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Day 430A: The Morning (Kind Of) Quickie

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

In any large, working harbor buoys mark the deep-water shipping channels. A captain knows to use them to guide the craft.

This "journey to health" is like that.

I see so many people posting messages like "I'm desperate, help me."

I feel sorry for them, but after while, I become impatient.

Help them how? What would help? What can I do that would genuinely benefit them?

1) Learning.

It doesn't help someone when you try to do things for them. YOU may know how to plan a diet, but if you try to do it FOR them, they won't learn anything. They won't know, as they go down the road, where they can make changes, or how to investigate options. They won't be able to customize a plan for themselves.

Does that help anyone?

2) Guiding.

One technique could be "the vague directions." I wouldn't advocate not responding at all to a request for information, but I've learned not to explain how-to's in any great detail. Instead, I try to post links, or point the way to specific information, or give someone an idea where to seek an answer. I want to give them the hands-on experience of finding it for themselves.

Using the harbor example at the top of this blog - be a tugboat. Help guide the craft, but don't take the helm.

3) Encouraging.

We often talk in terms of "baby steps," saying that small changes made bit-by-bit will help people progress. And it will. But how do you encourage a baby to take her first steps? Interacting, spending time, giving consoling hugs when she falls, cheers when she succeeds.

You can't take the steps for her. Cheer someone on, but don't try to carry them to success.

4) Acknowledging.

At the end of the day, this may be the most fruitful help of all. "I hear you... I understand... I can identify..." These are the phrases of kindness and friendship, and the best way to bridge the gap that the distance of the internet causes.

The simple "I'm here" may be all someone needs for reassurance.

5) Leading.

You've played Follow-The-Leader. Now's the time to show someone what you've learned. Have you found a team that inspired you? Do you know of some bloggers you read regularly? How about any articles you've bookmarked? Let people know where you've been and where you're going. They may not find all of the places useful, but it will familiarize them with the process, helping them move from fledgling to flying solo.

Lead by example.

I don't know how much help (if any!) I am to new Sparklers, but I think some simple, common-sense guidelines are the best way to go about nudging someone in the right direction.

Have a good'un, Sparklers - carpe diem!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    so so true..thanks Kasey
    2846 days ago
  • POPSY190
    Very true. People can be led but not driven!
    2846 days ago
    Well said! That's exactly how I feel about our gardens. Groups want us to come in a "create" their gardens. I won't do a project without a commitment of sweat equity. Well, except for the History Museum... afraid it'd be too rough... well, never mind!

    emoticon for all your encouragement! It does help!!!
    2846 days ago
    2846 days ago
    Yes, we have to do it ourselves---but the encouraging word helps a lot. Wish I could do links! and you know what I miss---remember when we read articles and could click on save to our favorites? Made it easier to go find an article that we knew we found some good info from. And I often told someone to go to my page and click on favorites to find it.
    2846 days ago
    I'm sure you're a great help to newbies just starting out - as you are to all of us. Reading the words of those who share a similar journey is helpful to me and inspiring, but I know that real change is up to me. Sometimes I have to ask myself: how bad do I want it? Gotta stop wishing and start doing...and KEEP doing! emoticon
    2846 days ago
    Very wise blog today, Kasey! It's so important for our OWN recovery that we don't fall into the trap of trying to do someone else's work for them. Great analogy with the buoys! emoticon
    2846 days ago
  • no profile photo CD9922996
    So often what I hear people asking for (including me) is a magic wand. Accepting that there isn't one is a good first step toward health. I cannot fix anyone else (possibly not even me), but I can offer understanding. Sometimes that has to be enough (and sometimes it is)!

    Great blog, Kasey!

    2846 days ago
    Ya just have to DO it----and it can be hard at times--LOooooong journey----I always enjoy yer blogs -a lot!--Morning Kasey!!! Lynda emoticon
    2846 days ago
  • no profile photo CD10259955
    So many ask for help, and then when they find out it is hard work, and not a quick fix, they drop off. Hopefully one day they will be ready to take the journey, but it does have to be their journey. Some never will take it, sadly; and others will take the journey many times, learning something new on each trip.

    Thanks for your words of wisdom this morning!
    2846 days ago
  • no profile photo CD12293198
    2846 days ago
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