I’m guessing your compassionate self likely gives a lot to this world. Do you also embrace receiving the world’s love and support with equal importance?

I’ll admit my reflex is often to do things myself so they are done the way I like them. I often prefer cooking for myself. Too often I even act like I want to save the world by myself.

It can be really hard for me to know when to ask for help. There are so many people out there with really big problems, right? So I’ll stand in line behind them.

But it doesn’t work that way. Giving and receiving is a flow that needs to be in balance. The more you receive, the more you can give, and it keeps expanding outward.

I didn’t break down and really receive support from others until I was brought to my knees with cancer (10 years ago this month!).

Here are some of the amazing gifts I’ve received. This list is for the part of you that wonders what on earth you can do when someone else is suffering.

Neighbors bringing food to our back door.

Neighbors bringing food to our back door.

  • Meals. Some even with fancy napkins and candles.
  • Accompaniment to appointments.
  • Listening & witnessing.
  • Money. Gifts not just to me, but also to CaringBridge and cancer research.
  • Research and information.
  • Recommendations of silly movies and books.
  • Coordination. One person organized the delivery of all the meals to us.
  • Rides.
  • Cards. So many beautiful cards! I love mail!
  • Walks outside. A trip to the Conservatory in the winter. A picnic by the lake in the summer.
  • Touch. I still remember some backrubs from 10 years ago.
  • Blood. (I’ve received 14 units – so thank you blood donors).
  • Hospitality. We became close friends with people who offered us a place to stay while I was in Rochester for treatments.
  • Assistance when I couldn’t lift my daughter or open jars.
  • Babysitting. One afternoon our daughter was passed between three neighbors’ houses while I had tests.
  • Shoveling, mowing the lawn, or weeding.
  • Prayer.

I was totally showered with support and for the first time felt that the world really loves me. I finally “got it” that my spouse loves me (yes, we were already married, but I still didn’t quite believe it). The world became a less scary place and I could heal. I cannot underestimate the significance of all these little ways people helped make that possible

When you read this list, do you get an inspiration for something you could do for someone else? We all need each other to remind each other that this world is a loving place.

I also invite you to tune into a challenge you are facing. It could be something about your wellness, something about your work and family. What is some way you could feel supported in your challenge? Maybe no one can step into the heart of your struggle with your child, but it might feel really good if someone offered to shovel for you this week.

Can you share your struggle (it can be little!) with someone else? Can you ask for one small bit of help? It can be as small as asking someone to pick up a loaf of bread for you at the store.

Having deeply received has made me so much better at giving. It’s the inhale that is a pre-requite for exhale.

If you are already deep into giving and receiving support from your friends I encourage you to keep widening your community. Let’s keep expanding into that beloved community in which everyone is respected and supported.

May you be showered with love and blessings,



For those looking to be part of a community I invite you to check out ongoing dance and qigong practice groups.

Are you looking for one-on-one support with your challenges? I’d be happy to have a conversation with you to see if I can help.

Is your spirit hungry to feel and really know the support of the universe in your life? Many of my upcoming workshops and on-going classes use movement, creativity, and community building to tap into this sacred taproot of our lives.