How to be a Creative Gypsy…
“I think, I think…I think you don’t need an enemy.” I stared dumbfounded at her.
We had jumped into my friend’s minivan about twenty minutes earlier for our quarterly run-away-from/home/work/life-in-search-of-fun trip.
I have to confess, I saw this as a time that I got to finally gripe and complain about everything and everyone…from the frustration of my children’s grades to my manipulative narcissist boss.
A statement like that stopped my downward spiral of complaints in my tracks. I laughed out loud. This suggestion was so against the grain of my MO. Even my name means warrior. Naturally, I’m a fighter. Maybe it was being sexually abused by a relative at a young age that triggered the fight response in me.
“YOU DON’T NEED AN ENEMY.”
Just imagine no enemy…laying down my weapons, resolving that everyone is for me. It’s hard to even fathom…but if I could, FREEDOM.
I have trouble relaxing and taking time to rest because I’m ALWAYS fighting for something or someone. Even in my resting times, I’m thinking of my next move or calculating strategy. Now I’m definitely someone who needs to live a purpose-driven life, but does that purpose always need to be driven by a fight?
My wise friend’s statement disarmed me. It gave more solutions than all my complaints or calculations ever did. I felt a sense of relief wash over me as I resolved to lay my fight down for a time. Even warriors take a furlough to recuperate and have fun.
This statement has come back to me countless times over the past few years. To be honest, most of the time, I find myself teetering back and forth from anxiety to contentment.
I don’t like this weakness about myself. Another flaw of the warrior is always wanting to be strong and wanting to appear strong to others. Therein lies the conundrum, everyone assumes I’m strong, so they think I don’t need them.
I don’t need an enemy. I need people.
I need people, like my friend, to see my spiral and call out a better path. I need a community that wants to champion me and call out the gold in my life when they see it. And I want to be that person for a community.
Always Growing -Marcy
“Yes, your chore for today is making brownies,” I said matter of factly.
GG (my twelve-year-old) stared blankly at me as realization crossed her face. She suddenly took off to the kitchen to do her “chore”, before I changed my mind (the promise of a reward at the end of her task motivating her).
I’ve managed to avoid eating brownies for years knowing that they are my vice. But with the quarantine, all rules have been laid by the wayside. The two treats a week rule has been thrown into the abyss along with my hopes and dreams.
I avoid putting on my apple watch, knowing the shame I will feel at the end of the day. Apple has this great new feature that compares your movements to an animal. My husband will be rewarded with a picture of a great black stallion and hardy “Neigh”, declaring his prowess for activity. I, on the other hand, will only see a sloth grunting (at least I think they grunt). (Apple doesn’t really have this feature).
My business all but shut down these last months. I help people launch their ideas and dreams by applying process, accountability, and resources. In a time where everyone is re-prioritizing, extra dreams are not on the top of the list. I get it, no hard feelings. Who gives a crap about building a personal brand when the world around you is potentially dying and we are fighting over tp. The issue is, my DNA is about feeling productive. I love it. The rush of motivation as I dive into a project headfirst is like a drug. I come alive as someone talks about their dream and I see the potential times ten. When this all started, I tried to force the client’s hands by asking for content and encouraging clients to continue to meet. Then clients canceled and rescheduled continuously. My attempts at email and texts were met with silence. It was time to take the hint.
Idle brains make a devil’s playground…then I started overthinking everything and overthinking about everyone. Which, I think we can agree, is a dark path to go down. This path looked like: losing my religion, regaining it, switching political parties (multiple times), picking several fights purely for entertainment’s sake, consider going back to school (again), redecorating my entire home, deciding to become a writer fulltime, apply for a job at an ad agency, realize I don’t want to work for someone else, deciding to become a homesteader, look for a farm to buy to become a homesteader, ordering seeds for the garden I will never plant, convince myself that I have no friends, realize I have the best friends ever and declare my love over text messages, planning next year’s spring break vacation to Malaysia, resolve that COVID will never end and we will not be going to Malaysia or anywhere ever again. Then, I gave up.
