Excuse Me, Can You Help?

Last night when I was leaving the supermarket with my bags, one bag handle came off my shoulder, which caused unevenness in the way I was carrying the bags and the potential for some groceries to fall out, or the bag to fall off my shoulder.

In the past, I would have ‘carried on’ regardless and had tins of tuna roll out onto the street, then creating a little scene of the drama of struggling to put the bags down, whilst retrieving the tuna from the kerbside and then carrying on to the car – and doing this without looking like anything had gone down!

Or I would have struggled with four bags and tried to put the bag handle back on my shoulder myself, or done nothing and walked in the tension that the bag might fall off, groceries might fall out etc… you get the picture. And I would have never, (or pretty much never) ever have asked for someone to help me.

But over the past four years I have started to make my life a lot less about struggle and much more about love and honoring and taking care of myself – in all situations, both big and small – especially the small. And I have started to learn to ask for support – also in the big and the small. So when the handle came off my shoulder, I stopped a man and asked him if he could put it back onto my shoulder.

It was so simple: he initially was a little surprised to be stopped (as I think most people are these days – we walk around in such solo/contained units but that’s another story!) – and then what happened was really beautiful. He put the handle back onto my shoulder with such grace and care, with a little pat for good measure. We shared a great smile, I thanked him, and then we went our separate ways.

If I had not asked him, that opportunity for me to honor and take care of myself and the opportunity for him to support another would have been missed. I realise it was how I asked him that made the difference – I came from a place of tenderness, honoring and care in wanting to support myself in every moment and he responded with such tenderness and care.

I also realised the power of not doing it alone and keeping things simple.

So I say thanks to me for asking for help and thanks for that man for helping me. And to Serge Benhayon and Natalie Benhayon who are a constant source of inspiration – they have taught me so much about self-care and self-responsibility and to live in a way that honors who we are, and with simplicity.

By Sarah Flenley, Community Engagement Officer, Cairns, Far North Queensland, Australia

Further reading:
What’s All The Fuss About Self-Care?

982 thoughts on “Excuse Me, Can You Help?

  1. I was in a large shop this week looking at an item when an assistant came up and asked if she could help me. What she was really saying underneath her question, was can I help her…as she then continued to share with me. What originally presents can be covering up something much deeper.

  2. I love your example, how we can bring this support into our everyday activities. I now have to ask for support when travelling with my heavy suitcases, the response and help has been amazing, and we get to connect with so many more people.

  3. Hi, Sarah, yes putting into practice what we see, feel and observe is super important – the immediacy of your response is worth gold. Simply because if we wait or don’t the potential might loose its hold: as the evolution you were offered in that moment has simply gone. But might come back to you in a different moment – different way. Nevertheless, it is so important to act on what we feel straight away – so we get the full benefit and evolution offered (by own choice), and not anything less instead offered.

  4. Sarah what a gorgeous moment. I am getting used to asking strangers for help. Everyone is always more than willing to oblige and it does break through the private bubbles we walk around in, reminding us how we actually do enjoy helping one another, and how lovely it is to feel that connection, however fleeting.

  5. How could life ever be boring if we allowed ourselves to live and engage with each other all of the time and stopped running around as isolated bubbles.

  6. Asking for help has been a great way to invite another into my life – even just for that moment. Bearing my vulnerability and fragility without any drama or justification is so freeing and that’s something I am learning to do more often.

  7. “I realise it was how I asked him that made the difference – I came from a place of tenderness, honoring and care in wanting to support myself in every moment and he responded with such tenderness and care.” beautiful Sarah. When we try to do it all alone we harden. Asking for support can be difficult initially, but the responses that come feel amazing when we do.

  8. It is only until we are willing to let go of such limiting beliefs of pushing through and toughen it up that we get to feel the level of abuse we have tolerated in our lives, embracing our tenderness and delicateness is the only way forth to once again know ourselves for who we truly are.

  9. Ah, the ‘soldier on’ mentality – one I know well from my own family traits, and well, how most of us as women have been conditioned to be…
    Enter self-care, and the willingness to naturally and openly connect with others, and the entire game is a-changed… Thank-you Sarah, it is a great travesty that for the most part, we “walk around in such solo/contained units”. We have lost the art of natural connection, interconnection and community, and it is in the seemingly smallest gesture or moment that this can be restored.

  10. Sarah, your blog truly highlights the fact that by continually choosing love, we can eliminate struggle from our lives.

  11. What I just got from reading this, is how we can go about our days expecting people to help us without us asking, and then feel hurt towards humanity when no one steps in. It’s a continuous set up we can play out with many relationship (for were all in relationship), from our partners to anyone we pass in the street. Moving about our days in this way can confirm our story that humanity is not worth opening our love up to.

  12. Not being afraid to ask for help to me is a sign of deep self-care, self-appreciation and openness to connect to people. For me, there is some level of barrier or protection that can often stop me from approaching a stranger and asking for help. But when I get over that, I find people are always willing and open to help when I ask from a place of respect and honesty.

