Monday, December 6, 2010

What to do when you don't know what to do....

“When someone you know is overwhelmed by life, confronted by obstacles that are a little too heavy to carry alone, it’s easy to feel unsure of how to respond. That’s the time to remember it’s not what you do, but that you do something.  Often, we don’t realize that what may seem like a small gesture or an insignificant act to us can actually make a meaningful difference in someone’s life....There are no perfect words, no perfect gestures.  Simply reach out and touch someone’s heart.  Be brave, be a little more generous, be kind.”

--From Gwyneth Paltrow's blog GOOP about the book Do Good: 201 Ways to Lend a Hand by Marcy Silverman and Cindy Sacks

I love this. It feels a little bit like an instruction manual for life, in one short paragraph. 

It really spoke to me because I do feel like that in the face of someone else's pain. Paralyzed. 

It's the same way I feel in the face of my own in fact. I just go flat and I have absolutely no idea what to do or what to say. 

I think this advice works equally well for others and for self when fear and pain and overwhelm come up: "...[I]t's not what you do, but that you do something....Be brave, be a little more generous, be kind."
And it feels like a good thing to keep in mind around this time of year when it can feel like there is just way too much to do and not nearly enough time to do it.
(BTW...This book is on sale right now at for $2.40. $2.40! For a book!) 

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