So here I sit, in all my slothful glory eating forbidden brownies (for a third time in a week). For just a moment, the sweet morsels hit my tongue and I stop thinking. My world slows down and all the cares slip away. This is my new drug. Then I look down and see my stomach roll protrude over my jeans and the thinking begins again. Time for the next drug to distract: bingeing on yet another poorly written Netflix series. And once again for a brief moment, I escape the hamster wheel of my brain…till it ends and I am left with the sinking empty feeling once again and the hampster starts his perpetual trek.
I sat nervously in her office wringing my hands. I had been meeting with her for a couple of months now. She wasn’t in-network, so I was paying out of pocket. But I hoped her spiritual/holistic approach would help me to finally have that deep breakthrough when it came to my diet and exercise regimen.
“What is a healthy coping mechanism?” I pleaded as I thought about the whole bag of chips I ate the night before.
She looked at me confidently, “Warriors don’t cope.”
This resounded in my soul. I’ve always considered myself a warrior type. In fact, my name translates warrior. Then I wrestled with this statement and the validity of it. How could she say humans didn’t need coping mechanisms? If I don’t find ways to escape the hamster in my head, I believe he would eat me alive.
As I’ve had too much time to think about all of this, I think I have a resolve… Maybe it’s not about coping at all. I’m thinking this all comes down to four things: Recognizing, Permission, Response and Resolve. RECOGNIZE the reality of the situation. This applies to our current epidemic situation and other trials we face. We give ourselves and others PERMISION on how to behave based on that reality. That might look like consuming a pan of brownies. Next, RESPONDing with kindness to ourselves and others based on that reality once a choice is made. If I look at my stomach roll in disgust after my brownie snack, but I already gave myself permission to cope in this manner, a better response than disgust, would be to delight in the brownie and its glory. To take it further, I RESOLVE that it might not have been the best choice but gave myself permission to enjoy some pleasure during a time where we need to find the joy in life. My RESOLVE might be to not make that choice again, as in a practical sense, I won’t fit into my clothes soon. Ultimately, I apply no shame to the choice I made. I learn from my response, move on and hope to make a better choice moving forward based on the tested evidence from my last response. This cycle should be repeated over and over with all my choices.
Now I’ve completely overcomplicated eating brownies in a time of crisis. Simply put, it comes down to doing the opposite of escapism. Which is being present. Being present in our choices even in coping. I think the shame comes on when we realize we just did something that is contrary to who we believe we are at the core of ourselves. Shame comes when we mindlessly make a choice, learn nothing from it, and repeat said mindless choice again.
**It has been a week since my last brownie. I’ve given myself permission to moved on to cookies.
Always Growing, Marcy
I committed the cardinal sin, I looked at my Christmas presents before Christmas. In my defense I didn’t do it alone. And in my defense my mom put all the presents out under the tree ahead of time.
A couple of days before Christmas, my parents went out. My brother and I held our breath waiting to hear the car go down the drive. We waited ten seconds and bee-lined it for the tree. Ever so carefully we extracted the tape one by one off each present just enough to peek at what was inside. Then with the precision of surgeons we closed them up and placed them back in the pile.
The days leading up to Christmas my brother and I had a secret that bonded us. But the thrill of sneaking around faded fast and left only a sunken feeling. All those carefully re-wrapped presents seamed like empty boxes. Come Christmas morning, I worried that I wasn’t going to be able to perform my happy, grateful and surprised faces. But I rallied for the sake of my hard-working parents. I didn’t want to disappoint them.
I love that I just make the Millennial cut. Millennials are innovative, creative, daring, and can handle change really well. But one attribute that I have to fight as a Millennial is not being able to wait. I want it now. Just like the presents I prematurely opened. I don’t want to wait for my dreams. There is the practical side of me that says, “Work for it! It will come in time as you work hard.” Then there is the Millennial side that says, “Really! Why hasn’t this happened yet?! Don’t they know who I am!”
