Three weeks ago I spent four nights on the Gold coast at a healthy lifestyle retreat. Three full days of learning all about how to be a healthier me. Not being from Queensland, I had opted to stay in the hotel where the conference was being held, so as to avoid any transport issues, and just for the overall convenience. On the first morning I got up and got ready for the day. Enjoying all the little hotel samples I got with my room … shampoo, conditioner, etc. I know … but hotel stays are a novelty to me. Tearing the top off a little ‘vanity pack’, so as to get out one of the cotton buds, I left the packet mostly intact. I could see a facial cleaning pad in there as well, and that was it.
Off to Day 1 of the conference … choosing my seat based on the location of the stage and projector screen, I sat down. As it turned out, I was joined by 2 fellow nurses also from Melbourne. Throughout the course of the day, we were ‘given’ opportunities to re-energize through dancing and stretches, and the result was a hot and sweaty one. One of my new friends realised she’d forgotten to bring a hair tie … but with my short hair, I was not equipped to help her out. So she got resourceful … and used her conference lanyard.
Day 2: I got ready, utilising my freshly provided sample packs, and went off to learn all that I could. Being in conference all day, my friend hadn’t managed to find time or energy to get out and buy some hair ties, so the lanyard was employed again.
Day 3: I got ready, once again utilising my freshly provided sample packs, and went off to learn all that I could for the final day. Today my friend didn’t take off her lanyard to use as a hair tie, but instead had managed to find a more suitable option in the form of a rubber band. Not ideal … but it will do the job.
Day 4: the conference has finished and I’m getting ready to start my day … and fly home. Utilising a fresh ‘vanity pack’ for the last time I tore it open and what should fall out … but a white fabric stretchy hair tie.
Ha! My little ‘vanity pack’ had more in it than I had thought, or even knew about. I chuckled and thought of my friend …
In life we can sometimes think that we are not equipped to help someone out. We look at ourselves, and are quick to assume that because of who we are (or who we’re not), we think we do not have what they need. Because of my short hair, I did not have a hair tie to offer. And yet all the while a fresh hair tie was available to me every day via the provision of my accommodation.
Sometimes we underestimate what we have to offer one another, be it support and encouragement, a piece of knowledge we have learnt on the journey of life, or a word of wisdom we have to share.
How much more could we help each other if we did not limit ‘our ability to help’ to that of ‘our perception of what we have’. But instead extended our thinking to include that which we have available to us, which may require thinking and/or seeing outside the box.
By this I mean that there can be a significant difference between our thinking and the reality:
Who we think we are, and what we think we have
Who we actually are, and what we actually have.
Sometimes we don’t know just how equipped we are ….
But just like my ‘vanity pack’ … you can’t help with what you have, if you don’t know that you have it. So then … isn’t that all the more reason to fully open up the ‘packet’ that is you … to fully explore all that you are, so that you can grow to be all that you were created to be … in order to do your ‘thing’ that makes you you, and as a result the world around you gets to experience what you have to offer! And in that, you may or may not see and know all the ways in which you are having an impact on those you meet …