Monday #26: Heart First Approach

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A couple weeks ago, I reported from Miami and told you about our wonderful, impromptu “creativity celebration” where a bunch of us joined on Groundhog Day to paint together and learn how to dangle from trapeze silks. I just received a great link from one of the people who attended this party, my new friend, Roxanne, to a site called Genuine Insights that is owned by Gina Amaro Rudan. Rudan describes herself as a thought leader and, among other things, is a lecturer, trainer, coach, TED presenter and the author of a book called PRACTICAL GENIUS.

I am recommending her site be browsed by anyone who enjoys posts here at 52 Mondays on kindness, creativity, healthy thinking, gratitude and building successful relationships with others, and there are many posts on her site that will provide food for thought and strategies to try in your own life. Today, I’m delivering her List of Ten Ways to Nurture The People in Your Collection. Rudan describes her “tribe” of people as a collection of human masterpieces and uses what she calls a heart-first technique. I’m attracted to this list of 10 because, at least for me, it immediately calls me to become more aware of where I am falling short and encourages me to continue to evolve and learn when it comes to kindness and matters of the heart and soul.

The list that follows here is paraphrased and I am adding my own thoughts as questions. You can find the original, complete list by Rudan at this link, here.

1. Go Heart First… Instead of making your relationships like transactions, forget about what you might gain from them and try making yourself a vulnerable person who connects from the heart. What would it feel like if the thoughts and feelings I express to others were simply just received?

2. Date Everyone… Treat all your encounters with others like that first date when you are fully present, listening and giving 100%. Ask smart questions of the other person and help fuel the conversation. How would it feel if I were genuinely curious about other people in my life and what could I learn from listening?

3. Take a Truth Hike… It sounds odd in our tech-centered world but the next time you want to meet with someone for business or pleasure, go outside and take a hike with them. Could something like a walk with someone lead to an enriched relationship full of new ideas?

4. Host Multi-Generational Experiences… Create social experiences with diverse age groups. What do I have to learn from–and share with– those who are older and younger than I am?

5. Create Art Together… Activate the right side of your brain with others to strengthen intimacy and create a tangible symbol of the experience. Is it possible that we do not have to all be “artists” to make something beautiful that will inspire others when they see it?

6. Gift Knowledge… Sharing a book, a poem, a lecture or, like my friend, Roxanne, a link to something you’ve learned, is a way of telling people something about you as well as a way to say you’re listening to them and are making connections about who they are and what they are interested in. Is it possible to strengthen relationships by sharing my knowledge and interests with friends, family and colleagues?

7. Make Introductions… Be an ambassador for your “tribe” and make connections between people that are meaningful and useful for them. Are there people I know whom I can connect in ways that will create success for them?

8. Organize Playdates With Fat Brains… Fat Brains are people who are half your age and are building careers without bounds and without borders. What if I were less of a mentor to young people and more a student of their philosophies, attitudes and teachings?

9. Reach Out And Touch Someone… Hug and shake hands with people whenever you can. Human touch lowers blood pressure and releases oxytocin, a feel-good hormone. Do I know someone who needs a hug today?

10. Be Patient… Let go of expectations about how relationships are supposed to look and how quickly they are supposed to happen. Allow time for them to grow and keep yourself from getting disappointed. What if my network of people was a large garden that was constantly in different phases of growth?

Rudan cautions us to not think of our vast social network of “friends” as our true “tribe.” She emphasizes a less is more approach when it comes to how we think of our personal network and admits that, sometimes, people drop in and out and that the best efforts are those that are spent on the ones that we find the most important and the most meaningful.

What I get from this list of tips is a really straight-forward guide that can help me be a better version of myself. I think that everything on this list can be challenging to internalize and practice on a day to day basis. I’ve said it before–being human is tricky business. But I fully agree that beginning heart-first is a great start.

TRY THIS WEEK: Ponder the ways you can live a more heart-first life.

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About Dar Hosta James

I am an artist living in New Jersey. I write and illustrate children's books, paint, draw, blog, coach, teach and speak about creativity.
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One Response to Monday #26: Heart First Approach

  1. Sheri Fuchs says:

    Wonderful ideas, especially for making new friends in a new city.

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