My plans took a bit of a detour via the hospital recently when a friend started to have an absent epileptic fit in the midst of our catch up. I suspected something was up when we got to her street and she couldn’t find her house, but having never seen an absent fit before, I just thought she was being weird, as usual!
In the meantime, I had a number of people arrive at my house to have a tea party without me, and Bloody Good Chap was left to introduce himself to my friends!
The whole thing totally threw my weekend off, obviously, and it was really rather mind-smushing.
I’d been so involved with Project Self, I love my work and my clients so much that I had been blocking out all else and just getting really involved in my own little world of bloody goodness.
Then at weekends I was planning lots of catch-ups back to back so I could still get to see my friends and Bloody Good Chap. For someone who likes to leave things open and unconfirmed and who usually avoids scheduling like the plague, this was quite a change for me!
But as always, life decided to intervene in my plans in the most unexpected way. The experience was a very stressful one, but I’m happy to say that the friend is back to normal and was released from hospital a week later so I can reflect on it all with relief.
I got a serious smack-to-the-head reminder of what is important in life. I had to drop all plans and expectations and run with it. In the past when things didn’t go as planned, I used to stress out. During the week I had a whole stack of work to do that didn’t get done because I went back to the hospital to visit instead. When an emergency happens, all the unimportant bullshit falls away, and we’re suddenly easily able to see what is important.Emergencies put us in a state of intense mindfulness. Click To Tweet
It made me realise how much I love my friends- they are more important than anything. I dropped my own focus for a while and was completely present for someone else in their time of need, and despite the stress, being there for my friend also made me feel really fulfilled.
This is something I’ve learnt time and time again-when we become too self-focussed in our mission for fulfilment, we lose what we're seeking. Click To Tweet
So if you’re feeling kind of shitty, in a rut, feeling stuck- I suggest that instead of going inward to try and fix something in yourself- instead go outward and try and do something for someone else.
Don’t wait for your friends to have an epileptic fit before you show them how much you care about them!
But if they do have a fit, definitely buy them cupcakes and Spud bar. Hospital food is horrendous, it surely makes patients sicker than they were before.
Think of something lovely you can do for someone and go do it. Without expecting anything in return.
(There are actually studies behind this- random acts of kindness increase our oxytocin levels – that hormone dude that makes you feel just bloody lovely!)
Just see how you feel afterwards.
You could even say that it’s quite a selfish thing to do – because in the end, doing something good for someone else will always make YOU feel more awesome (and them!) win-win. Is it possible to be selfish in your selflessness?
- Buy a sandwich and some strawberry milk for a homeless guy. (I actually have a beautiful friend that does this for a homeless guy called Andrew that she got chatting to while drunk one night. She asked what his favourite dinner was, and that was it, so every week she goes and buys it for him! It helps that he ‘lives’ outside a Coles supermarket.)
- Write a note for someone you hardly ever talk to telling them something you think is rad about them. Post it to them, or hide it in their bag.
- Buy a cupcake for someone at work who you think would enjoy it. I’m not condoning the use of sugar, but sometimes a cupcake is just way better than a piece of kale. Just make sure they’re not a coeliac.
- Go to a $2 shop and buy something cool (like puffy stickers) for your best mate.
- Sign up to my newsletter. That will make me happy!
Ps, this is me dressed as doctor while living in Switzerland many moons ago. Obviously I didn’t go to the hospital like this. Though that could have been fun. And yes, that’s a Chux cloth cut into a face mask.