  13. “If I had not asked him, that opportunity for me to honor and take care of myself and the opportunity for him to support another would have been missed.” When we honour our own tenderness, we allow others to feel the same, it is with this that the response of tenderness flows. It just goes to show how the quality in which we move and treat ourselves, will provide a reflection for others.

  14. I love this blog Sarah! It brought tears to me eyes this morning as I read it again. These tiny moments such as you have described here are so precious and so simple. We ask for help, or say ‘yes’ to helping someone and a beautiful connection occurs – we are Sons of God together. Yes, there is sometimes surprise when one asks for help, as I experience if I am getting bottled water in a big 8-pack and have to ask a man to put it into my car boot, but all are very willing and very glad to have made that brief connection.

  15. By asking for help we let go of control and allow another to support us. As someone who loves my job as a support worker it is amazing how hard I have found it to ask for help and give up the illusion that I can do it on my own. Fear of rejection could be one justification but what I am recognising is that it depends how you ask for help. When I became a single parent I tended to ask from a place of resenting the fact that I had been put in this position and therefore felt unsupported but can now feel that it was me who was not supporting myself and this was just being reflected back to me.

  16. It is lovely to feel the honouring of yourself and the other person in the way you asked for support and this tenderness was reflected back to you and also outwards to everyone else that you both went onto meet. Contagious, expansive and showing the power of asking for help – we all miss out when we soldier on alone feeling sorry for ourselves something that I used to be all too familiar with but now I see such events as heaven sent opportunities for deeper connection and welcome them into my life.

  17. Sweetness is contagious – so is self-love, care and moving in a way that honours how we feel about ourselves.

  18. When we realise that struggling is a consciousness that does not reflect who we already are in essence, we become aware that it is then a choice to be and honor the love we are within or not. We also realise that we are not here to be alone; we are here together and for a reason. Our willingness to be open towards others is empowering, as we discover that through loving relationships be it long term or momentary, there is much to learn, to be supported with, to confirm and be inspire by through which together we can evolve and grow.

    1. Beautifully expressed Carola, I love your comment. It reminds me that feeling alone and having to do everything on our own is a choice, making life about struggling is definitely not a true way to live. Opening ourselves up to people, to working together and to helping/supporting each other is what feels very natural to us all.

  19. What strikes me Sarah as I re-read this beautiful simple blog, is that in that moment you expanded ‘space’. You were not ruled by time, by inhibitions, by ideals, but you simply knew what was needed, made the space and spoke to the man. It is really lovely. And you were both touched in some way through this connection. I love it.

  20. It’s lovely to make a connection with others when we reach out and ask for help. It may be something simple but the opportunity to connect and share a moment with others is what can change the course of our day. It’s not so much the physical action as it is the exchange of care and love between people.

  21. I often complain how non-gentlemanly and unhelpful men are where I live. There’s no concept such as ‘ladies first’ and often women are left to struggle with their own load, literally and figuratively. Reading your sharing, I am feeling how I have actually subscribed to sustain this cultural set up where women remain quiet and choose a struggle rather than asking for support, and how there’s no self-honouring in that attempt to prove that we are enough.

  22. Asking for help these days is so much easier – and what a beautiful way to interact with strangers! I used to be fiercely independent but as I grow older it feels so much easier to ask for help. After all people can only say no – or yes!

  23. This is such a gorgeous blog Sarah. How beautiful it is to realise that ‘strangers’ are not so strange to us after all. Young children show us the truth of this when they strike up conversations with people they don’t know and it’s absolutely gorgeous. As adults we often carry around hurts and judge others based on these hurts when in actual fact the people we mistrust have done nothing wrong. When we open up to others everyone wins and this connection is precisely what is lacking in most communities today.

  24. You sharing made me smile. I love how when we honour ourselves and let another person in to support us, that there can be such a gorgeous moment of connection and true care that we otherwise deny both ourselves and others. We are not meant to go it alone and moments like this are great reminders of this.

  25. “Excuse me, can you help?” What a great question, we are always so reluctant to admit we need help, and often put a great deal of strain on ourselves rather than say those few words, and when we do, it is an honour to share that moment of help, in giving and receiving.

  26. I enjoyed reading this again today, as I read I could feel that not asking for help was about trying to stay in control for me, so I don’t come across weak. Crazy that these thoughts come through. But as I have started to ask for more help I can see the magic in the exchanges and teamwork.

  27. We often hold back on asking for help yet when we do ask, people are very willing and really caring, and at the same time we may only meet them for a short time but the connection is deeply felt.

  28. I enjoyed reading this today as much as I did when I first read it. To be given a true opportunity to serve and support another is what is on offer for any who are willing to respond when true love is spoken.

  29. This is a gorgeous blog Sarah! I love these little moments that you highlight that signify so much about the way we relate to each other, ourselves and life. These details are so important as they reflect and symbolise the quality of those much larger events that come! Yes people do sometimes look a little surprised and startled when they are asked for help ( I do the same with a pack of 8 bottles of mineral water) but they settle in immediately and the exchange brings a simple ‘light on’ reminder to the world about brotherhood.

