As we move through life we treat our relationships differently. As toddlers, we learn to treat other based on the influence of our parents, teachers and adults who are in our consistent environment. As we grow, we are influenced by friends and experiences. As we mature, we learn that we truly have a choice in how we embrace and/or treat others, whether they are family, friends, associates or strangers. With the magic of aging, we step into our choices and make them intentionally…. As long as we are living consciously.
When was the last time you took an honest look at the relationships you have with others? Yes, I’m talking about your parents, your significant others, your children, your friends, your colleagues and most importantly strangers. Regular reflection keeps you conscious. Honesty with yourself can keep you in a continued state of being open to learn, to be better, to be gracious and to love.
The biggest challenge we can face is judgement of others, which of course, can affect how we relate to others. Time is also a factor that affects how we relate with others.
For those who have lost loved ones, it is an awakening and a reminder that our time on this earth is limited. How long we will be here, that is unknown. For those who have not lost a loved one, it may not be as obvious. Time is special – never take it for granted. In the busyness of work, business, and immediate family life, it can be easy to convince ourselves that we “just don’t have the time”. Let me share a new perspective with you.
When my mother became ill, it was a time where I really needed to evaluate what was truly important, even as I continued to run my businesses. Yes, meeting commitments are important! But embracing and taking the time for those quality conversations and exchanges is even more important. I’m not just talking about those conversations with our aging parents. I’m talking about conversations with your children, brothers, sisters, friends, colleagues and strangers (after all friends are always strangers in the beginning). Death is part of the cycle of life. Being grateful each morning for that first breath of the day that brings the awareness that today is another day to be, do and have more.
How do you rejuvenate your relationships? Start your day with gratitude – being conscious and setting an intention for the day will keep you aware of how you interact/react with others. Be present – put your cellphone away, focus on the one you are with. Book some time in your calendar to try something new with a friend or family member. Whatever your desire for rejuvenating your relationships, there are a variety of ways to consciously make these changes. A friend of mine decided she wanted to re-connect with friends so she decided to make the First Friday of every month “Friends’ Friday”. This is a special dinner date where she and her husband cook dinner and the chosen friend have to bring a surprise dessert of their choice. This has become very popular and because her friends enjoyed an evening to really connect and spend some quality time, some of her friends have begun their own “Friends’ Friday”.
Be creative, chat with those who are important to you, open yourself to possibilities and greater experiences. Rejuvenating your Relationships is guaranteed to expose you to some pretty amazing, memorable moments.