I have found that I have asked God this question over and over the past fifteen years (now it’s a bit embarrassing to admit). Typing it out makes me see the entitlement written all over it. I feel like Jekyll and Hyde as I learn to trust God and hustle towards my dreams. One moment I see the wisdom of waiting and the next, I’m once again tearing through those presents.
I know I don’t want to achieve my dreams before the right time. I want my character to be at the place where it can handle the responsibilities of carrying my dreams. Character can make or break our dreams.
What dreams are you waiting for? Know that you are not alone in your struggle to wait. Yes, waiting stinks. But, in the waiting, work hard, gain wisdom, and you will build character. Your time will come.
Once I got started in “Products that Changed my Family’s Life this Year Part 1“, I was blown away with how much we added to our family this past year. I love change and growth and this has been a year of just that. So here are a few more products that our family just can’t do without:
These gluten-free egg bites came out this past month. This is a game changer for me. I’ve cut back greatly on my Starbucks indulgence (for the sake of saving money). But every once in a while when we are really running late, I can do a quick mobile order for breakfast. Before this product, I always felt guilty with the choices I made for my kids and me, but I couldn’t get past the convenience Now there is no guilt and the convenience is still there.
This has been a year of upgrading our health. With that we started seeing a nutritionist. My husband and I are skeptics about everything and over-research everything. So it’s hard for us to trust “health gimmicks”. I cautiously took the advice of our nutritionist on taking these liquid minerals. Honestly, I decided to just trust and stopped being a devil’s advocate about her advice. Three months into taking a cupful for these minerals and I realized most of my bad food cravings have dispersed. Not only that, my hair has darkened. I’ve heard other stories of people losing their white or grey hair after taking minerals.
The days of blockbuster are long gone and replaced with instant buying, rentals and streaming. Apple TV does this and more. We watch YouTube, stream Netflix, stream cable, use iTunes, play games and store our previously downloaded videos all in a one-stop shop.
One of my hobbies is fashion. I love finding unbelievable deals. So I was so happy to find ThreadUp.com a used clothing store on-line, where I hoped I could find great clothes at a great deal. I got a 40% off coupon and free shipping once I spend over $79, so I decided to give it a try. I stuck to the clearance clothes (to get an even better deal) and mostly brands that I knew would fit me. I avoided Target and Wal-Mart brands because I know they don’t last very long with washing. I received fourteen pounds of clothing and it took about a week for shipping. I was incredibly surprised at the quality and cleanliness of the clothes (they looked dry-cleaned). There was only one pair of paints that didn’t fit well and one shirt that I didn’t prefer. I would highly recommend this company.
This is my favorite photo-editing application. I use it for many of the photos you see on HerRoar. There is a free version and there is a pro version for $7.99 a month. Within the app, it gives you standard sizes for creating pictures for all the social media platforms. It’s hard to make something ugly with this app.
This was the year I embraced my inner hippy and switched to a healthy deodorant. I fought it big time because I didn’t think it would be strong enough for me. For years I’ve been sharing men’s Mitchem deodorant with my husband. So this switch was scary. After a couple of weeks, my body adjusted. The scent smells a little like incense so my hubby calls me a hippy sometimes. But I feel a sense of relief knowing I’m working towards removing all cancerous-causing products from our home.
I remember in the 90’s when a paper product came out like this and I thought it was disgusting, like wearing a baby diaper. I swore I would never wear a period panty. But the continuous advertisements to my Facebook feed got me curious. One 30% coupon, five clicks later and I decided to take the plunge. This was going to be a trial run but nine months later, I am still using and loving them. They aren’t strong enough for the first two to three days of my period but after that, I wear them and can almost completely forget my period exists! My nine-year old has what we call a leaking problem (actually we think it’s just her getting too busy to remember to go potty). So we bought her a couple sets for school and sleepover and it helps her avoid embarrassing moments with her friends. I would highly recommend this product.