  30. This is awesome Sarah, this shows how open you are to people. Asking for help can be very supportive but we often avoid this because we sometimes put up barriers between ourselves and others, possibility because we feel we are separate from people. When in fact, as you’ve shared Sarah, when we are willing to open up to others, we then realise how willing others are also, at being open and loving.

  31. Most of us appreciate being asked to help others in small ways but are reluctant to ask for help for ourselves. All back to front because if we all started to be willing to ask for support then others would feel more able to do the same.

    1. So true Willem, to ask for help doesn’t mean we are weak or a victim, people love being able to support us… this is something I am learning more and more.

  32. “The power of not doing it alone and keeping it simple”. So simple and easy, I know, like many, I have resisted asking for support many a time. That just keeps us in our isolated bubbles and there is no fun or love in that.

  33. This is a beautiful incident that makes my day. I love these little everyday moments, and there can be so many of them if we allow us to. We are here to grow and learn together and to support and cherish each other in the process.

  34. Coming from a long past of not wanting to ask for help, I am learning that it is totally OK to ask for help. I used to worry too much about what others might think, so I would often reframe from asking for help. I then get resentful and annoyed but it was more with myself than anyone else because I have not communicated to people when I needed to and I used to just silently hope that someone would offer to help. Crazy but it created so much unnecessary tension. It is so much more loving and less of a struggle to simple ask for help whenever I feel it is needed.

  35. After reading your blog again Sarah, it highlights to me how it is always our choice to either make life about struggle or about love. I have found it is very loving to ask for support, life is not about doing it alone but about being open to asking for help whenever it’s needed. Often people are a lot more open to helping than we think.

  36. Seeing those sort of interactions is absolutely beautiful – in fact it always saddens me how often the person I offer my help to refuses!

  37. being in the position of having to ask for help regularly actually opens our eyes to the light of brotherhood that is there to be rekindled in everyone by such a simple request.

  38. I feel what you are saying here is true of almost all of us, wouldn’t we all choose to struggle on rather than ask another for help? The preserving the illusion that we are all separate from each other and have to mange to get through life on our own. If we could but see energy, we would all be able to clearly see how we are connected to each other but if we allow ourselves to feel it, that connection can be felt.

  39. Asking for assistance is a beautiful opportunity for connection and to allow us to catch glimpses of each other’s inner beauty and their genuine caring nature which helps confirm that we’re not in this nor do we have to do it alone.

  40. People really do care for each other, they just need to allow the opportunity to express that care and your shoulder strap incident along with its bonus little pat for good measure is a prime example of this Sarah.

  41. Yes! A very beautiful and simple opportunity to connect with people, which is a confirmation of the natural brotherhood we live in when we allow it to be shown.

  42. I have been in the position whilst travelling a lot in having to ask for help.… It is always, without fail, doorway for someone to actually feel the light of brotherhood in connection, and is always, always, a beautiful experience.

  43. Such a simple act Sarah. What I find is that people are more than willing to help each other, in fact we do thrive on it. We are missing out on something completely when we feel we need to struggle on by ourselves. We are missing each other and the beauty in simple moments such as these.

  44. Reading my own blog this morning as brought a deeper appreciation of me and my commitment to supporting myself and connecting with others. Here’s to appreciating ourselves much more than we do.

    1. I love that you have come back to read your own blog and appreciate what you have offered the world here. Amazing how a request for help now truly supports everyone who chooses to read what you have shared.

    2. I love reading my own blogs, It brings a depth of self appreciation that otherwise is very rarely in our awareness

  45. Perhaps it’s in the way we’re conditioned to be independent and also not to burden others that makes us so wedded to soldiering on and ‘doing it alone’. Inspiring to read how you caught yourself and made a choice that was entirely supportive of you and through which you were able to feel the wider benefits of reaching out to another for help.

  46. Many of us, myself included, seem to find helping others easier than asking for help. Why would we see it as ‘troubling another’ when asking for help? Are we feeling ourselves as ‘being troubled’ when being asked to help? I wonder if there is anything in us that judges those who ask for help as less, and what we are offering as ‘help’ is more for our own self-satisfaction rather than a genuine gesture of kindness in response to what is being called for.

  47. This reminds me Sarah, that when I do ask for help it is an honouring of myself to realise that I can’t do it all by myself. And why would I want to. If we try to do it all by ourselves we miss out on the many beautiful connections we can share with others.

  48. When we chose to truly honor and care for ourselves, including asking for support it is so healing and inspirational for everyone. I too have seen how society has turned towards the belief that we need to do things on our own, be tough and independent, right down to the point of not only not asking for support but totally rejecting it. So if someone offers to carry a box or open a door there is a flat out ‘no I can do it’. I have seen the negative effect of rejecting support and how this has lead to a society that keep to themselves and don’t offer it. I experienced a student offering to carry a box for me to the car when packing up after teaching. I saw that when I said ‘no it’s ok’ that the student felt silly or rejected and a little hurt like he’d said the wrong thing or done something to agenda me. As soon as I clocked this I recognized that I had rejected his care and support and in a way nurturing, because I was firstly rejecting this in myself by trying to do it all myself without asking for support. I quickly stopped myself and said ‘actually it would be great if you could carry that box to the car for me, it saves me two trips and it’s actually a little heavy’. I then went on to thank him and tell him how kind he was to consider this and offer to support. The young man beamed, not because he had been recognized or needed, but because it was confirmed that his expression was truly caring and considerate and that people do want to see this.

