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Any ordinary favor we do for someone or any compassionate reaching out may seem to be going nowhere at first, but may be planting a seed we can’t see right now. Sometimes we need to just do the best we can and then trust in an unfolding we can’t design or ordain. – Sharon Salzberg
Living intentionally is a state of mind. It means that you focus on your needs, your priorities.
However, we can’t get so wrapped up in our own priorities that we forget about those around us. We need to engage. We need to invite people in. The more, the merrier!
Of course, life isn’t one big party. Things happen that are out of our control, and take us off our path for a while.
Reaching out for help
Letting people know that you need help is one of the most frightening, yet necessary, things a person can do. It leaves you vulnerable to others and forces you to admit that you can’t do it all.
Ask for help when you need it. It will not make you look weak. It will not make you look incompetent. In fact, your openness will strengthen your relationships in ways you never thought possible.
It will also make it easier for others to open up to you.
Reaching out to help others
In the same way that you need help, so do others. And just as it is for you, asking for help can be difficult.
Don’t wait for people you care about to ask for help. Just help.
Helping can take the form of small acts of kindness. Help a neighbor carry in the groceries. Make cookies for someone who’s feeling a little down. Send a friend a card for no reason. Show up at a friend’s house with 2 movie tickets and kick them out so you can babysit. Clean up a neighbor’s yard. Send someone flowers. Tell someone you appreciate them. Buy a coworker a cup of coffee.
Sometimes it can be bigger. Set up a meal train for a family in need. Buy Christmas presents for a family that can’t afford. Raise money for someone or something you care about. Make a place in your home for children of friends who can’t care for them (temporarily or otherwise). Offer childcare. Pay for a medical procedure. Open your home to friends in need. Do home repairs.
Sometimes the best way to reach out to someone in need is just to give someone a hug, or hold their hand, or simply smile at them.
Assignment: Help someone this week. Perform a random act of kindness or pay it forward.
Next week: Giving Back