of your own making.” – Stephen Richards