  49. This is gorgeous Sarah, I loved reading this as it reminds me again that life isn’t about struggle but about love, for ourself and others.

  50. It is so natural to offer support when needed. If you were with a friend you probably would not have hesitated to ask them to assist. It is when we ask a stranger that the difference emerges. Why is this? The ‘askee’ is someone’s friend so what I love about this is that you are relating to the man in a way that honours his receptivity as if he were supporting a friend. Bring it on! We need more of this natural invitation to show our love for each other. And we also need to ask ourselves what it is that makes us load up in the first place!

  51. I am always noticing if another needs support and am quick to help if someone needs it. I am not so good at asking for help when I need it though it is like I see it as a weakness, after reading your blog I can see the power in keeping things simple and loving by asking for support next time.

  52. I was in London attending the Women in Livingness group last weekend. I took a suitcase with me and I remember at one point feeling tired. I expressed this honesty to myself and within seconds a gentleman offered to carry my suitcase up a stairs. This happens quite regularly now and it is so beautiful to have moments like this in my life where I connect to men that I don’t know and let them in.

  53. “So when the handle came off my shoulder, I stopped a man and asked him if he could put it back onto my shoulder.” Oh Sarah, I melted when I read this line, it is gorgeous. I’m not surprised he responded the way he did. I absolutely agree it is the energy we are in when we ask another for support that makes all the difference to the outcome.

  54. The Benhayon’s are a constant relentless source of inspiration in all things, from music to healing to walking to loving in fact all that makes up humanity, and beyond.

  55. Asking for help is not easy to do, especially from someone on the street!
    My thoughts generally go along the lines of ‘I have failed if I am not able to do it myself’. This exposes the perfectionist consciousness that I am breaking apart and looking at from many angles. And how this holds me back from honouring myself as a woman.
    I love that it provided an opportunity for connection and the sharing of tenderness. It is also a great example of how we express is the key factor in how people respond to us.

  56. Sarah as I read your amazing blog this morning it helped me to remind me that asking for help was once also something I never did as I thought it was easier to do these things on my own and because it gave me this extraordinary feeling of not needing someone and with that I felt independent and free. As I got an understanding that this way of thinking was a trap I started to ask for help and as you so beautiful describe that was a great experience – to got the support was also freeing as my whole body started to let go of a form of tension which was normally there and I was not aware off – wunderbar.

    1. I used to do every thing on my own. I liked the independence even though I would struggle and get stressed out! These days, for most of the time when I feel I’m struggling I ask and even when another says ‘no’ in their own way I know I am being supported… I simply have to be patient and trust the unfolding.

      1. Wow Caroline this sentences is inspiring very much: “I ask and even when another says ‘no’ in their own way I know I am being supported… I simply have to be patient and trust the unfolding.” Thank you for sharing it.

  57. So Simple Sarah, but so profound. Stopping and asking for support no matter how small is something that I could do more of. Thanks

  58. I used to never ask for help but thought I can or have to do everything on my own. This came from the idea that I have to, or want to, be independent of others (in a sense of not needing the help others) and/or sometimes also from a stubborness.
    This has started to change and I have started to ask for help in certain circumstances. But reading this blog I realize how much I am still holding back in this and avoid asking for help. Instead of considering it as an occasion to connect with people, there is still this “am I allowed to bother people and ask for help”, but also a hesitation because truely connecting means to open up and show myself.

  59. What a gorgeous blog that we all can relate to. Struggle and compromising ourselves is the norm for many of us but I have found it really is a choice. I can come up with all the stories in the world about why I have to soldier on alone, but when I allow it, support is always there.

    1. And appreciating ourselves enough to know when we need it opens the door to giving ourselves the permission to ask.

  60. Sarah, there were so many points of love in your blog. Simple messages of love, awareness, understanding, acceptance, relationship. Wow! You offered yourself so much in that moment and you offered another evolution.

  61. I love this story Sarah, it’s little things like this that if done all the time could really change the way we are all living. The next time this man sees someone struggling with something, he will now be more inclined to offer his help without needing to be asked, as I feel that when we help people it feels good and you gave him the opportunity to feel that by asking him for help. If we all just looked out for each other a little more whether it be a perfect stranger or a good friend the world would become a better place.

  62. How lovely it is when we allow ourselves to be open and vulnerable in asking for help…deep down i feel we all are very open and love to help each other out, and when we do it is such a warm feeling as we feel a value in ourself in receiving and in giving help.

