Acts From the Heart – Inspired Action (2014)

Act-from-the-heartThis Valentines’ week, Arthur and I received a surprise in the mail from our friends Jeanette and Larry. It was a sweet and simple Valentine card. I was so touched by their gesture – and reminded that Valentine’s Day isn’t limited to romance. It’s a time to express our feelings and share our hearts with the people we care about.

We don’t see Jeanette and Larry nearly enough. But that act from the heart – the card – reminded me of the happy times we have spent together. And it reminded me that our relationship is alive.

Enjoy this “re-blog” of my account of another friend’s “acts from the heart.”

by Andrea Chilcote

I just returned from lunch with a dynamic woman who I admire greatly. She owns and manages a thriving business, juggling multiple priorities in work and life. Her secret? The relationships she builds and nurtures.

I‘m fascinated by how she makes time to do the things she does to build trusting, sometimes life-long bonds with customers, vendors and employees, (not to mention while caring for an active family and supporting philanthropic interests). She does the small yet high-impact things I think about yet often don’t follow through on. She forges personal connections by genuinely acknowledging the trials and triumphs of her colleagues’ multi-faceted lives.

Whether it’s a piece of welcome information or advice contained in an otherwise mundane email, or a greeting card celebrating a small accomplishment or sharing compassion, my friend takes inspired action. It’s inspired because she has true empathy and concern for those her business touches. It’s not a technique … it comes from the heart. If you’ve ever had the urge or feeling to offer comfort or congratulate, but either shied away or gotten too busy, take a lesson from Jane. She feels the need, then acts. Impeccably.

Here’s the real secret. This woman knows, instinctively and with absolute congruence, how to balance her desire to nurture and care for those around her with getting her own needs met. She is absolutely transparent — who you see is who you get. She passionately and candidly shares her stretch goals and desire for growth. Her approach is the very definition of win-win, and, once again, it’s not a technique. It’s who she is.

And guess what? Like begets like, and others strive to help her. Jane has an army of people committed to her business’ mission that aren’t on her payroll. And there are smaller benefits too. When the inevitable minor problems of business life occur, the “funds” in the relationship bank serve as a comforting cushion, and no one overreacts.

So many people ask for help, yet have no cushion from which to draw in the relationship bank. Others give without considering their own needs, rendering those needs unmet and success elusive. One without the other is unproductive.

It’s no longer a secret. Act from the heart. Share of yourself openly while declaring what you too want and need. You might be surprised at what follows.

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David Kadlubowski/The Arizona Republic
President Jane Spicer displays some of her headcovers at Daphne’s Headcovers in Phoenix.

And, if you would like to know more about Jane Spicer, check out her business website: www.daphnesheadcovers.com.

Passion

by Andrea Chilcote

The following post appeared in February on The Spirited Woman, where Andrea is a weekly blogger. We’re happy to report the pup you’ll read about here is now healthy and happy, living the life he deserves. For more on his story, see Flipper’s story: From baby knees to little husky prince.

Husky RescueIf I had to identify the emotion I’ve been feeling for the last 24 hours or so, I would label it passion. Oh never mind that it’s Valentine’s Day as I write this post…that’s not the kind of passion I’m referring to. I’m passionate about a cause, a need that touches my heart.

It’s been said that we cannot think or act in love or in harm toward another without affecting, in some small way, all others including ourselves. This truth becomes more evident to me each and every day. We are all connected. What we think, say and do to members of our planet – people and animals, as well as our earth itself – has profound and far-reaching impact.

Consider this story. Right now there is a beautiful Siberian Husky pup being cared for by a Los Angeles area rescue group. He is a product of irresponsible breeding and was sold as a tiny pup to unsuspecting owners who were misled about his health. This precious angel was born without kneecaps in his back legs and needs very expensive surgery. With it, he can thrive. Without it, he will die. People from around the country are rallying to donate to his medical fund, and the angels from the rescue group are lovingly working with specialists to get him the best care.

Despite a full work schedule and many demands on my time, I am consumed by passion – compassion actually – for this sweet pup. And I know that many of you are equally consumed by passions of your own. Most all of us have some cause or mission that evokes a strong desire to contribute, make something better, or right a perceived wrong. We cannot help but be affected by circumstances that surround because we are in relationship to one another. We are connected.

I love words, and writing gives me an opportunity to study them. Today, my word “passion,” describes the drive to action I have felt, and the deeper feeling underneath is “compassion.”  I was surprised to learn that the Latin root of the word passion is “suffering.” Compassion’s root is “to suffer with.” Ah, the addition of the word “with”… connection.

My drive to help this one dog could easily be snuffed out if I allowed myself to become overwhelmed by the great need beyond his. I’m reminded of the well-known starfish story in which a young girl’s refusal to be discouraged by the limitations of her own small efforts inspired others to join in and help. This is how connection works. We inspire one another.

What is your passion at this very moment? You need only to step out your own world for a mere minute and you’ll be able to feel it. Make a choice to meet suffering with love, whether through a simple kind thought or an action. You’ll inspire the same in others even if it’s invisible to you. It’s how it works.