Recently I got a random text from an old friend I haven’t spoken to in almost a year – and really haven’t caught up with in many years. It said something along the lines of “Hey, can we talk?”
Which my anxiety-ridden brain rapid-fire translates to
What terribly wrong thing did I do?
I forgot to do my homework and I’m in big trouble even though this person isn’t my teacher and I haven’t had homework in 8 years.
There’s been a murder. I’m the suspect. They’re about to give me a head’s up so I can get my alibi in order.
Turns out, they were going through a difficult situation and just reaching out to vent and ask for advice. I’m in the clear for now.
What an honor to be trusted enough to listen to someone’s struggles and carry some of their weight. To listen and hold space for them. Then, to scramble through the brain’s filing cabinet for the folders containing “Good, honest advice for this particular person in this particular instance that isn’t cheesy”. Because let’s get real: Most times, people don’t want advice. They just want to be heard. So, when you find really good pieces of advice – it can be a game-changer.
This brings me to the best advice I’ve ever been given: Live Palms Up.
Technically, I read it in the book “Love Does” by Bob Goff, so it wasn’t specifically given to me… but it sure felt like it and I think that’s when you know advice is really good. The passage literally challenges you to sit with the backs of your hands on your knees and your palms open and up towards the sky, instead of clinched or closed. In serious conversations, conflicts, negotiations, depositions, anything that may make you want to recoil, puff up your chest, or close up.
“When [their] palms are up, they have an easier time being calm, honest, and accurate. Most people could get angry at a grapefruit when their fists are clenched. Palms up means you have nothing to gain or lose. That you’re strong enough to be vulnerable.”
Try it now while you’re reading this. It feels uncomfortable at first but that’s usually how openness and growth starts anyways. The way I explain it is, when your fists are clenched you’re ready to swing but when your palms are up, you’re ready to catch. That “random” text I got asking for advice wasn’t random, it was because I live with my palms up. Living palms up starts as a literal physical shift but soon you’ll see the mental and emotional shift as well.
And because I’m ready to catch, I polled my Instagram audience for the best advice they’ve ever been given and compiled some of the responses below. What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten? Add yours in the comments!
“Focus on being interested instead of interesting.”
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
“Care for others, the highest intelligence is empathy.”
“Love all, trust few, do wrong to none.”
“Be happy within yourself and everything else will carry forward.”
“You can do whatever you want, as long as you aren’t doing harm.”
“Do you want the pain of growth or the pain of staying where you are?”
“Make your bed!”
“Never be the smartest person in the room.”
“Pause. Pray. Proceed.”
“If you wait until the time is right, you’ll wait forever.”
“What affects your attitude most is you.”
“Do the best you can with great intentions, and success will find you.”
“Nothing really matters, except for what does.”
“Never go cheap on your shoes or your mattress. You’re on those the most.”
“Well, if you can’t dance, you just got to get out there and jump.”
Photos from pexels.com