Who’s your Support Crew in 2014?

Image of the Blue Angels Support Crew watching a flight formation - Wikimedia Commons

Image of the Blue Angels Support Crew watching a U.S. Navy diamond flight formation 1952 – Wikimedia Commons

“Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends
Mm, I get high with a little help from my friends
Mm, gonna try with a little help from my friends”

~ John Lennon and Paul McCartney

Few of us get there on our own. The journey is always made easier when we have support, no matter what that journey is. So my big question to you is this:

Who is YOUR support crew in 2014?

No matter what kind of year you’re in for, we all need friends and helpful people. People who can cheer us on, offer helpful advice, pick us up when we fall, do the things we need doing but cannot do for ourselves, lend their own kind of magic to ours for that beautiful effect that multiplies our success to be greater than the sum of the parts.

I know that most of you are a lot like me…

Sensitive souls, empaths, carers, healers, kind-hearted people – we are stunningly good at putting everyone else first, and being that support which others need – being a support person is just what we’re wired to do. And if we’d had rough patches in life we’ve become good at being resilient and self-sufficient too.

All of this means that we may not be so flash at asking for favours or putting our hand up for help.

This year I’m putting up my own hand and asking for help. I’m drawing to me the best support crew I can to get me through 2014. I’m also minimising my contact with the crazy-makers and relationships that drain or sabotage me and my direction. (Want help with toxic relationships? Click here!)

Mots of us already have a support network. We may even be putting energy into supporting THEM right now. The biggest issue for many of us is that we don’t ask, or have found ourselves in the habit of having the barriers up as we steam along in that solo kind of self-sufficiency mode. Or we just plain forget that these people are here for us to draw on.

Not all of our support crew will work for love. And that’s okay too. Hiring people to support us is a great act of self-love and affirmation of self-worth. We can also access this support through books, courses and audio files.

We all need a cheer squad, and sometimes we need more tangible help. The point is – we can’t do it all alone!!!

Image of this awesome supportcrew from the South East London Ladies Swimming Club

Image of this awesome support crew from the South East London Ladies Swimming Club

Right now I have my husband and my wonderful PA, Dana, creating firewalls and boundaries in my work and personal life.

My fridge is full of nurturing soup from kind friends. Others have offered to clean my house while I’m too unwell to do this for myself.

I may not be able to get out much, but my sister and a few friends are on speed dial. I have great neighbours, and a fabulous bunch of Soul Sisters from my mentoring groups and retreats. I have all of you, dear readers, lending your support and kindness.

My Sisters of the Pen are always there for online and ‘for reals’ conversation and support for writing and life. The Queensland Writers Centre is my go-to place for continuing development of my craft.

And beyond my emotional needs I have doctors, herbalists, accountants, a good lawyer, a web designer (Hi Tim!), dentist, chiropractor, acupuncturist, an online business mentoring group, lyme boards and forums, music, libraries, bookshops and the internet. I have the Farmers Markets and some wonderful local cafes. There’s also the yellow pages for when I need a plumber, a termite expert or a tree lopper.

Of course, none of these people will be any good to me if I don’t reach out and ask!

Image by maryam

Image by maryam

2014 is shaping up to be a big year, and it’s time to start thinking about who you need on your support crew.

To help you get a better picture of what that may look like I’ve created a simple journal exercise for you!

Journalling my Web of Support

Image from akmhcweb

Image from akmhcweb

Here are some simple questions for you to think about and journal. Don’t feel that you have to answer them all today, but DO give them thought over the next few weeks.

1. Who in my family can I draw on for support, guidance, laughs or to help me lift that heavy bookcase? Remember that it’s okay to include loved ones who’ve passed over. I talk to my grandparents all the time!

2. Which friends in my life (online as well as people I’ve met in person) are supportive of me, my interests and my ambitions?

3. What do I really need to get done this year that I keep putting off?

4. Do I really need to do this myself? Who can help me with this thing? What kind of support do I need for each of those goals or tasks? Do I know someone? Can I pay someone?

5. Who can help me with my health this year?

6. Who can help me with my finances and/or business?

7. Who can help me with my spirituality and soul questing?

8. Who can I laugh with?

9. Who can I cry with?

10. Who’ll cheer me on up that mountain?

11. Music, movies and other motivators that keep me feeling good about myself and on track?

12. Habits and actions I KNOW do me good and support my journey?

I hope in some small way that I can support you too, through my blog and my facebook page. Let’s make this our best year yet – together!

Lots and lots of love,

Nicole xoxo

Image from sevenquotes

Image from sevenquotes

Do Not Be Friends With Mean People!

 

“It is only the great hearted who can be true friends. The mean and cowardly can never know what true friendship means.”~ Charles Kingsley

I spent some time with a little girl yesterday who is having a hard time with other girls being mean and bullying her at school.

Madeline (I changed her name here, but she’s seven and the sweetest girl you’ll meet!) is doing her best to be nice to these mean girls, and to be a friend to them. Her mum told Madeline that if she is nice long enough, eventually the girls will see what a lovely person she is and want to be her friends for real.

