I tried to write to you last week, but nothing really coherent was coming out so I decided to scrap it and not waste your time. I was in the midst of getting ready for the Spring Retreat, which was just this past weekend (yay!) and felt like I needed a little extra space to prepare.
This retreat marks one full year of retreats (double yay!) and I learn something new on each one. It think it's funny how as adults we're still learning the things we try to teach children, like sharing and asking for help when you need it. I'll never forget something my boss in St Kitt's said to me, as I stood in front of him nearly starving but afraid to complain about the food that was available, he said: don't be high maintenance by trying to be low maintenance.
Wait - read that again.
So many of us are afraid to ask for help, be it fear of looking weak, or wanting to take all the credit for ourselves when the thing is done. I'll admit to both. These retreats have really taught me to share the workload, as I simply couldn't do it on my own. Luckily, my team and I have developed some pretty stellar communication, and one of our top "rules" is to ask for help when you need it, but also to say "no" when you're not available to help. This is how everyone stays low maintenance - I don't need to worry that someone needs help they aren't getting, because I can trust that they would ask for it if they needed it. Similarly, I can trust that someone would say no if they needed a break, or they wouldn't offer to help in the first place if they weren't truly available to help.
Like - just ask for what you need. And if someone offers something to you, accept it without saying "are you sure??" a million times.
I've noticed this theme coming up in my life in other ways too. I think it was a big thing for me to get over in a relationship, as I remember one of my first conversations with my bf over 2 years ago - he asked what I *really* wanted to do and I told him how I dreamt of creating custom retreats for groups of people; he responded by offering to help by connecting me to folks he knows who might be interested. My immediate internal reaction was - oh no, does he think I need help?! Quick, cover that up, make sure he knows you're on top of it and don't need anything. Don't look weak.
I know it sounds ridiculous now, but I notice this over and over, people afraid to be a burden to others, or burning themselves out for fear of showing their own humanity. I'm reminded of something a different boss of mine said, as I was feeling bad about accepting a discounted rate for a yoga workshop, even though the instructor had readily offered it to me: people like to help people.
Let her help you, she said.
Think about it - if someone asks for your help, and you are able to help, what is your response? Most of us jump at the opportunity. We want to feel useful, we want to contribute, we want to share what we have and help where we can. If I can offer a bit of knowledge, or a discount, or simply be there for someone who needs it, it feels good. In a way, you're doing someone a favor by asking for their help, you're letting them flex their muscles and also showing that you're human, which just generally makes everyone feel better.
So be human, ask for help.