Maybe this time, I’ll learn.
You know that small voice, really a whisper, that you can hear when you’re quiet enough … and it doesn’t get louder, it just stays with you. There have been so many times in the last few years that I heard that tiny, present voice, whisper, “Listen.” And I often noticed it, but I didn’t get quiet to pay attention, to really listen to the rest of the message, or to learn what it said. I admit, I was more interested in getting the appetizers out to the lakefront, or blending the signature drinks to think I had time to listen – or to learn what I needed to right then. I was busy, tired and frantically trying to keep my life together. I didn’t have time for learning or listening but the voice kept staying with me. Nagging. Reminding me of what has happened in the past when I forced a situation or stayed too long or exchanged my value for purpose.
Now that I have some time on my hands… I can reflect on what I did learn in 2017 and what I will carry with me into 2018. I saw a blog post this week that asked what 3 words describe this year… and I have had a difficult time figuring mine out. I think the first one is Learn.
- Assume the best about people. If something doesn’t sit right, it probably isn’t. Go to them and ask if they are ok. I found this very helpful when I saw odd behaviour that was out of character and in asking, I found someone who was afraid to be vulnerable and was going through a hard time. Just because someone doesn’t respond to my text right away, doesn’t mean they are mad at me. Most of the time, they were going through something awful and wanted privacy. That’s ok. I’ve been there too.
- When you think of someone, reach out. We are all connected through our spirit and when we have someone brought to mind, it’s likely that they need some extra love and support. Tell them you’re thinking of them and sending them positive thoughts. They likely need them.
- Listen to the tiny voice. Then hear it. Then do what it says. It’s often a warning… or a prompt to action. It’s (in my experience) never led me down the wrong path. But ignoring it has been regretful. “This isn’t going to last…”
- Burnout is not a badge of honour. I have four of these badges and I have paid dearly for them. If you are stressed, burned out, too busy, too distracted, can’t sleep, over-eat, can’t eat, don’t exercise, can’t talk to your loved ones about it and hope that your effort will make it better… talk to someone and get a plan together. If you don’t, and I don’t mean to be grim… it may happen anyway and you won’t have the ability to see it coming, brace yourself or prepare for the worst.
I’d like to hear what you’ve learned this year, and perhaps what you need to do to listen. I know I need to be present, to do meaningful work and to impact and help people. What about You?