Share the love

Week one of The Great Wake Up...

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Wow, this has been quite a challenging start to the experiment...

Introductions first, though. I'm Vanessa and 2016 will be a year of change for me - I have realised my dream of leaving my corporate job to set up my own business. A big driver for this was a change in life - to build a life where I could be more fully myself.

However, it turns out that I need more than a change of job to change my life, so the experiment has come at just the right time. It will give me a structure to change the way I do things with one small, positive step each week, and blogging will give me accountability as part of something larger than myself - which is a part of corporate life I am missing.

I'm excited to see what Chris comes up with through the year, but it turns out Share the Love was a bigger challenge than expected - both harder and deeper. The thing is, I'm an introvert and, as my friends will readily tell you, a rational one (Spock, Data, Sheldon - take your pick...). So the reality of telling someone to their face what I love about them was about as far from my comfort zone as you can get...

I'm no quitter though, just a bit crafty...

Confession time - I kind of took my own slant on this. I was travelling during the week, which meant a fair bit of time with people I don't usually love. I mean, what do you say to cabin crew, "I love your hair"... (I do, and I'd love to know how they get it to stay so perfect for twelve hours, but that seemed to miss the point.) So I decided that compression would work - see, rational problem solving :-) - and I got my family involved. I was with family I love dearly but don't see often (my parents and a couple of siblings) and proposed we spend some time during our get together each telling the others something we loved about them. Bless them, they agreed!

So there we were, seven people post-pudding, sharing the love. And it was lovely - and a bit squirmingly uncomfortable. One thing I found out was that, as hard as it is to tell people you love (and who you know love you) what you love about them, it's so much harder to hear what they love about you. Or maybe it's just me who harbours those nagging doubts about whether I'm actually loveable?

For me, the best part was afterwards, when I was alone and could reflect on what everyone said to each other. After a rather tentative start, in the end we all spoke to each other person, almost compulsively, and it was amazing to see my family through each other's lens. I learned some things I didn't know about people I've known all my life, and it's changed the way I see them. It's certainly brought home how much I love them!

I'm glad I had the experience, but I'm also really looking forward to the next one, where the risks seem to be mostly cold toes :-)


cat lover, wife, designer, analyst (the spreadsheet kind...), friend, sister, daughter, writer, consultant, lover of beauty...


Go to the profile of Chris Baréz-Brown
almost 6 years ago
Well done Vanessa! Sounds easy on paper but yes tougher in reality. Your plan seemed to work great. Learning self love is a such a vital process, glad this made an impact. Cold toes coming up !! Chris xx
Go to the profile of Dee Ruddock
almost 6 years ago
So pleased to read that someone else found this first one more challenging that it sounds on paper (or screen!) Good to get out of comfort zones though I guess; this is what takes us out of "auto-pilot". I work from home, so also miss out on "being part of something bigger" and agree that the blog gives me a level of accountability! Here's to 2016 :)