Give and Take

Ella…my three and half year old daughter and I were partaking in one of our family traditions this morning – dancing and singing in the kitchen.  This tradition usually leads to another family favorite, extended hugs.  While my daughter was so deeply holding me I realized I have been taking more hugs than giving.  To be completely forthright this is something I have been pondering for a couple of days but this mornings hug really hit home and thought it was a good topic for Expert in the Rough.

I am finishing up a week of vacation and have had lots of time to ponder the current state of my life.  During this time I realize I have been in a period of duress.  A failed business in 2011, a new job with increased responsibilities, an all consuming 3.5 year old, health issues and rebuilding my marriage…as we learn how to be parents and spouses.

Of course, we all have our lists of life’s challenges and I share to give you a reference point, in case you are in a similar space.  Because what I have noticed for myself is I haven’t had a lot to give (so I thought).  Which really shows up in all areas of my life.  I have realized I have been more reserved, less engaging and generally aloof.  I have let others engage me, I have waited for others to put their hand out first and I have taken the hugs.  I have been absorbed in my pain.

What is interesting is that I cannot take enough hugs to refill my energy and spirit, the secret is to give them.

It’s an interesting life shift…so many of us try to hoard our energy when the only way to expand it is to add fuel to the fire of life.

Funny as I write this I am reminded of a lesson I learned at Life Success Seminars in 1988.  In fact, this message was given to me directly by the facilitator Jim Quinn.   During one of the learning modules Mr. Quinn pointed out that my life model was similar to this:

Imagine a man (Me) standing in front of a wood stove with an armful of wood, he said to the stove, “I will give you wood, when you give me heat.”  Of course, the man froze to death.

I must admit I have been playing out this skit in many areas of my life but it doesn’t have to be this way.

This week…I am giving hugs!


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