When I read this quote recently posted by Elizabeth Gilbert, I reflected on my recent experiences of sharing dreams and passions and the responses I received. So I made a list of people who lit up, were curious or supportive, when I shared my dreams, especially when those dreams were out of the box, or new. And I had such a content feeling when I realized that among those at the top of my list, were my two daughters. I hold such appreciation for their visible interest in my life and life work. Indeed they read and share my blogs, have attended my workshops, encouraged my writing and creativit, and of course nudged and challenged me at times. Their support is even more meaningful when I consider that in some areas we have different values and interests. I think wow.
This kind of response or support is not only encouraging, but as Shelley Gable and others at UC Santa Barbara, have shown, constructive and empathic responses (or what these researchers refer to as constructive & active responses) to our dreams or positive experiences contribute to bonding and potentially to our emotional and physical well being.
One of the essentials for self care and for growth which is already so tender, is having a supportive community. Lillas and I have emphasized the importance of not doing it alone and asking for help, of finding a tribe. When it comes to leadership development, there are consistent messages about ‘not doing it alone’. Ronald Heifetz, the co-author of Adaptive Leadership and other books, put support at the top of the list when it comes to leading in tough times.
Support can take many forms and ‘eyes lighting up’ of course is just one of them. We need all kinds of support – friends who will challenge us when we are not in alignment or have a pattern that is getting in our way, friends who will have fun with us, professional support and mentors. Part of our work is to determine the kinds of support we need, get it, and keep it!
Who lights up when you share your dreams? What does it feel like?
What kind of support do YOU need NOW?