BRIGHT SPOTS FRIDAY: Build Deeper Relationships


We’ve had a number of people send cancellation requests in the past couple weeks!

How on earth is this a Bright Spot? Well, for the past year or so my focus has been to try to help people where THEY are rather than try to fit them into our service offerings. The cancellation requests have prompted a different response from me. They have forced me to put my new purpose into PRACTICE. Instead of replying that I am sad to see them go and wish them good luck, I have tried to uncover what it is that they REALLY need…why they REALLY want to depart…and offer an alternate path to help.

I was reminded by a friend this week that I have come a long way. That she has heard from some members, “I was gonna quit but I talked to Kevin…” It’s one of the best things I heard all week. It was in relation to a deeper situation that was causing me some distress, but it’s exactly what I needed to hear. And I realized that responding to the cancellations this way is aligned with who I am. They’ve given me the OPPORTUNITY to truly care, to truly help, and to build some deeper relationships.

I also happened upon “The Bill Murray Stories”, a documentary on Netflix that chronicles the actor’s habit of popping up in the strangest of places and doing the strangest of things, highlighting his many unexpected adventures with everyday people. The crux is that Murray lives in the moment and by doing so, creates magic with real people. While certainly entertaining, I was more intrigued by the film maker’s argument as to WHY he’s doing these things. By referencing clips from a variety of movies, particularly the “It just doesn’t matter” speech from Meatballs, he posits that Murray seems to be in a constant state of acceptance, which can only be obtained by some deep, internal peace.

Then I saw the video embedded here… a story from the Taoist tradition some 2,000 years ago. Who’s to say what’s good and bad? Once you move past good and bad you become less concerned about outcome; you become more accepting to how things evolve naturally. If you can see the bigger picture, you’ll realize that you can’t stop things from happening but you can control how you react to them. And it’s often not the experience that matters as what you do with that experience.

Interestingly, the Taoists have another way to symbolize Good and Bad, the old hippie icon Yin and Yang. The symbol’s black and white represent the two sides of every coin, yet still blend together and even embed within each other. This hits me personally as well. Even the BIG things blend the good and the bad. When Angie was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer it could not have been WORSE news. But slowly, she and I have turned that “bad” into a better way to live…by living in the moment and finding the “good” everywhere we can. When I had her simple engagement ring designed I wanted it to symbolize something meaningful and personal. The Yin and Yang seemed perfect.

Being able to tie the emotion behind that ring with the deeper life lessons this week is something I never expected. But it IS a Bright Spot! What’s yours this week?…