Handle Your Business Girl and Learn to Skate on Thin Ice!
The pressure builds and you can feel the ice tremble beneath your feet. Crash! Splat! Then without warning, it gives way and cold, icy blades cut through your air space. You gasp for air as fear attacks without mercy. All light fades as the murky gloominess engulfs you. Who can you call on for help? How can you manage to stay afloat in this chaotic sea of misery?
How do you manage to keep your balance on thin ice and not fall into the bottomless pit of overwhelming responsibilities? You try every imaginable swimming stroke that comes to mind but the movement is slow and painful. You are running out of hope and more importantly, you are running out of air.
You claw your way to the surface, catch your breath as fresh air invades your nearly collapsed lungs. You then pull yourself upon your feet. Just as you think you’ve regained control of your skates, another piece of ice gives way and you again fall helplessly into the frozen darkness below. Cold, icy needles penetrate your body, mind and your tired, battered spirit. They beckon you to give up. They whisper your name and tell you that there is no need to struggle and that you belong to the shadows.
Finally, after several desperate cries, a hand reaches down and pulls you out of your watery grave, sets your feet on solid ice, and gives you a gentle push. You are saved from sudden destruction and free you to skate again.
Skating on thin ice is an art form of the feminine persuasion. As women, we are experts at floating across the cracks of family and business emergencies, personal crises, and all of life’s other eruptions. The only way we survive is by being connected. We need our connections to help us stay afloat. We need our connections with other women to help us become water walkers. This is where we draw our strength. This is who we are. We need other women to help us navigate the swirling ocean we call life.
So many of us find comfort living in isolation. We cling to shame and hide abuse, neglect, and depression. It’s not that we enjoy being alone, but darkness lulls us into a place where we don’t want others “in our business”. Living this way means that we are not where we can receive the help we need or respond to questions that pry open the shadowy rooms of our lives. These places serve as the source of our secret pain.
Living this way, we develop a false sense of security in an unstable, isolated cocoon. Sadly, we do not realize that choosing isolation leaves us vulnerable. The ice beneath our feet melts from the heat of loneliness. We allow fear to hold us captive in a place called hopelessness. The cataracts of low self worth then blind us from seeing our purpose and from stepping into destiny.
We know that others have told us that we are good at certain things. Many of us also know “what we bring to the table” in terms of our skills, but it is difficult to grasp our true power when our feet begins slipping on melting ice. We become so petrified with fear that we refuse to give others something as simple as a kind word. This brings to mind a story that had a great impact on my life.
Years ago, I lived in Germany. It was during the days before cell phones and people were still using telephone booths. One morning while on my way to a meeting, I stopped to make a call at a telephone booth. During the call, I noticed a beautifully dressed woman walking in my direction. She was wearing a black coat with a leopard print fur collar and matching cuffs. But what made her look like a queen was that she also wore the matching leopard print crown hat.
This sister looked like someone who stepped right off the cover of a high fashion magazine. She was polished professionalism at its finest. Although I was in the middle of an important call, I had a strong feeling that I needed to stop and speak to her. It was as if I was being bombarded with a constant mental interruption, telling me to stop and pay attention to this woman.
“What could I possibly say to this beautiful woman? She looks like someone who has it all together. What could I possibly say to make her day any better?” I asked myself while trying to still listen to the person on the telephone. From where I stood, this woman did not look like anyone who needed any encouragement and I did not want to interrupt her public privacy.
I had no idea what I was going to say to her, but I knew that if I was to gain any inner peace, I had better stop. So, I stuck my head out of the telephone booth and waited for her to approach. I had no idea what words I would speak but I opened my mouth and gave her a compliment. Nothing complicated, I just simply complimented her on her outfit.
I later discovered that something miraculous occurred when I intervened in this woman’s life. On that cold morning, this sister was mentally planning her suicide and because of the words spoken, she decided not to complete her self destructive plan. She was overwhelmed that a complete stranger cared enough to stop and bless her with a kind word. She believed that her life had no meaning and that she could not live another day.
In that small fraction of time and with those simple words, something marvelous happened. My words, without my permission or knowledge, spread the blanket of kindness over the ice cracks of another woman’s life. The words spoken swept clean the cobwebs of self destructiveness that could have and would have devastated an entire circle of family and friends.
Let’s explore this from a more personal vantage point. What would have happened if I had not stopped and spoken to the woman? I shudder to think. This incident changed the way I do business. I now know that handling my business also means taking care of people in the middle of all the other things I do. Without people, business means nothing. Without collaboration, we limit ourselves.
This event helped me to side step the boulders placed in my way when it’s time to act. This means that even if I look like an idiot to others, I have an obligation to speak and to act. It helped me to see that my words do have power. It helped me to see that women are waiting to hear what I have to say. It helped to me to see that women are waiting for “miraculous” encounters, even in business.
So the question is when was the last time you took time out of your busy day to stop and help another sister who has fallen through the thin ice of her life? When was the last time you openly and unashamedly shared your gifts and helped to pull another sister out of the darkness of her icy pits to behold another day?
It’s time to act now. Armed with the knowledge that you do bring something powerful to the table, it is now time to wipe life’s sludge from your skates with unbridled enthusiasm. It is time to embrace the passion to help other women. When you do, you will discover something marvelous and miraculous.
You will discover the cracks in your life diminishing in the safety net of other women as you stop, extend your hands, and offer assistance. When you extend your hands, you will discover other hands waiting to be held so that they will not fall through the ice. You will also discover an experienced network of women skaters awaiting your arrival.
So what are you waiting for? Put on your skates, join me on the ice, and let’s glide...