Over the past four years I’ve had to start building friendships from scratch again. A necessity that came about from my frequent travels and my gradual move to to America.
The quote, "your life is a reflection of your thoughts" rings true. Through our thoughts, we build our environment around us.
I thought this was a topic worth writing about because friendships are something we all have. I hope my words aren't too "fru-fru" (that's my made up word for being super soft). But hey, fru-fru or not, enriching friendships are the ones we all deserve.
My environment is golden. It took a lot of living, self awareness, and refining my behaviour to come to this state that I can speak so proudly of. Being naturally wired for happiness means the friendships are tops.
I can pinpoint three behaviours and attitudes that have gotten me to my ‘golden’ state: being positive, being generous, and being a good listener.
I see these qualities embodied by three of my friends, and have had a huge impact on all of my other friendships in my life, both existing and new.
One of my friendships forged in Melbourne taught me about positivity and generosity in huge proportions. She’s generous without any expectation for it to be returned.
By generous I don’t necessarily mean in giving gifts. I mean she’s generous in sharing her time with others, and making that time quality. She’s uses kind words about herself and of other people.
She sees each day and the world differently to how I used to. Things that used to make me feel “ugh” or have fear over, she would be there to listen and then to point out the silver lining, or possible solutions.
Another good friend of mine from Sydney who also carries a positive disposition, in his own style. He’s the person that taught me that life is about creating beautiful experiences every day.
And then there is Phil, who is a relationship counsellor. I remember a conversation we once had when Phil was talking about the value of being a good listener. It woke me up. And I’ve applied his simple words to all kinds of relationships.
Even if we haven’t fine tuned the listening part, like I hadn't for so long, it can really come down to how we feel. How we feel about ourselves and then with others.
Deep down inside we all know what’s good and what isn’t.
So last year, what would have once been a daunting move to America became a move filled with so much opportunity. I was completely aware that great friendships would only come if I made the effort.
I started treating myself with more kindness, more positivity. And acting that way to others - being open, and generous with time, experiences and conversations. Listening, especially early on, to be aware if our energies matched.
These kinds of friendships are genuinely supportive and uplifting. We share knowledge, our interests. And just like the first friend I mentioned, our words are kind.
The friends I am talking of don’t divulge information to me about others that they shouldn’t. There’s no room for gossip or unhealthy social comparisons. And I feel safe in sharing my goals and ideas with them to not be shot down, and goodness, hopefully they do too.
Written in: one of my favourite secret cafes in Hollywood, and my LA Home
Listening to: the following tracks on Pandora after entering “Harvest Moon” by Neil Young:
Going to California (BBC Live) - Led Zeppelin , Out on the Weekend - Neil Young, Wild Horses - The Rolling Stones, Razor Love - Neil Young, Beast of Burden - The Rolling Stones, Tupelo Honey - Van Morrison , Old Man - Neil Young, Helplessly Hoping - Crosby, Stills and Nash, Ventura Highway - America, Amie - Pure Prairie League , And it Stoned me - Van Morrisson , Can’t Find My Way Home - Alison Krauss , Roll On Babe - Vetiver , Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd, In My Life - The Beatles, For What it’s Worth - Buffalo Springfield, I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight - Bob Dylan, Over the Rainbow/What A Wonderful World - Israel ‘IZ’ Kamakawiwo’ole