Recently, a woman wrote to me and said that she wanted to send one of my poetic wrist wraps to a young girl who has cancer. “Which one do you suggest, Lisa?” She asked.
“Hmmm….tell me about her,” I wrote back. Often people come to me and ask about my wraps, inspirational cards, and prints (that local folks have seen around here!). They ask me about this Compassion Coaching I offer. And I start many emails and conversations with those inviting words: “tell me about…”
“Tell me about… this young girl you care about who has cancer.”
“Tell me about…your relationship and how the two of you are working things out.”
“Tell me about…this struggle you are going through.”
“Tell me about…how hard it is.”
“Tell me about…this dream you have within you.”
“Tell me about…your child and how you want to nourish your relationship with her.”
“Tell me about…how your mom is dying and your heart is breaking.”
“Tell me about…your new job, the half marathon race you just completed for the first time, your new partnership.”
Three simple words…”Tell me about…” create spaciousness, they invite, they communicate to a customer, client, friend, child, co-worker that we are so listening. They communicate, “Your story matters.” They communicate, “I’m with you, alongside you.”
These three simple words invite intimacy. They invite sharing, long exhales, sobs, and deep smiles. They invite connection.
~ When our child comes to us upset about being excluded from a game at recess, we can say, “Tell me about it, my Love.”
~ When our partner comes home and says they’ve had a tough meeting at work, we can say, “Tell me about your day, sweetheart.”
~ When our friend shares she is going through a really difficult time – an illness, a separation – we can say, “Tell me about how this is for you.”
We can use these three simple words in times of triumph and joy, too…
~ When our child shares their latest artwork, we can say, “Tell me about your picture.”
~ When our partner is beaming and did something he/she is really proud of, we can say, “Tell me about it!”
~ When a friend had the courage to submit her artwork to a gallery, start a blog, or start a business, we can say, “Tell me about how you feel right now, friend.”
So when you write to me and ask me about which poetic wrist wrap to gift your sister, your partner, your child…when you stop me on campus at Georgetown University after a workshop you just attended with me and talk more about how you’ve been wanting to forgive someone for a long time now but don’t know how…when you ask me about compassion coaching because there’s something within you calling you to freedom… I’ll say to you, “Tell me about….”
My “job” is create space for your story to unfold — to hold compassionate space, to offer spaciousness where you can feel your nervous system settling…and be heard and held. Whether that’s about which wrap to get, which card to send, which message to offer your dear one…or it’s in a psychotherapy or coaching session…whether it’s a short exchange of emails or working together through a season of your life…
The woman who wrote to me about the 12 year old girl who has cancer had spent time with the girl’s family. She had offered a presence that communicates, “Tell me about how this is for you. Tell me about what you need.” And when she wrote to me, I did the same thing, “Tell me about her. Tell me about what message you want her to receive from you.”
She and I exchanged messages and then we came up with the wrist wrap she would send to the 12 year old girl. “Yes, this is the one,” She said. This weekend, a deeply caring woman is going to be giving a sweet little package to a sick, brave girl. And contained in that little package, written on that wrist wrap are the sweet lines of poetry that may turn out to be a lovely touchstone in the girl’s life — a daily message that will remind her of how very precious she is and the light her life has brought into this world.
** DEAR FRIENDS, This week, when your partner, parent, friend, co-worker or child comes to you with something on their heart – joy or sadness – pause for a moment, look them in the eyes, and say, “Tell me about…”
Watch how your words and posture invite them to draw closer to you, to be uninhibited, to share, to be vulnerable. Notice how safe they feel, how their eyes light up with tears and smiles, how their bodies turn toward you. Notice how it feels to not have answers but rather have PRESENCE.
**P.S. My shop will close down as of this Friday, December 19, for two weeks so I can spend time nourishing and being with my family. Please place those last minute orders this week. I have 12 poetic wrist wraps that are perfect for any size wrist. Remember to include one of the inspirational cards with your purchase. And right now, I have one poetic print on my shop…”hold only what matters.” This is a lovely one to put in a place in your house that you’ll see every day.Blessings,