I’ve used Mary Kay products off and on throughout the years and have never been disappointed. As a mature women in her thirties, I’m starting to think about how to take care of my skin better. A pee size squirt is enough for my whole face in the mornings before I put on my foundation primer. I also love supporting a company that has empowered women for so many decades to be in business.
I see glasses as an accessory like jewelry. Most insurance only covers one pair every two years. So at an average of $300 a pair, I have only had one pair at a time. I see fashion as a hobby so this has been frustrating for me. That all changed with Warby Parker. Go online and pick five pairs of glasses to be sent to you for free. Then you can try them on at home, send them back for free and order at $99-$145 each. There are a few stores in LA too (f you want to battle the traffic). They come with a reflective coating and they will cover the cost of an eye exam.
What products have you added to your family’s life this year to make it run more smooth? Let us know in the comments below.
My husband travels about three weeks out of the month. I started a new job this year. I manage this blog. I’m illustrating a children’s book. We are doing partial home school with my two daughters and I run a small business. So you can say, life is busy for us. I know, I know, we are all busy. But we also live in an amazing time where product after product is coming out that make our lives better and more efficient. Here are a few of those products that changed our family’s life for the better this past year.
This Summer we had a couple of unwelcome visitors go in our backyard. We suspect that they thought no one was home and were looking to break-in. They were scared away easily once they realized someone was home. With my husband traveling, this was very disconcerting. Ring adds a camera to our door bell and we have cameras surrounding our house. When there is movement or a doorbell ring we get a notification on our phones. We can see and talk directly to the visitors through our phones and avoid having to go to the door. My husband can also monitor the house when he is out-of-town. On the first day of school this year my hubby was able to say, “Have a nice first day at school!” He often says hi as we are leaving the house. So along with home security, it’s a way for us to feel connected.
The jury is still out on Alexa, for me. It’s a small round computer that we have in a couple of places in our house. We can talk to her like we do to Siri to add items to our Amazon Fresh order. She can also play music when requested. You can ask her about weather and, ideally, other questions. There seems to be a few kinks that need to be worked out, she doesn’t always have answers to questions. But, I’m sure she will get better over time. New applications are being continuously added to the Echo.
RX Bars are a “real food” protein bar. The ingredients are simple and clean eating. There are a variety of flavors. I use this as a meal supplement and they are really filling. They are delicious and are only $2.50 a bar. I buy a variety box on Amazon.
Are your meals lackluster or bland? These are a food seasonings that are chemical free, low sodium and made by a small company that focuses on personal health. The flavors are heavenly and not like what you will find sitting on a shelf at your local market. Spice up any meal with a variety of flavor combinations. They even sell a chocolate donut seasoning!
I don’t know about you, but several times a week (after a long day) I would head to the local market and grab the easiest meal I could think of. $80 later, a half-gallon of ice-cream, chips & dip and I was headed home. If you already have Amazon Prime for your other purchases ($99 per year), it’s only $15 a month additional for unlimited delivery orders. You can buy high quality meat and vegetables. Some items are a little more but those are mainly name brand processed foods. We have only had a few crushed items and Amazon immediately refunded us. I no longer dread having to try to fit in that trip to the grocery store. No more $80 trips to the local grocery for last-minute meals. I do have to plan ahead a little but most of the time I can order the day before with next day delivery. You can try it out free for a month to see if it works for your family.
I love the “Free and Clear” type soaps that are just basic without perfumes. I’m incredibly sensitive to perfumes (migraines) and my husband and daughter are sensitive to many detergents (dry skin). This product seems too easy. It doesn’t seem like it’s enough, you just throw the tab in the washer, there are no spills and I don’t have to rinse out the cap. It works. It comes in a nice light compact container. It is worth the couple of dollars more.
