If you are new to the blog, please check out the first four posts where I explain the journey that took me to this moment. Go ahead, we’ll wait!
Welcome to Month Five: Building Strong Relationships!
Because I feel so much emotion, I often assume that people that I love are aware of my love. I mean, I tell you guys a lot, right? The unfortunate fact is that although I am an extrovert while writing, I can be a real introvert in person. The difference? There is very little chance of face to face rejection when I am blogging, co-hosting our podcast, Holistically Curious, or communicating on social media. With one foot in the holistic and spiritual world that we are creating as a tribe, and one foot in the semi-stuffy and hugely “judgey” world of business, it can be very easy to lose your balance.
Guys, I have gotten it wrong before and it is just as painful to experience, as it is for you watching me! I have reached out with enthusiasm to embrace an acquaintance only to be rewarded with a straight arm more resistant and uncomfortable than that of a 15-year-old boy battling his mother’s hug. I have moved too soon in the romantic first blush of friendship only to have the potential friend run screaming away. “Too much! Too soon!” These are uncomfortable reactions to experience and if not faced with bravery and perseverance, they can cause one to resist the actions that bring about the unwanted reactions. I have reached the point where I tend to be very superficial in my affections, much more comfortable to love deeply in theory than in one on one friendships.
I knew before I started that the massive roadblock to a successful outcome would be my own self-consciousness. BUT… I have a role model in unrestrained displays of affection. I am going to give her name here because 1) she deserves the credit and 2) you need to know this lady if you don’t already! She is the incomparable Carolina Perez of Radiant Expansion. (I kind of feel like there should be fireworks cued up to burst into the sky as I write her name. If you know Carolina, you would know why!) When I first met Carolina, she grabbed me in a big hug and cried out “Teresa, I love you!” And, you know what? She meant it. I knew she meant it. It wasn’t awkward or pretentious. From that day forward, I have thought of Carolina as a person who loves me. (I love you too, Carolina!)
The thing that I have discovered in theory and really wanted to put into practice is that most people are happy to receive open, genuine emotion given with no agenda nor falseness. Those that are made uncomfortable may be (most certainly are) working through their own stuff.
So, this month I have been reaching out far beyond my comfort zone to tell people the positive things that I think and feel about them without any expectation of reciprocation and it has been wonderful.
I have recently been reaching out to many, many, many (did I mention…it was really many!!!) new people on social media because I have had the desire to fill my feed with the thoughts, advice, poetry, art, and vision of uplifting and spiritual people. As everyone does, I look at the people who are suggested to be “friends” with me, check out how many friends we have in common, and whether their feed seems to capture the overall energy with which I want to surround myself. I send a friend request, hope they accept, and move on with my life.
Before this month, I would have stopped there and simply enjoyed the new feeds. However, thanks to the amazing new people who I have met online, I learned that there is more required even for a virtual tribe. I found that the people who accepted my request would reach out with a thanks for the invitation and a desire to know who I was. The ones who sent me the initial invitation would sometimes send me a quick message as to why they would like to be connected, why I seem to be a good addition into their own tribe. They did the work and I learned from them. Some of you may have discovered this blog through this connection and I want to say how appreciative I am of all of the lessons that every one of you have to give to me. Too many to list without fear of missing one or turning this blog into a novel but I just want you guys to know I see you. I SEE YOU and I really appreciate your desire to SEE ME.
With existing friends, I have tried to be more PRESENT. Sometimes it is easier to click like, sad face, or even love on a friend’s post than to drop a line or two of appreciation, sympathy/empathy, or adoration. I have been trying to use my keyboard a little bit more and my mouse a little bit less. It is baby steps for me, so if you did not have a significant interaction from me this month, please do not think it was from lack of love. If you DID receive a significant interaction from me this month, please know that it DEFINITELY was from a place of love.
So, did I succeed with this month’s challenge? I began the process so I am counting this one a win but this is an important process and I intend to keep pushing myself to let all of you know in some way not just that I love you but WHY I love you.
This may be the most vital journey of my life.
Please join me next month when I will share with you Month Six: Indulging Your Creative Side. I have very strong aspects of both left brain and right brain within me, but my job requires a lot of logistics and problem solving. October is going to be my month to let my artistic flag fly! When it comes to allowing my analytical ego to step aside and bring forth the painter, poet, or chef in me; will I Put Up or Shut Up?
With much love…so much love,
Teresa York is a writer and the Co-Host of the bi-monthly Holistically Curious podcast. She says, If you are listening to the podcast, it means that you are a kindred spirit! In her journey for a whole and healthy life, she has drawn from her experiences traveling around the world, as well as from the amazing people she has met along the way.
In a quest to enhance her own knowledge of the world around her, Teresa has obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies (mainly Literature and Humanities) and attended The University of Metaphysical Sciences. Because life is full of little surprises, she is also a Third Degree Blackbelt in Tang Soo Do.
Transitioning from a city mouse to a country mouse, Teresa recently moved to a rural town in Maine where she lives happily with her husband, 4 dogs, and a cat. She misses the community of light-seekers which seemed readily available among the larger population of her previous home but she is inspired by pure spirits, wherever she finds them, and happily she finds them in the most unlikely places.