  63. Asking for help and sharing the load is great for everyONE. Firstly for the person needing the help to connect with the world and honour their body, secondly for the person being asked for help to connect to the world and honour their body AND last but not least for the rest of the world to have the connection between the two confirming the brotherhood that we are naturally made to be in. EVERY BODY Evolves :):):)

  64. To ask a passer-by to for help, is quite a moment of trust, as every previous interaction, good or bad that has ever been experienced up to that moment before asking that question, is poised and held and it can be equally cautious to ask, because in this day and age, it is very familiar to be in your own zone… head down, only focusing on your own task… and just look at the use of ear phones and listening to the i-phone music etc when in a crowd of people, its the perfect excuse not to connect with another. So that moment of asking really does break that grasp of keeping to yourself, it is an opening towards another and when this exchange happens, it most certainly restores community and humanity back into relationships in our world.

  65. I will take this blog and comments with me as I am travelling home for the next couple of days, and have an extra large heavy box along with my two already big heavy suitcases. Support will definitely be welcomed with open arms and heart.

    1. Lorraine, get back to us and share your experiences, I’m sure it will be inspirational, imagine if the whole world asked for help, each day we ask and each day we give, what a warm loving place of human contact would it become…it would fire up a planet of human connections!

  66. ‘I also realised the power of not doing it alone’ – I am also consistently learning this Sarah, crazy enough I always used to think that managing everything myself was exactly that, powerful.

  67. I love asking for help. Yesterday I went to my neighbour to ask if he could help with my new i-phone, something which is not really my talent (phones and computers). And he did, my simcard is now in my phone. Whenever there is something that I cannot do, I ask him or somebody else close to me. I don’t have to be able to do everything, I do what I can, and what I can’t, I ask for support.

    1. I love that – sometimes when I’m in the supermarket and I’m looking for something I find it lots easier to just ask, even though it might be quite easy to find it myself. It’s a great way to connect with people.

  68. I absolutely loved your blog Sarah, and I see it as a huge confirmation of what you chose for yourself which was an absolute honouring of you as the woman and what you did to look after yourself in that moment by asking for the mans help. You connected with your playfulness and the man could not help but respond because he could feel how the preciousness of that grace needed his support and also held him as equal. A lovely gift for you both.

  69. Sarah – you mention here there is another story in the fact that people walk around solo.
    I absolutely agree – there is a lot to call out when it comes to how we have got to the stage where we avoid the general public.
    I am at the moment spending some time in Australia even though I live in the UK.
    Since being here, I have been very aware of how people are with others.
    Just yesterday I was walking down the street, and of all the 4 people who passed me, every single one of them looked me in the eye and said good morning. The reason I noticed this is because in the UK, no one does this.
    I find it quiet fascinating how where you are in the world can really change how open people are. Sure it is just a hello, but it is a start.
    But then I also have to appreciate that I am the common factor in this, and so if I know the difference of what it feels like to walk around closed, vs what it is to simply acknowledge another on the street, then isn’t it my responsibility to bring that to every situation?
    What I have learnt from this is that I have a choice to be constant and open all the time regardless of where I am, and to not be affected by those who choose to stay closed.
    But at a time where connecting with others is absolutely paramount, I can feel it all starts with simply being open all the time.

    1. I agree hvmorden, when you walk around with an open body people respond to that. Sometimes when I am out walking I wonder why everyone is smiling at me or saying ‘good morning’ -then I realise it is because of the way I am walking (present with myself and in the absolute joy of being with my body and with everything around me as I walk).

      1. I have observed this too Anne – and what an opportunity we have to simply be open and start the communication with others simply through our posture and our bodies. It takes openness to a much deeper level – an almost magnetic pull of communication.

    2. I have noticed that too, hvmorden. When I am on holiday, in another country, I exchange more hellos with strangers than I would at home. We often talk about ‘friendly locals’ in some exotic locations and appreciate their warmth, and are prepared to welcome their curious gaze and respond with a smile – but we forget we are the friendly locals in any place. It is interesting how we switch between letting the world and its people in or not, reserving our best for some special locations and occasions.

  70. I recently decided to ask for some help with my computer. Its very old and getting to be quite slow but I have put off doing something about it for ages, as I didn’t want to ask for help. But I finally got round to it and bought an anti virus computer cleaner, and a technician took over my computer and did a full clean. But i found myself to be quite anxious about it at first, unsure about letting someone else have my computer and not sure if I could trust the process. But in the end they did an amazing job and it felt so much better to know my computer is back to working condition. I realised I needed to let go of my control and just allow for someone to support me.

  71. Allowing others around us to help and support us is part of life. We can’t exist on our own, so why even try?! I have recently started sharing a flat with a friend after 6 years of living on my own. I am so enjoying opening to the support that is available from sharing a space. It is not only in practical ways but also support in awareness and understanding too. I feel I am more open to people in general as a result.

    1. I spent many years on my own too Rebecca, Ive moved in with my partner about 4 months ago and I find the evolution we share amazing. I find the reflection I receive from living from another is what really brings up lots and through this sharing of life we evolve together.

  72. I read your blog a while ago and agreed with its content wholeheartedly. Then in the past couple of days, I’ve been struggling and felt how I wasn’t asking for help, and the blog returned to me to claim it and drop the old choice of way of behaving. The support came willingly and without any criticism and the old struggle was gone by self honouring, thank you Sarah.