This was the year that I decided to give up on my dream of learning the guitar (I have been saying this for twenty years). In the past, I often looked longingly at the polished nails of other women and dreamed of such an indulgence. But I always insisted that I couldn’t learn the guitar if I had long nails, so I never took the plunge. With the increasing orders in my jewelry business this year, I notice that my nails were stained black often from the metals and paints. So to keep a professional front, I decided to start getting my nails done. I’m cheap so this was a big deal to treat myself. I soon learned that there are many choices at the nail salon and if you don’t really know what you want you will end up with everything in the confusion. The longest lasting choice was gel nails with some kind of french manicure. I could go almost three weeks without getting them fixed or filled.
I grew up watching Superbook on TBN and loved it. Besides the Sunday School felt board presentations, this was my main source of Biblical teaching. So I was overjoyed when I realized that the old Superbook was getting an overhaul. Hand-drawn characters have become computer graphics. Engaging storylines and life lessons lace every episode. When we limit screen time to one hour a day, this is a great alternative that we don’t mind bending the time limit rule for. It also includes an online gaming portal where kids can earn points and dig further into lessons. We pay $25 a month and it’s also supporting the furthering of the gospel. The company continuously works to translate the cartoons into other languages and distributes it’s program to reach many cultures around the world.
Time to join the “Clean Butt Club”! About to get real here. Don’t read on, if you are not interested in the intimate details…Pregnancy sucked for me. Along with gains of 70ish pounds (each time), was fire-burning heart burn and the gift of hemorrhoids. Staying clean has become a priority. I discovered toilet wipes that worked for a while but half way through the year they were making things worse. After a little research, I found out that there are no regulations on toilet wipes so they are full of irritating chemicals. Finding the Tushy Bidet saved my a$$, literally. I also appreciate knowing that my two children are clean, helping to prevent urinary tract infections. I know this is a culture change for people in the United States but in many countries a bidet is the norm. You will thank me on this one.
There are too many good products that bettered our family’s lives in 2016, so look for the rest of this article tomorrow.
Check out Part 2 here: https://marcyrossi.com/index.php/2019/04/01/products-the-changed-my-familys-life-part-2/
“Do you need help packing?” I offered, as my ten-year-old daughter stormed out of the room.
Through her sobs, “Yee-eee-ssss.”
I followed her out of the room, stood in front of her closet, holding her bag as she carefully decided what to take.
“You’re not taking anything that you didn’t buy.” I stated, trying to hold my emotions in.
“I know. I’m bringing stuff from my birthday.” She said as she continued her search.
“And you’re not bringing your phone. Mommy and Daddy pay for your data and phone line. You can’t stay with Coral or Megan, their parents have too many responsibilities to worry about you.” I said matter-of-factly, hoping to add to the list building in her mind as to why this wasn’t a good idea.
I wanted to give in. I wanted to fight for her. I wanted to beg her to stay. Visions of her being abducted the moment she walked out that door flashed before my eyes. I shook away the image and just prayed. “Father am I doing the right thing? Please keep her safe.” I kept telling myself, “She’s not going anywhere. She’s going to back down, I just know it.” As doubt crept in, more images crossed my mind of never seeing her again.
“FOCUS! Stay strong and focus on the skills that you have learned!” I coached myself.
“I only have five minutes to help you pack and then I need to get back to work.” I stated blankly.
“Mommy, why are you doing this! You are a Nazi, do you want me to be killed” she cried. “You are prejudiced towards me, like people with black people. Why are you doing this to me?”
“I’m not doing this, this is your choice. You can stay and do the list of chores or you can go. This was your idea.” She continued to pack. “I have one more minute to help you.” More packing. At this point my heart is starting to sink, doubt and fear are creeping in. “I need to get back to work, please come in and say goodbye before you leave.” Holding back tears, I walked out of the room and straight to the bathroom to try to get my emotions together.
