Duchess Digest: A Quick Fix for the Doldrums

By Jill Brown

Women building a house and the benefits of volunteer workGot a case of the blues?

I’ve got the quick fix cure to get you out of the doldrums…. Service!

I was lucky enough to attend a charity luncheon that featured Ariana Huffington as the keynote speaker. The luncheon was for the Venice Family Clinic, a health care network which serves in-need families, individuals and the community here in SoCal. The fundraiser is part of a brown-bag lunch series put on by the clinic where you bring or buy your lunch, plus admission and hear great speakers. This particular luncheon happened to be on the crest of the most gorgeous hillside Villa overlooking the curving golden baked coastline and sparkling Pacific Ocean in Malibu.  If ever there was a setting for awe in California, this was certainly it.

However the setting was just the tip of the proverbial iceberg as the speaker was even more inspiring then the setting. Ariana Huffington and her sister, Agape, addressed the small collection of a hundred or so assembled ladies (and few token men) scattered around the white tables surrounding her.

I love Ariana.

A dear friend once gave me a book she wrote called “On Becoming Fearless” for my very first birthday out here in Los Angeles. It was a beautiful gift that touched my heart. If you don’t have it, you should pick it up. What I found particularly identifiable about Ariana was her candid confession of being madly in love with someone who ultimately (and self-admitted) wasn’t able to connect with her at the same level. I felt a kindred spirit to her for moving on, moving forward and yet not denying the loss there.

Hearing her speak on that afternoon, when the June Gloom layers of marine fog miraculously decided to break early and the sun shone brightly on the lawns, was even more touching then her book.

She spoke of love, of rest and of service. Ms. Huffington helped remind me of that her answer for her own bouts with ailments, the blues and her driving passion is service. When therapy fails or falls short with her loved ones, it was charity and service work she did and sent them out to do in order to recoup. And isn’t that just the way of it?

It’s easy to get so trapped in our own little environments. Poor me, I don’t make more money. Poor me, I’m not as pretty as some girls. Poor me, I wish I were thinner. Poor me, single again – will this EVER just be easy and work? Poor me, I’m in a relationship that isn’t perfect. The list goes on and on and on.

That is until you serve. When you serve others you start to shift. You see the ways you are blessed. Lucky me, I have a job. Lucky me, I didn’t end up with the wrong guy. Lucky me, I get to write and develop my talents. Lucky me, I have a pretty awesome partner. Lucky me, I’m beautiful because I don’t look like other girls. Lucky me, I’m healthy and strong.

I’ve been developing service projects in my own life to give myself the gift of being grateful. Isn’t it funny that my ultimate motivation ends up being selfish? I can’t help it. It makes me feel good to soften. To be kinder. To see how lucky I am that I have a great family. How lucky I am that unlike many of the elderly ladies and gentlemen I visit, I have mobility. What they wouldn’t give to go for walk with such ease and pizzaz that we do daily without notice. What a child in need of leadership and friendship wouldn’t give for a kind word, or help reading, or a friendship that you or I could offer!

I’m no Mother Theresa… far from it! But I’m lucky enough to have female leadership examples like Arianna and my own amazing mother, who help me to see that softening, love and service are the really gifts that we give ourselves.

Long may you reign in inspired service!

Jill Brown is a Los Angeles, California-based coach and writer. She earned her Bachelors in Humanities and Sociology from USU and is a member of the National Association for Conflict Resolution and the Ladies Who Launch Network. She is the founder of “The Duchess Guide” a website dedicated to helping women become their most fabulous selves.  Her ALL NEW Home Study Course SIX WEEKS TO DATING SUCCESS is six weeks of coaching at your own pace to improve all your relationships, especially dating and is available now. For more on The Duchess Guide or Jill visit: http://theduchessguide.com/

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