Episode 123 Simply Raise Your Hand

October 13, 2023

Good morning from New York City. What I was thinking about this morning is what happens when you put yourself out there. When you raise your hand to do something. Here’s why I was thinking about it. I was chatting with my friend Emily the other day and she told me she had been to Kripalu, a retreat center outside of New York City. She went to do a weekend with Liz Gilbert and Dr. Tererai Trent. When we were texting and I told her how Liz Gilbert’s book, Big Magic – some line I read in that book about living a life of curiosity –  really made an impression on me at the time.

Anyway, in our exchange I said to her ‘you know I was on book tour with Dr. Trent, right? If you’ve never heard of her, Dr. Trent was Oprah’s favorite guest of all time. She’s a woman from Zimbabwe. She’s this amazingly dynamic speaker with an incredible personal story. My friend Emily’s response was ‘wait, what? You were on book tour with her. How did that happen?’ I thought to myself hmm, how did that happen? To be honest, I can’t fully recall, but I do remember somehow hearing that she was going on book tour and that her husband couldn’t join her. I can’t remember how it came about, but I somehow offered to accompany her, and I was shocked when she said yes.

It was really cool because it was at a time in my life when I was longing to do something new, and this woman who I barely knew said ‘yes, come with me.’ I’ll never forget the night I went to the Lower East Side. She was being interviewed by Cleo Wade, and she didn’t recognize me yet we were leaving within a day or two to go on tour.

We kicked off in Washington DC and we shared a hotel room and we shared a bed, and I didn’t even know her. It turned out to be this incredibly fun experience. Of course, my friend Emily was completely wowed because she’s an incredibly inspirational person and Emily had just come off this workshop with Dr. Trent.

It got me thinking where did I come up with that idea? It made me think of my brother, Randall, who is a master Montessori teacher. Back in the day – I guess he must’ve been studying Montessori -he had accompanied Madame Kaspari, who was Maria Montessori’s last living pupil at the time. I remember going to visit him, I think somewhere in the Carolinas, when he was on tour with her. I remember observing my brother being in service to this person, and accompanying her, and I remember sitting in the audience and feeling so proud of him. It really did make a lasting impression on me. It was cool that, all of these years later, there I was kind of doing something similar.

Anyway, as I was mulling this over yesterday, something else popped into my mind about a woman I met on Martha’s Vineyard a couple of years ago. After our writing retreat, we met up for dinner one night  and we were talking about moving someplace new later in life. She had moved to Martha’s Vineyard, and we were talking about that. We got onto that subject because she was getting ready to move again to New Mexico. I was peppering our conversation with questions about how she behaved, how she integrated herself into a new place. She told me that as soon as she got settled, she volunteered to do the night shift  either at a drug clinic or at a homeless center.  She said “yeah, I took the shift that nobody wanted and everyone wanted to know who I was. And that’s how I started to create relationships and build my community.” She went on to tell me a lot of stories about how that triggered so many other opportunities for her.

I wanted to share this because sometimes when we’re uninspired, or stuck, or even in a dark place, one of the best things we can do for ourselves is to put ourselves out there and simply raise our hand. It can definitely feel slightly uncomfortable, but it can completely shift things in your life.  I know speaking for myself, after I went on that book tour with Dr. Trent, it triggered in me so many ideas. It shifted everything and I found so many other interesting opportunities.

I’d end by saying doing something like this doesn’t necessarily have to be that you’re going to a drug clinic or a homeless center. It can simply be extending a hand to a friend. as simple as offering to help someone.

I’ll leave you with that for today.Until next time, from my heart to yours.

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dear Listeners,

Friends say I live my life out loud. That’s because I’m a curious, adventurous person and, as an appreciator, I simply love to share what lights me up. Consider this is your invitation into my fun, multi-faceted world.

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