My friends, thank you for tuning in to another episode of True Basis Health: The Ripple Effect. I feel so lucky to share my “Micah Musings” with you each week and consider each of you part of my circle. Reflecting on February and Valentine’s got me thinking of the different relationships I’ve had through life and what they’ve taught me. From elementary school through high school, my college years, my first jobs, the disruptions I’ve experienced, and of course, in this season of life where I share well-being practices and life coaching through True Basis Health.
It became apparent that in each moment, every relationship was exactly what was needed, and each one contributed to bringing me exactly where I needed to be. Have you ever thought about how the relationships you’ve had have molded the person you are?
If you go back and think of all the people that have impacted you along the way, friends, mentors, and significant others, it’s amazing to see how different each personality is. Right? What I find fascinating is that every relationship brings something different to the table. Some people are a little behind you in their emotional outlook, fitness, career, or family life. And then others are a bit ahead of you in those areas. They may spark a level of interest in an area you hadn’t considered. Your “people” are a reflection of your life and how you show up.
As varied as the people in your lives are, have you ever considered the common denominator? The common denominator in your social circle is you. Shortly after I moved to North Carolina, I planned a visit back to Atlanta. I was only there for a quick weekend. I wanted to visit with as many friends as possible, so I planned a dinner party at a local restaurant. I had Rotary friends, work friends, dance friends, my buddy with whom I practiced muay thai, and neighbors. It was a hodgepodge of different personalities, but it was a great reflection of how varied my life and interests were. What made it work, what brought us all together, were these invisible threads of fun and laughter that made life enjoyable.
When we are caught in the day-to-day grind of life, we are so focused on the tasks at hand that it’s easy to forget that whole life-work balance. Yes, I change it around to life work versus work life because we are here to live first and work second. Ultimately the importance and meaning of our relationships are key to having a life worth living. This lesson took me a while to master. If you take a moment to think about the last year, what times brought you the most joy? Was it closing the big deal? Was it getting the hard-earned promotion? Was it the family vacation you took? Was it volunteering for the cause you found passion in? Or was it being there for a loved one in need?
For several years when my husband and I were growing our garbage business, I really focused on relationships in the business world. Has anyone else done that? When you are constantly in meetings, attending association events, and talking to customers, it can be very easy to neglect your personal circle of friends. And I’m ashamed to say I did that.
For parents, you may be in the phase where everything revolves around your kids. Most of your friends are your kids’ friends’ moms. I had a friend who literally called them her “Boy’s Moms Group .” Whether it’s because of your job or kids, these are people you might not necessarily hang out with because you don’t necessarily have the same interests, but situations have brought you together. Some of these relationships are “seasonal,” right? The career focus changes, the kids grow up, and pretty soon, the strings that kept you connected are no longer as tight. Some tethers remain, and others break. Some relationships you simply outgrow. But at the moment, you had them; those relationships were exactly what you needed.
During my senior year at Virginia Tech, I found myself in need of a set of tires. I went to a local tire shop, and the service technician came out to help me. I looked into his eyes. The bluest eyes I had seen since a childhood friend. I felt an instant connection. Immediately I was like, Courtney? The last time I saw him was when we were in fourth grade. A grown man now – and from looking into his eyes, my soul recognized him immediately. He maintained a relationship with my two best friends. He filled me in on the middle and high school experiences I had missed experiencing with them. Keep in mind this is before email and cell phones. I felt like I could finally close that chapter of my life, knowing how everyone had turned out.
Years later, living in Atlanta, I went to Publix, our local grocery store, and turned a corner. It was like seeing a ghost. I said, “Cindy,” and she replied, “Micah?” My high school bestie and I hadn’t seen each other since we had returned from our graduation trip to Europe. We went to different colleges and lost touch. Now she was getting her Ph.D., and I was working on my career. The reconnection helped bridge an important gap for me.
As I’ve shared these unlikely reconnection experiences, others have also experienced them. In fact, my father told me of the time he ran into a friend at the grocery store he hadn’t seen in 40 years. That is a heck of a long time. What chance encounters have you had with people from your past, and have you ever thought of why did they re-entered your life? How did those meetings change you? And it doesn’t have to be chance encounters. Are there people you think of every so often that you wonder how they are doing or where they are? Likely there is a reason they are on your mind. I challenge you to reach out and explore that reason.
What fascinates me are lifetime relationships. When I moved back to NC, I realized the strength of lifetime relationships. My husband has lived his entire life, bearing 4 years at university, in the same town. The community is very tight-knit. You know the whole Cheers theme song – Where Everybody Knows Your Name. Well, it’s like that here. Except besides your name, they know every secret, every person you dated, every bad haircut, every accomplishment, and anything in between.
