It was the end of a long, hard workout and I was exhausted. Everyone in the class had finished the routine and I was the last person struggling through a final set of burpees.
In case you’re unfamiliar with a burpee, it’s a tough exercise where you jump back into a plank, do a push-up, jump into a standing position, and clap overhead.
It’s one of my least favorite exercises.
As I pushed myself to finish, familiar voices in my head grew louder: You’re always the last person to be done. Everyone’s in better shape than you. You’re too old to be doing this.
As I attempted to stifle my inner crew, a young man approached. “How many do you have left?” he asked.
Eight, I replied, gasping for air, ready to cave.
“Okay, we got this,” he said as he jumped back and started doing burpees with me. Surprised by his unexpected support, I regained energy and laughed my way through the remaining set.
I was so touched by this man’s kindness. In all the years I’ve been going to gyms, I’ve never had anyone do something like that.
When I was young, my dad would sing a song recorded by Kitty Kallen called, Little Things Mean a Lot. He took the lyrics seriously and often did unexpected, sweet things for people, not just because he wanted to help, but also because it felt good.
Being kind to others is a beautiful form of self-care that feels meaningful and satisfying. And, learning to receive is as well. It’s equally important to cultivate this skill whether it’s by accepting kindness, attention, gifts, or support.
It felt wonderful to be on the receiving end of encouragement at the gym and I’m grateful to the young man who helped a gal in need. It’s a reminder to check my tendency towards anti-dependence. Years of “doing things myself” has left me well-versed in the art of self-reliance.
But becoming overly self-reliant robs us of intimacy and connection with others
This week, I intend to look for more ways to receive. You can, too. Whether you allow someone to lift your suitcase into an overhead bin, let a friend clean up after a meal, or accept the gift of lunch from a co-worker, give someone an opportunity to be there for you.
PS – Our October “Self Care by the Sea” retreat has only four spots left so if you plan to join us, be sure to register, here.
PPS – There will be no Facebook Live this week. You can view past shows on my YouTube channel at CherylRichardsonTV here.
Need a little Divine Direction? Use the “Touch of Grace” button on our homepage here.