    1. This is what I love about the power of expression…..when people dont hold back and share their truths, the most incredible things happen. Little miracles like this occur all over the world. Each time we drop a little of choices that dont serve us, we open ourselves up to the world. Love it Love it Love it. I too have read many blogs which have stayed with me and allowed me to see the world and my choices in a different light and for that I am truly grateful. Thanks for this comment Gill.

      1. So true Sarah… ‘when people don’t hold back and share their truths, the most incredible things happen’. The question therefore isn’t really about the fact of this happening but why it is we don’t go for it every minute of the day… a question to self as much as to all here 🙂

    2. I can feel a struggle going on with me at the moment. It is interesting how it is being played out. I feel moments of panic at times mixed in with trust, trusting myself. I am doing some choreography with my daughter for a dance that she wants to do and I am finding that it is bringing up much for me to look at and feel. Last night I could feel the struggle and as I write it is becoming clearer as to why I create the struggle… I am so afraid of letting her down! Honouring myself is key. Thank you gillrandall.

  73. This is it Sarah, how simple it can be and that we are all here to live and be with each other. Those moments in the past when we hold back for asking help because you don’t want to put the other person out or you don’t want to seem incapable are just excuses of connecting to the tenderness that we are, how you have beautifully shared. Thanks to you for a reminder that we can honour ourselves to the very last detail.

      1. Thats really interesting Alexis, where you share that we have to apply a force, that it take a huge amount of energy to do it alone, and when we share with others it is our natural way of being.

    1. Yes Natalie, it can be very simple, yet we do complicate how we are with each other, but all this ‘stuff’ that we create or use as excuses to protect ourselves from being open and vulnerable to another. What if we were more open to the richness that happens from the connection (instead of chemistry) between two or more when we truly are there for each other?

      1. Yes Karoline, I find myself protecting myself when I’m feeling vulnerable. I am still holding on to the illusion that being vulnerable is a sign of weakness and I can feel how I am up against this belief in society instead of claiming the vulnerability and fragility within and knowing how powerful this is.

  74. Was this just a chance meeting Sarah or was it designed to offer the gentleman a moment to bring his own tenderness and love to the surface and remember what it feels like once again.

    1. Nice one Matthew – I got goosebumps reading this comment so I think you might be onto something! Could you imagine if we all walked around open to opportunities – both to offer them and to take them and what might be on offer if we do?

    2. A beautiful observation, Matthew. It is always amazing to feel how these events come together perfectly so that no one can walk away untouched in some way.

  75. When we receive and give help we are allowing room for magical connections and interactions to take place. Just recently I offered to help an elderly lady to her seat next to me on the plane as her daughter was packing away their bags. Her daughter thanked me graciously and we then had a lovely conversation about her trip to Tasmania and she showed me her trip photo’s. It was a gorgeous way to spend a plane trip. Support is about accepting love into our lives and everyone deserves to share in that gift.

    1. Indeed, Adam! It is a huge part of the illusion that we live with as men that we must do everything on our own and that even requiring help, much less asking for it, is not just a sign of weakness, but one of failure. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

      1. I know this too well Naran, where I have pushed through, not asking for assistance, not wanting to be seen as a failure. The more I realise this pattern the more the stubbornness breaks down and I can let others in.

      2. It is a multi-layered maze of trapdoors and dead ends that we construct around ourselves in order to make sure that we look like we know what we are dong at all times, and we don’t need help, Christopher. But when the walls start to crack, the truth of the tender and interconnected man begins to be glimpsed peeking out from behind the walls.

      1. Simply because it is such a deeply engrained ideal of what it is to be a man – that he has to have all the answers. From a young age a boy is rejected for being sweet, dedicate, tender. So where does that leave him? It leaves him searching for a way of being – any way of being – that will be accepted by society. And so he grows up knowing that the most acceptable role for him to play is provider, father, leader. If you are the provider, it is not a good look if you don’t have the answer. This is the burden men choose to carry, and thus why it is very difficult for them to ever admit that they simply do not know.

      2. Thank you so much Adam to expose so clear how we as parents are adding to the root cause why men are not able to admit that they simply do not know – that is very revealing and it is really time to change something about it.

      3. Thank you Adam for sharing this. One of the many things I have loved about Universal Medicine is seeing the true nature of men and seeing men slowly (or quicker sometimes!) drop the ideals and beliefs around being the provider and reconnecting to their sweet, tender selves.

  76. The word and experience of ‘struggle’ creates for me a feeling of having ‘lost’ my connection to the truth of who I am. The word itself is almost cumbersome to say. Connected to the grace and delicateness of who I am, would I choose ‘struggle’; would I pick up too many shopping bags in the first place? Asking for support despite the choices I make is fine, provided that I am aware of my choices. Thank you Sarah for brining my attention to the experience of ‘struggle’ and the reflection it gives me.

    1. It does feel and sound like a heavy word! Knowing that struggling is a choice that we actively make certainly changes everyday choices. It’s like the more that I claim simplicity the more pointless struggle becomes. It’s only purpose is to create a drama and to achieve attention and recognition for being ‘the struggling one’ or to be this lesser being that has to struggle in life. The complete opposite of who we are and can choose to be, a choice that still is chosen at times but the simplicity is making it more and more obvious how that struggling choice really feels.