They are the people that when you get the pickup stuck in the middle of a field on a Sunday afternoon, you can call, and they’ll be right over to pull you out (yes, that happened). The ones that invite you for a home-cooked meal week after week when your kitchen is under renovation because they know you are tired of takeout and microwave foods. Or, the ones that show up with a shovel after a long day’s work after your beloved pet passes to help you to provide a proper burial. And what’s amazing about these lifetime relationships is their ebb and flow. There may be an occasional pause, but each time you reconnect, you seem to pick up exactly where you left off, as if time has stood still. They can be some of the most rewarding and simultaneously challenging relationships.
My sister reminded me of the Tracy Lawrence song, You Find Out Who Your Friends Are. In reality, good friends will drop everything; they don’t stop to think about what’s in it for them; they just show up. And those are the kind of people that really do make life inspiring and worth living.
With the last few years’ shutdowns, relationships have grown unexpectedly. I’m wondering if you’ve experienced this too? The shutdowns allowed for tuning in more to ourselves and our immediate families. It also allowed for a totally different kind of bonding online and over the phone. It’s fascinating that rewarding relationships don’t have to be with someone face to face. It’s about being in each other’s presence. So online, virtual, or even relationships that build over time.
During my Chopra meditation certification, I connected with a wonderful group of women. We dubbed ourselves the Luminosity Sisters, meeting each Sunday to meditate. It has amazed me that a group of women ranging geographically from Germany to California could connect in such an intimate way online. They have inspired and energized me, and I admire what each one brought to the table. We grew together and supported each other in ways that I’ve never experienced with in-person relationships. It was pretty magical. Because of our bonding experience, I see these women being a part of my life for many years to come. How have the last few years changed the way you interact with others? Have you found new ways to embrace the change and find friendship and belonging?
I have a mentor right now, world-renowned life coach Martha Beck. I’ve been inspired by her books, and she has shown me that my goals and dreams are possible. Each week I’m motivated by her teachings in the Marth Beck Wayfinder Life Coach School and by listening to her Gathering Pod podcast. Martha has a unique way of communicating concepts and is so unabashedly herself that you can’t help but connect. She has motivated me as I move through the process of learning new skills and developing my coaching practice. As a result of her program, I’ve enhanced my relationships with others many times over.
And all this is to say that it’s important that we are not only learning from someone but also giving back; we are paying it forward. So as you look at your social group and the people you meet, whether in your career, home life, health journey, or goal setting, how are you helping others? How are you paying it forward? What kind of examples are you setting. You never know who is admiring you from afar. And I want to encourage you to keep that in mind.
On the about page of truebasishealth.com, I give a bit of my back story. As I talk about how I’m committed to improving myself each day, I also mention that my unusual journey is an asset to upgrading all those that I work with. And I genuinely believe that. We all find each other when the time is right. You listening to this very podcast episode; there’s a reason behind it. And I hope that you’ve gotten exactly what you needed. The realization that every relationship is meant to grow you.
My aunt in Austria has these stunning flower beds flanking her patio and driveway.
The flowers are abundant and drape over the edges in these vibrant colors. It is absolute floral perfection. A couple of years ago, I bought one of those mixed flower seed packets at Lowe’s, inspired to have a little section of my yard bring me the same joy I had when I looked at her flower beds. I intended to plant them in an empty bed beneath the birdhouse in our yard.
The packet sat on the counter week after week, waiting for me to get out there and prep the soil. Each seed had the potential to become a beautiful flower. I saw what her beds were like and knew it was possible. But the seeds still sat there waiting for me. They weren’t going to plant themselves. Intentions are like seeds. The moment you plant them, the potential for growth is fully present.
But just like seeds need soil and water to grow. Intentions need attention to materialize. So, if there is a relationship you want to repair, grow, or create, know you’ve got to take that first step. You can’t let those seeds sit on the counter like I did with the flowers. You have to place attention on your relationship intention. Plant them, water them, grow them.
Approach each interaction with an open heart. Know that sometimes relationships come naturally. Other times they feel like work. Some require you to venture outside your comfort zone. Sometimes they are for a reason, sometimes for a season, and other times a lifetime, but each action you take to foster a relationship, every connection you make, every olive branch you extend is ultimately there for you and what you need in the moment. It’s also there for the other person. Each of us grows and evolves as a result of the interactions we have.
And as we expand our connections it’s vital that we be present, be ourself, and be open to potential. Be open to letting new people inspire and grow you. And as you grow and expand your interests, bring along your old friends. And on that note, if you know anyone looking to improve their well-being, upgrade their mindset, or step into their purpose, please share this podcast with them.
I hope this episode has inspired you to reconnect with friends and loved ones, and I would love to hear about the ripples it has created. Please leave a review. Until next week: Remember, the simple gift of friendship is available to each of us, and every new friend is part of our continuing journey.
This is Micah Hill signing off.