What Do Friends Mean to You?

When the world is so complicated, the simple gift of friendship is within all of our hands. Maria Shriver, journalist

One of my best friends recently gave me the gift of the little handmade purse pictured here. She crafted it out of a piece of decorative paper. It fastens with a tiny piece of velcro. It’s so precious to me, mostly because it is a sign of our friendship. 

In my life experience, friends have been especially precious. Growing up with no mother or siblings heightened my dependence on, and desire for, special friends in my life. I’ve found that it’s not about the amount of friends I have but the quality of the friendship. There was a period in my life when I had no best friend. I felt lost. Now, I’m blessed with several. Some close-by, some in other states. They are my sisters by a different mother and my treasure. 

Affirmation: I will be the best friend I can be.

Coaching question: What do friendships mean to you? How do you find, nurture, and keep friends in your life? If you’re short on special friendships, what step will you take to find a good friend? 


Connecting Heart to Heart Worldwide

It may be long before the law of love will be recognized in international affairs. The machineries of government stand between and hide the hearts of one people from those of another. Gandhi

I want to give a shout out to my international blog readers and followers. Just this month I’ve had visitors from Ireland, South Africa, Canada, Costa Rica, United Kingdom, Germany, India, Finland, and Slovenia, to name a few. This international readership motivates me to write in a universal language with topics of interest to readers from different cultures, governments, faiths. 

Thank you, my international friends, for your interest in what this seventy-three-year-old grandma in southwest Florida, USA has to say. I pray that this experience is a microcosm of what the world can be for all. With our governments pushed aside, we can continue to open our hearts to one another. 

Affirmation: I embrace the world.

Coaching questions: What keeps you connected to the larger world? What difference does it make? 


Friends Make Life Better

If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together…there is something you must always remember. You re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart…I’ll always be with you. Winnie the Pooh

Having grown up with no mother and no siblings, friends have always been especially important to me. I’ve been very fortunate in my life to have friends who were “sisters and brothers.” This week my college roommate, her husband from Boston and a college friend from Denver visited us. 

When we reunite, it’s like no time has passed. These dear friends stimulate me intellectually while embracing me in their love and caring. We spoke of the importance of diversity, what it means to lose the love of your life, our concern for the planet and our toxic political climate, grandchildren, and good books. Three ladies who have grown old together while being apart. Just as Winnie the Pooh says, I’ll always be with them and they with me. 

Affirmation: Friends matter.

Coaching questions: What do friendships mean to you? How have friendships helped you heal and grow in your life? What do you bring to your friends? 


Values vs Differences

Our shared values define us more than our differences. And acknowledging those shared values can see us through our challenges today if we have the wisdom to trust in them again. John McCain, American statesman and military officer who served as a United States Senator until his death.

One of our greatest challenges in the U.S. today is learning to get along in our divided political landscape. For me, shared values and true friendship trumps (sorry for the pun) political differences. Yesterday, one of my best friends called to acknowledge how I’m using prayer for our president as a way to bring about change and inner peace for myself. She knows I’m taking action in other ways as well and supports my need for involvement. 

This is what friendship is all about! Overcoming our political divide has actually brought us closer as we have had to talk about the hard questions and define our common values. To her credit, it is my friend who has called me, not the other way around. Although our politics can occasionally be the “elephant or donkey in the room,” our friendship has survived and even thrived in spite of it. 

Affirmation: Shared values define my friendships.

Coaching questions: Do you have relationships that need repair in this environment? Are they worth it? If so, what will you do to heal in spite of your differences?

Free To Be You And Me

A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself. Jim Morrison, American singer, songwriter

If you live in the United States of American, happy 4th of July! As Americans celebrate our country’s independence,  I’m suggesting we also celebrate our freedom to be ourselves. Exuberant or quiet, liberal or conservative, old or young, athlete or artist, outdoor enthusiast or gamer….let us celebrate our unique selves.

Having a friend that encourages you to be you is what friendship is all about. Friends who accept us, “worts and all,” give us the freedom to make mistakes, say something just a little over the top, be really sad.

Affirmation: I celebrate my freedom to be me. I celebrate your freedom to be you.

Coaching questions: What about you will you celebrate today? How do you help your friends be themselves?