      1. Love the extension of the sharing here Leigh. Struggle is a choice and simplicity automatically cuts it out. When I break things down by connecting to my body, the next step is clear and always SO simple!

      2. Sometimes the next step in connection to ourselves can make the struggle laughable if not very silly. But in that struggle there is such a seriousness that comes with it, an intensity that is simply not there when we connect.

      3. Love what Leigh has written here. I too am finding that the more simplicity I bring into my life the more I am aware of when I go into struggle. I can feel the tension and it is not long before I call it out and act on it even if I am with others. Struggling reduces me, simplicity expands me; there is a huge difference and I absolutely agree with Leigh as it is my responsibility in what I decide to choose.

  77. “But over the past four years I have started to make my life a lot less about struggle and much more about love and honoring and taking care of myself – in all situations, both big and small – especially the small.” With each small situation that we choose to self honour, we are building a foundation that holds us supported for the bigger ones.

    1. Indeed, Lucinda. The largest buildings and structures in our world are made up of many many smaller ones. It is the same with our life.

  78. This is just beautiful, Sarah. Yes, when we come from a truly loving place, there is only response to be had – LOVE! You reap what you sow!

  79. I realise that asking for support is something I forget to do in my own home and at times I find myself struggling to do tasks which would be easier with two. By contrast, when I do ask one of my sons to help, the task becomes lighter, more manageable and fun and the bonus is we have a moment to hang out together and catch up. It is a win win situation.

    1. I totally agree Jane, when i ask my three young children to help with the washing up, it always amazes me how much they enjoy themselves, we each have a task washing, rinsing, drying and putting away, not only is the load significantly lighter, there is also appreciation for our equal team work.

      1. Yes I used to fight it at home when we were all asked to do the ‘washing up’ but looking back I used to love it when we all chipped in and did it and played around and got the job done.

      2. When you mention ‘team work’ I smile as, at a local school that I help out in, it only takes one child to say ‘team work’ and the whole class are gently clearing away as they sing those words. Awesome sight and a joy to be a part of.

      3. One of the best examples of sharing the work load for me is food preparation time. The traditional dinner time used to be mum working away in the kitchen and the rest of the family coming to the table when it was ready. Nowadays I like to cook and prepare food with my son. We are both busy so its a great time to catch up with each other and share our days and meal prep feels much more fun.

    2. Very inspirational Jane. We so often have the concept of doing everything that we can somehow manage on our own, yet it is much more loving for ourselves to ask for support when tasks are heavy and by that not only alleviate the situation itself, but even enjoy the moment of connection this brings.

    3. This is probably where I struggle most, that is to ask for support especially from my children in the home. It is changing I have to say where the children lay the table, make their beds and occasionally prepare the food but it is something I know I am to be much more aware of. It is ironic because when they are helping it certainly does feel lighter and I am left wondering why I don’t do this more often!

  80. What you share Sarah really reflected to me how in the past I would offer to help another in a difficult/awkward situation but it would take lifting a bus for me to ask another for help. I would soldier on regardless of the consequence. Not at all self loving/self nurturing. Since changing this ‘attitude’ and introducing more self love the rest is becoming history and in your words “the power of not doing it alone” Allowing others who offer to help to do so has, opened up so many wonderful conversations and meetings of which they could of carried on walking by and never our eyes would have met.

    1. Marion, it is definitely a process of returning to the love within us all. I definitely know that soldiering on feeling and it has taken time, dedication and commitment to make choices that are honouring. This is an ongoing unfolding.

    2. and the truth is Marion we were never made to ‘do it alone’ so it’s completely unnatural for us to attempt to do everything by ourselves. Brotherhood is our natural way and so when we work together this feels harmonious as it is indeed part of true harmony.

    3. Yes, I can relate with never asking for help and support in the past. Over the last few years I have had to ask for help with my heavy suitcase when travelling at times, and have had some really beautiful experiences and connections. And many times I don’t even have to ask now I am more open to help and support.

      1. Yes lorrainsewellman I have noticed the same. Often we don’t need to ask as the help arrives within seconds.

    4. I have found that too Marion, that asking for help opens up some lovely, unexpected connections with people. We are so social by nature, we love to work and be together. Asking for or offering help certainly brings this out.

  81. Today after swimming I was in the group locker room with an 88 years old lady, who said she couldn’t dry her back properly, let alone put some moisturizer on. So I offered her to do that for her. What a way to start our days connecting like this and me tenderly massaging cream on to this lady’s back, who simply accepted it and was melting in it.

      1. She did melt and accepted without holding back all the love I am and shared with her. The connection we established filled us both with joy and stayed with me whole day. As a follow up I kept meeting people in the train and at work who wanted to connect too. So the whole day built in love on this start.

      1. The gorgeous follow up is I saw the same lady this week when I left the pool she entered. Her whole face lit up when she saw me. Then there was a moment for both of us that felt to me like I had a choice to either pretend we didn’t connect on a deeper level last week by the back-creaming experience and say hello casually or go deeper again in this week’s connection without cream being involved. We chose the latter and chatted for a while. This deepening of us connecting is what I bring to everyone I meet today and invites me to build up on. There is always more and we can always go deeper, a constant evolving.

