Hmmm… About that Taiwan recap…
Yeah, Tara and I filmed over 200 videos, so editing this epic conglomerate of footage is going to take a bit longer than it does for a man with prostate problems to… Pee.
Okay, that’s actually not something to necessarily joke about. But I did. Whoops.
So any who… When my friend, who also happens to be an author, speaker and life changer, Nanci Besser, offered to write a guest post for this week, I pretty much got on the ground and kissed her feet! (BOOM!! She is a LIFE CHANGER… She gave me an extra week to piece together this Taiwan video)
You see, Nanci has started a “Go Kindly” movement. This philosophy empowers everyone to rewrite his or her life story with the power of kindness. It is made up of three components: Work Kindly, Live Kindly, and Move Kindly.
She teaches how to relate to your life in “kind” via practical modalities such as workshops, videos, seminars, and private coaching.
How did this whole movement commence…? Well read her story and find out!
PS: Some of what she asks/discusses… Could be great fuel for your own blog post content!
Take it away Nanci!
Would you do me a favor, kind reader? Close your eyes. Tell an overview of your life “story.” Start with “Once Upon A Time” and conclude with the present. Done? Perfect.
Now, reflect upon your words and notice how many times the main character (you) was the victim of circumstances or other people. Great, one more task and then I will share the details of my “story.”
Last favor; retell your story from a place of empowerment. Notice the difference? Good, now come with me into my history of learned disempowerment and discover how I rewrote my story with the power of kindness.
Each and every one of us has a story. That fact is without dispute. How we “live” our story is a product of deliberate choice. No matter what the circumstances surrounding the “character” of you, it is possible to craft a story where you shine because of your experiences, not in spite of them.
Looking back at the history of my childhood and family interactions reflects the early indoctrination that women came second to men. When it was time for dessert, my grandma offered all the men at the table a second helping. One night, at my grandparents’ white tablecloth shrouded dining table, I rebelled. Perplexed by the dessert allocation discrepancies, my seven year-old hand reached for another cookie without asking permission.
Gentle, yet firm pressure met my wayward fingers along with the words, “No dear. You only think you want more dessert. Let the men have more first. Then, if there are leftovers, you may ask for another cookie.” And that, became the mantra for how I approached relationships with a man: Take care of him first and accept the unwanted, discarded crumbs.
Ever since my first crush, I longed for a soul mate. Yes, that mythical entity of effortless coupling that fairytales assures us exists. Since attending to a man’s needs was my designated station in life, I better find one that I can prove my worth; else I faced a lifetime of emptiness or horror upon horrors: spinsterhood.
Whatever intention motivates our actions, the outcome must also reflect the tone of that initial intention. Fear of not being enough, on my own, catalyzed my interactions with men. Therefore all of my manifested relationships had fear as their foundation. It is no surprise that I chose “unavailable” and domineering men as partners. Dominance arises from receiving pleasure from controlling another. My pain was secondary: After all, they were worthy of happiness; I was not.
The irony is that the more I pleased a man, the less I liked myself. Yet, like any “addict,” I couldn’t stop. I had to be with a man, no matter the misery the compulsion caused me. Disgust greeted me in the mirror. Who was I? The question haunted me. Unable to formulate an answer without the presence of a man’s validation, I quickly adapted to his point of view. Do you recall the movie “Runaway Bride?” The character Julia Roberts portrayed always based how she liked her eggs according to the preference of the man she dated. She had no idea how she liked her eggs outside of adhering to her date’s choice. The same was true for me literally and figuratively.
In hindsight, I recognize that I too was being manipulative by not sharing who I was with the men in my life. Though my manipulation was unconscious and without intent to harm, it was still deceptive. An inability to be myself (or even to know “what” that was) led others to view me as dishonest. Changing my opinion to suit the situation or person also revealed my lack of confidence and self-esteem.
A mindset forged upon indecision invites those with rigid thought processes to assert and spread their doctrine. Each of my serious boyfriends held intractable opinions. In the vein of fulfilling their happiness by giving them what I thought they wanted, I yielded to their will, sometimes with physical marks signifying my inevitable surrender. An inability to trust my instincts and my inner voice left me adrift from a solid sense of self.
Looking back at my “dating story,” each relationship, save one, left me more disconnected from my inner strength. Detachment became my coping mechanism. The less I internalized the abuse I received, the easier it was to endure. However, we all have our breaking points. Mine came this past year with my-now ex-boyfriend. Enough was enough and getting–by was no longer good enough.
He bellowed rants at me more often than not. On that day, something in his tone awoke a forgotten song of empowerment within my mind. No more. I was done being the receptacle of his anger. It wasn’t my lot in life to be his verbal punching bag. My imagination taunted me with envisioning a life beyond the confines of the walls of “Us.”
There must be something bigger than just existing. What if I could flourish? All it required was letting go and standing solo. Taking a “blind” leap with only my desire to be free as my forwarding address, I left. No longer would I settle for leftover crumbs: I wanted the whole meal and seconds.
Living life as an “intentional gypsy” reawakened my inner compass and sense of worthiness. As if by design, my world attracted those who were either struggling with being “enough” as I had or whom had transformed their destiny by self-directed intention. Shame and regret do not taint the memories about my past. Pride and courage define my present.
My experiences ushered in a capacity of empathy and kindness that knows no end. All of us have our “addictions” to things that do not serve our higher purpose. Be kind to you and to those around you that struggle with releasing their compulsions.
We are all in this together. Kindness and judgment cannot coexist. By creating space to “choose again,” we empower our choices to reflect who we are when we forgive our history. It’s never too late to begin anew and no one need accept crumbs, ever.
“Kindness is the gateway to better relationships (with “others” and yourself); I teach Kindness.” –Nanci Besser
So tell me…
- Do you tend to put yourself second?
- How do you take time for you? Do you feel guilty treating yourself?
- Can you relate to Nancy’s story?
- What was the last nice thing you did for someone else?
- What advice would you give your 10 year younger self, about relationships?