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Sporadic photos and notes from a Psyche-midwife, cheerleader, anthropologist--aka clinical social worker in therapy practice. Photos are usually mine except for those of historical events/famous people. Music relevant to the daily topic is often included in a web video embedded below the blog. Click on highlighted links in the copy to get to source or supplemental material. For contact information, see my website @ janasvoboda.com or click on the button to the right below. Join in the conversation.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tiny Resolutions January 13th: Just Ask

Mari L'Esperance, poet and writer, California
I'm back for a day's post, mostly because I didn't have time to put together the guest post I wanted to run and still get to bed by midnight.  Come tomorrow to see it; it's worth the wait.  While debating whether to wreck another night's sleep or just do a quick one on my own, I got a message from a Takyoung Jung, a Korean artist who lives in Paris, agreeing to do a guest post.  That's the 10th yes this week to my requests for guest bloggers to get us started on a great new year.   I also have five maybes. Just one no, and he had really good reasons for not committing to a new task.
Julian Hoffman, author, The Small Heart of Things,
It's an embarrassment of riches, these yeses. I don't deserve them, I didn't earn them.  I just asked.

Joshua Goode, Texas artist and world traveler
Three years ago when I had suddenly lost my sense of smell, was mourning it heavy and researching everything I could I stumbled upon about treatments and cures, I ran across an article by a man whose name I knew from a book series.  He was also an editor for a favorite weekly magazine, the UK's New Scientist.  He also had anosmia-- and had come to the US for treatment and recovered. In the article he talked about the depression and difficulty adjusting to a scentless world.  In one of those strange life coincidences, I was going to London a few weeks later (thank you, Shelly) so I wrote and asked him if I could take him to lunch.  He agreed.  He brought research articles and books and for the next few months was my occasional long-distance-smell-loss-therapist.  A man who had been a stranger to me showed empathy and kindness, as well as offered practical advice.  Just because I asked.

I have asked strangers to write me poetry, let me take their pictures, show me their amazing gardens.  I've asked them to make videos in their native language to send to friends of mine for whom English is a foreign tongue.  I had a busload of elderhostel travelers, an Elvis imitator, and a cop sing happy birthday to my very embarrassed mother.  All these people did these sweet things. Because I asked.
Wlf Nkole Helzle, German artist and photographer

Over and over I have found that when I ask in sincerity for someone to briefly share their talents or time, they say yes.  And they do it happily, and I thank them heartily.  And we both leave this little non-commercial transaction feeling better about being human.

Takyoung Jung, Korean born Paris artist
I don't ask for things that feel too selfish.  And I try to offer to others as often as I ask.  For example, several times in my years in private practice new therapists have asked me to help them get going, and I've offered forms I've made, client referrals, contacts.  It feels good to be of help.

I bet you can figure out what today's challenge is.  But if you're stuck, just ask.
The pictures you see are some of the amazing people who have or will be writing for the blog this month.  Thank you for saying YES!

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