Have you ever had one of those aha moments where you are slightly surprised that you didn’t catch on to the message earlier? I had one of those this weekend.


I’m in the business of helping people so I am going to use that as my reason of missing the elephant in the room; doing for others enhances our own life. It isn’t a new concept at all, but for some reason it dropped in today when I was volunteering.


I was walking this adorable dog that resembles a tootsie roll with legs (she’s available for adoption if anyone is interested. She is at Sonsini Animal Shelter) and amused at how happy she was to be out and checking her peemail. The wind in her ears and snow to dig through. She was so happy. I thanked her for letting me walk her and enjoy this moment with her. No need to capture it with a camera. It was in my heart.


Then it hit me that this is what is spoken about when helping others, we are the receivers of the gift. I’ve known how wonderful it feels to help people and animals but to have the visceral reaction was very impactful. Always the energy detective, I asked myself why it was so big today rather than another day and it really was because I was ready to receive. I imagine my adorable partner helped with her energy.


One of the ideas I took away from this was in coaching we ask about all areas of life and what one’s level of happiness in each is because an area of dissatisfaction can impact all the others. It carries over and we aren’t always able to see it for ourselves. So, for instance, if we aren’t eating well, our emotions are probably all over the place and life force energy is low even if it’s being supplemented by sugar and caffeine.


It occurred to me that one of the most common statements I hear is “I’m stuck and can’t get out of my own way.” Well, I wonder if when we felt that way, we helped another, the energy would move and help us to discover what was stuck in the first place. In our current world of selfies and expecting everything to always be good without challenges, it can be easy to become very self absorbed and mired in our own poor me’s. I’m familiar with the poor me’s. I’ve definitely had my moments in the last few years but after today, I am hopeful that when they show up, my brain and heart are now wired to look around and see where I can authentically help.


Tootsie roll, or Sage as she is truly called, (no, the divine message is not lost on me for that either!) may never know the gift she gave me with her presence today, but I will not forget it.


What if this week, and beyond, when you were feeling like life isn’t fair or it was way too hard, you connected with someone or some being that could use your energy or time? Hold a door, volunteer with kids, walk a tootsie roll, pay for the person’s coffee behind you in line. Whatever works for you. The feelings are valid and I’m not asking you to ignore them, I’m simply asking if there is any wiggle room around your pouting because the universe isn’t lining up for you right now, that you help yourself by helping another.