How did my almost-always-obey-the-rules daughter get to this point? Where did I go wrong?
At this point, I was ready to email Danny Silk and tell him his book “Loving Your Kids on Purpose” didn’t work and it was his fault that I lost my daughter. Questions and confusion spun through my brain as I questioned the techniques I learned in his training. The goal of his training is to move away from forcing your kids to obey, rather, the point is to have a heart connection with them. That way, when your kids make decisions they consider that they will hurt their parent’s heart or hurt the relationship they have built with their parents. The focus of parenting is on the relationship you build with your kids. This technique comes from the program Love and Logic, a program developed for foster care families where corporal punishment is not allowed.
I walked out of the bathroom and resumed my work as I heard my daughter’s sobs from the other room. Suddenly the crying stopped and I heard my mother-in-law talking to her.
“You have a choice, you continue packing and I’ll drive you down to juvenile hall. Or you face your consequences and you go to your mother for forgiveness,” she stated evenly.
“BUT SHE WILL NEVER FORGIVE ME!” she cried (over-dramatically).
“No, no more games. This is your choice.”
Sure enough, ten seconds later, my daughter was in my arms crying, begging for forgiveness. I told her how much it hurt my heart to let her go and how I wanted to make her stay. I also talked to her about manipulation and how that is not how we do relationships. We cuddled and reconnected again. I asked her if we could have a reset. And that is what we did, the relationship was fully restored and strengthened by me not forcing my hand.
So Danny Silk is right. These concepts also parallel how we should have a relationship with our Heavenly Father, a relationship rather than a dictatorship. Has there been a time where you didn’t want to do what was asked of you so you just quit, packed up your stuff and ran away? On a smaller scale, I do this often with God. Most of the time, I just shut down and numb out on Netflix. But God is always there when I realize my wrong and correct my course back into his arms. As I learn to open my heart up to him, we are building a heart connection. A heart connection that I don’t want to hurt.
I’m in a weird season. It’s a season where I have a lot of incomplete projects. Now I have ADHD, so that tends to be the norm for me, incomplete projects everywhere. In the past, projects were incomplete and abandoned out of boredom. Shame covered them like the thick dust of time because I was disappointed in my failure to launch. This time around is different. I love all my projects and I’m not bored with them. There is no shame wrapped around them because of my distortions of failure. They are just taking a long time to complete. This time around they are requiring a labor of love and time.
Some back seat wisdom the other day brought light to my situation. Back seat wisdom are those moments in the car where I throw nuggets of wisdom to my kids (sitting in the back seat behind me) as we travel. More and more back seat wisdom nuggets have started to fly back to me. My oldest daughter, Natalie, in response to a conversation about a friend halfway through completing college said, “It’s like you’re at the top of Mount Everest and you only need to come down. You’re half-way there.” BOOM! Truth bomb!
Imagine if we didn’t celebrate being at the top of Mount Everest? That would be crazy. We have all heard the sayings about “The destination is not the goal, the journey is the goal,” or some form of that. I have had a really hard time grasping that, until my daughter’s advice. Imagine feeling a sense of peace in the waiting. Joy in the mist of the unknown. This is possible. Just see yourself already at the top of Mount Everest. Standing there celebrating how far you have come. Looking at how much you already completed and learned in the process.
So, yes I’m in a weird season, where there isn’t the sense of completion and the taste of victory is rarely indulged. But it’s all about my perspective. I have a million incomplete projects but I have a million projects started! So I choose to celebrate the fact that I’m at the top of Mount Everest and all I need to do it head down that slope.
Lets’ go on this journey together…take inventory of a few things you have started. You are at the top of Everest. Now it’s time for a victory dance (do it, I am). We are not going to die up here. Let’s take a deep breath (do it, I am) and start to head down the slope.