      2. Monica it just shows how responsive we are to connection when we allow it…it is better than any movie, ice-cream and many other novelties….it’s free, its in all of us, the love that is felt in connecting with each other….

    1. This is one of the great joys of nursing, being able to massage people’s backs in the shower or bed. I feel this is one of the most healing parts of a hospital stay, having nurses gently care for your body and being.

      1. I can imagine this to be super healing to be touched and cared for with attention and love. Exactly the support your being and body needs when you are hospitalized so all your energy can go to recovering and healing.

      2. I can feel that Fiona, so true and lovely to have you – and people like you – in our hospital wards.

      1. Me too Christopher. The beautiful thing is the woman and I can’t go back to before after our contact, the connection keeps deepening every time we meet.

  82. Could it be we feel more save in offering help than accepting it, because we can stay in control more? Feels like the movement outwards is more easy for us than allowing the other and the love he/she is in our heart. Great reminder that asking for help is actually giving the other (and yourself) a gift, the gift to express love and care.

    1. So true Monika R, this tender exchange is scarce in todays world, yet its power to inspire love is one of our greatest medicines.

    2. Not only stay in control but also what can lie sneakily underneath is that we can feel superior… giving us a false boost if you like to our confidence, especially if one is lacking is self-confidence/self-worth….an old habit of mine that kept me distracted to dealing with my own stuff…..

      1. I can very well relate to this pattern of pretending that I can manage anything and keenly jump on any task or problem that will allow me to not focus on my own stuff that calls to be dealt with. Realising this pattern and gradually changing my behaviour has allowed me to finally not blame the world for anything that happens in my life, but to look at my doorstep first.

      2. I also know the pretending game and hating having to ask anyone, even if it’s something I don’t know but just don’t want to admit, but these days I am asking for more clarity and if I am unsure I make it clear that I want full understanding of the subject at hand. Actually saying I don’t fully understand how to do a task or what something means out loud to someone who can teach me, is not admitting failure or means I am less, it just means I don’t fully understand. I now get that there is no shame in asking questions and admitting I don’t know something.

    3. I feel you may be right about feeling safer when we offer help than when we receive it Monika,.is it something about ‘one good turn deserves another’? Before I felt comfortable about asking for help, I never wanted to be beholden to anyone else. I was always willing to help others, and never felt I was owed anything in return, so why did I assume others would not feel the same. Now I understand about the gift of opportunity to share self care and love by asking for help – its so joyful.

    4. That is so true, the control keeps us from asking help, while asking and getting help is often so relieving, we can let go of the control and just accept that what is offered to us. It is a gift, and all are actually always there to help.

    5. This is not something I had considered Monika but of course, because we’re opening ourselves up to be vulnerable in asking for help.

    6. So true Monika, I know that I have in the past felt safer in offering help rather than being on the receiving end of it. Since developing a loving relationship with myself, I now enjoy accepting help when it is offered. At times when I feel myself not so sure about accepting, I realise that I have disconnected from myself.

    7. Monika so true, I have always found it easier to offer help, then accept or ask for help. It’s crazy but that’s how I lived for so long. Now I have started to ask for support, help and it feels so much more supportive and loving. I find that in this exchange there is a great level of respect shared.

      1. Isn’t it interesting how we consider asking for help makes us ‘less’ than another, where what we actually experience is equality.

    8. Well said Monika. Control is definitely underneath this behaviour for me. I am very quick to offer help but am often reluctant or don’t even think to ask for help. This feels like a vulnerable moment as I may be rejected or I may have to deal with being loved way more than I am used to!

    9. I think you have hit the proverbial nail on the head Monika…when we offer it is on our terms but when we receive, there is much more openness and vulnerability in that transaction.

    10. When we ask for help there is the possibility we can get rejected. Perhaps we don’t ask for fear of rejection. But when we chose that option, we only stay in our protection and isolation.

      1. I so agree with you Nikki. I experienced last week what a deep healing it was for my partner and me to support a fellow student, who broke her wrist and her partner, with whatever we could. They really let our love and support in and said YES to my suggestions to do this as a group and not just the 2 of them. Very inspiring to be part of and I am certain it will be different for me next time to ask for support. Not asking for help is a perfect excuse to not deepen our connections and to not be more intimate and transparent with each other.

  83. I was recently travelling with a man and as we went to walk up the flight of stairs he picked up my hand luggage and carried it up the stairs. I hadn’t ever had someone do that and it was really lovely to receive that gesture and level of support. In the past I would have always gone ‘No, I’m fine” or there wouldn’t have even been the space for someone to offer that support based on how I would have been and this would have been sending out a message saying, ‘I’m fine, back off’ when in truth I would have loved the support but not allowed it for myself.

  84. Being completely honest with ourselves that sometimes we need help, is a great step forwards. We cannot always do everything and it’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help, it’s a sign of strength to know ourselves and accept this gracefully.

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