But the fact is this group of girls aren’t being friends back. They invite Madeline to play and then hurt her. They call her over then ignore her. They tease her and make fun of her. But they do just enough ‘playing nice’ that Madeline keeps going back, hoping that they will finally accept her and treat her with respect and kindness. To them it’s just a big game, but to Madeline it’s a defining force in her life that’s tying her up in knots and eroding her self-confidence and self-esteem.

Madeline asked what I would do.

My answer surprised her.

I said, “Stop being friends with mean people! Make friends with people who are kind and who make you smile. Friends are people you like to spend time with. If you don’t like spending time with them then it’s not a very good friendship.”

I think that’s sound advice whether you’re seven or seventy.

advice-quotes-friendship-quotes-Associate-yourself-with-people-of-good-quality-for-it-is-better-to-be-alone-than-in-bad-company.

Don’t be friends with people who are mean. It doesn’t matter whether they are classmates, work colleagues, the partners of friends, next-door-neighbours, or family. Mean people don’t respect you, your ideas, your feelings, or your possessions.

Mean people make you feel small. Mean people cause you hurt and worry, and make you feel sick in the stomach with anxiety when you have to spend time with them. Mean people make you believe you’re not good enough, or that there’s something wrong with you.

Mean people don’t know HOW to be friends. So why would you want to waste your half of a friendship on someone who can never be a friend back?

There are lots of terrific people in the world, and lots of people who could use a friend. Mean people don’t make good friends. So stop trying to win people over, or expecting them to change. If they can’t like you for who you are and treat you well, move on.

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10 Ways To Be A Friend

image from www.ownedpix.com

image from www.ownedpix.com

“A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be.”  ~ Douglas Pagels

 

After I posted about receiving all of the lovely letters and packages in my mail a few days ago (most in response to me being unwell), I had a number of people comment on how lucky I am to have such marvellous friends. And then someone asked me HOW I managed to have ‘those sorts of friends’…

I had to think about it for a minute, but I guess the answer is that I invest time in my friendships.  And love. In fact, the question of friendship got me thinking, and led to this list – 10 ways that you can be a friend, because to have a friend you first have to be one:

1.  Spend time together. Laugh. Cry.  Make memories.

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2.  Encourage one another, and help your friend to be the best that they can be. Be the cheer squad as they chase their dreams.

Cheering for You Card closeup

3. Be honest, but not unkind. Don’t be afraid to tell the truth, even if it hurts.  If a friend can’t tell you, who can?

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4.  Offer a helping hand, especially in times of trouble. Don’t wait to be asked. Do what’s in your heart. Be thoughtful and considerate.

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5.  Celebrate life’s good times. 

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6.  Be there in the bad times.

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7.  Stay in touch. Work through problems and keep showing up.  Good relationships take time, and need effort to be maintained.

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8.  Share.  Share your hopes, your dreams, your secrets and your fears. And keep shared confidences locked away safe in your heart. That builds trust, and trust is essential in a good friendship.

Friends Talking over Coffee

9.  Listen. Listen with your whole heart.  Sometimes all we need is someone to really hear us, and to honour what’s going on for us.

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10.  Be loyal.  Stand up for your friend and your friendship.  Support the person even if you can’t support every decision or action they make. Friendships are precious, and they deserve love and care.

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Life’s Spontaneous Adventures…

My trusty old Hilux – much loved by my dogs who get to ride with the wind in their hair…

Much to my mother’s ‘sense of style’ mortification, I drive an old Hilux Ute (a pickup for my non-Aussie readers). One thing I have found to be a truth in this life – when you have a ute you have friends.  Friends who need to move things.

I have also found that having a ute quite often leads to unexpected adventures.

Last night proved to be no exception. A friend is moving offices, and wanted help to move some bookcases and shelving. We drove through the evening peak hour traffic to get to his current workplace, loaded the ute, and then followed him back to his home, down on Brisbane’s bayside.

Once we were all unloaded he suggested we join he and his partner for dinner, at a favourite bistro on the waterfront.

It was a beautiful night.  Cool, not a breath of wind, and just a few light showers every now and again.  We ate at the Marina, looking out over the water and the twinkling lights.

I’d like to report that my Baked Atlantic Salmon and King Prawn Risotto was excellent, as was my glass of Mojo Sauvignon Blanc. I wish I’d taken a picture of it, but alas, after all that furniture moving I devoured it entirely before I thought to share it with you.  Here’s the happy evidence of its demise:

So good, I almost licked the plate clean…

After dinner, we said our goodbyes, and then my husband and I took a last walk around the Marina, enjoying the scenery and all of those magnificent boats. We talked of travel, of sailing, and all the places left in the world still waiting for us to explore.

And then the completely unexpected.

A chance encounter with old friends from another place and time… An invitation aboard their boat… The opening of another bottle of wine…

Laughter, music, conversation and catch ups. The opportunity to step out of the everyday…

Dave’s boat, drinks and dancing!

One of the things that thrills me most about this life is all of the turns and twists, the synchronicity of events, the joyful bumping into people you would never expect to see on a rainy night in Brisbane.

There is something so magical about life. I’m hooked on it. Aren’t you?