I grew up in a Christian home where the worship of celebrities was not allowed. In fact, I was rarely allowed to listen to “secular” music and even there was a wariness around the possibility of liking a Christian music artist too much. I did feel left out at times, like when my friends were gushing over what New Kids on the Block artist they were in love with. I wrestled with my beliefs when I went to college for music and didn’t get any of the musical references taught in class. Part of me resolved that I was called to live a different life as a Christian and that certain sacrifices were part of that. Part of me just didn’t get it.
As an adult, I see more and more of the secular culture creeping into the Christian culture. I can’t help but pause and ask, “Am I okay with this?” It just looks too similar. When I was growing up in the church, church culture looked VERY different from the non-churched. It wasn’t “cool” to be a Christian and honestly, (from the secular viewpoint) there wasn’t much that looked contemporary about the culture (it was dorky often).
So back to the question, “Am I okay with this?” What would be the healthy approach to this question? I could stamp it with “evil” and run far away. Instead I’ve decided to approached it with curiosity.
I’ve asked, “What bothered me about these changes?” I realized that what I judged had nothing to do with seeing sin, it’s that the contemporary look is too similar to secular and so it’s really a personal taste issue. What I should be doing is looking at the fruit of their platform or ministry.
With this approach, I’m finding that there is a lot of goodness out there. I also recognize that just because something is “flashy” or “looks like the world”, that doesn’t make it bad. Could it just be that we are being more creative in the church? Could it be that the church is finally catching up to secular creativity and in some cases starting to drive creativity in our culture?
So what does scripture say about following these popular Christian icons? I found this great nugget of wisdom in Hebrews:
Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.
These popular icons are our leaders in teaching the word of God, our examples in the way we should go in life, our Psalmists who put voice to our hearts cry and our leaders in innovation & creativity. So yes, go ahead and follow that church, read all of her books, sing their songs at the top of your lungs, pay for that concert and get the t-shirt too. We have permission to imitate a fruitful life and be a Christian Groupie.
What church, speaker, writer or music artist are you a groupie for (share in the comments below)?
In my quest to come out of the introvert self, I’m trying something new. This technique is pretty simple but I’m already seeing drastic results. I probably shouldn’t give away my secret but I hope to help all the introverts of the world to enjoy the fullness of relationships.
Here’s my trick: When I am starting a conversation with someone, I make sure I point my toes straight at them (so that I’m directly facing them). I do not angle my toes away, at all, and this forces my shoulders to face the person straight on. This body language says, “I am listening to you. You are important, more important than anything else outside of this interaction. You are worth my time and undivided attention.”
A funny thing has been happening since I started this experiment, people are opening up to me. I ask them questions and they answer. So now I have added the lean. As the conversation lengthens, I lean in to say, “You can trust me. I am safe and I truly care about what you have to say. Feel free to share your real self to me.” By breaking a couple inches of barrier, I invite intimacy.
Lastly, these two steps lead to lingering. There have been times that I needed to do/ be something/somewhere else, but for the sake of the person standing in front of me, I stay. I linger.
Social anxiety has made me fear that we will run out of things to say. That there might be that awkward silence as we search our minds for the next topic. But it hasn’t been as bad as I thought. As people are opening up in conversation a love and care for them grows inside and the conversation seems to flow more easily. I am now willing to risk being uncomfortable to make someone feel like they have been seen and heard.
I think that this new practice came out of my observations of how people have been interacting with me. As I continue to deepen relationships in my life, I am observing what’s different about the dynamics of these relationships. The ones that are growing are with people who linger in conversation. They are not walking the other way as they squeeze in a sentence. These people are busy (everyone seems to be) but their body language is saying, “Yes, you are worth my time.”
Thank you to those of you who have pointed their toes at me, felt I was worth a lean and were willing to linger in my presence. Dear reader, consider showing the love of God by pointing your toes, leaning and lingering. Let me know in the comments below if you see a change.