How interesting that the title of this story can have different meanings for different people, dependent upon each person’s circumstances and attitude towards living life. My meaning brings joy and yet the other person’s meaning was almost the feeling of desperation.

Being lucky enough to holiday in Barbados, it has given me an opportunity to see how a different culture works here. What I have observed is that I am very grateful for being able to visit here and gain some rest to ensure I return home feeling fulfilled and ready to start 2017.  I have great plans for 2017 and despite the challenges of the world I am looking forward to rising above them and having my best year yet!

My days on holiday start very early as both me and my husband are waking about 6ish. I love our time together as we both start the day with some reading, then we do Tibetan yoga together, plus talk about what we feel grateful for in our lives. I also do some meditating and visualisation so that I am positively stating what I want from the day.  We use this time to think about our plans for the coming year and as each day is a new day, I do my best to value each one. We then continue the day by having some time relaxing in the sunshine on a very beautiful beach, I pinch myself often saying how lucky I am. So I guess my meaning of “it’s just another day to get through” is joyful as I am grateful to have this new day, knowing I will rest, learn, grow and have fun resulting in me being a better person.

On this particular day I am sharing with you, I was relaxing on the beach, when one of the beach trader’s came talking to my husband, initially I had my ear plugs in and was listening to a meditation, the lady Zelda was selling pot towels. I overheard her sharing with my husband how difficult times were, he did listen to her and then he replied “no thanks I don’t want to buy anything today”. I guess I was almost playing the avoidance game as I was being selfish in an attempt to block out everything around me and complete my 10 minute meditation exercise.  When she had finished talking to my husband, he went off for a swim in the sea and I moved under the sun umbrella to get some shade from the mid-day sun. I did in a way feel some empathy towards this lady, as so many people reply in the same way as my husband did.

As I settled back into my lounger, Zelda came over chatting to me, she was actively doing her best to encourage me to buy a tea towel off her, I reminded her that I had purchased 2 from her last year and she thanked me.  She continued to tell me that life was getting tough for the people of Barbados, she said that Barbados might well have been closed down for the last 2 weeks as it had been so quiet.  I asked her how she got by when times were really hard for her and asked her if she got government funding to help her live.  Zelda said she didn’t get any money from them and explained that she was one of the lucky ones, as she has her own home and due to her endlessly walking the beaches she manages to buy food and get by.  She said that the younger generation were finding it extremely hard and she felt that if things didn’t change then there would be more crime and robberies again.  Zelda then with a glum and troubled face, went on to say that she was unable to see the beauty of Barbados, she simply followed this conversation with “it is just another day I have to get through”.

Now the reason I am sharing this story is because I could have felt sorry for her and I am pleased to share that I chose not to. Instead I chose to help her by sharing that everyone has to start with a little self-belief to be able to change and live a better life no matter what level you are working at. Zelda was allowing herself to have a closed mind-set about her life and how she was living it, which clearly showed in her attitude.  I challenged her on this and said that she needed to change this behaviour and her belief, so she could tell herself that she could have more success in selling her pot towels.  After all I am sure many people who are into empowering themselves, would agree that they don’t want to really hear someone’s sob story, especially when that person shows no interest in you, other than to want something from you.  I made her aware that me and my husband where already helping her economy by travelling to the country and shared that in England we too have a lot of poor people who need our help.  I suggested to her to start to change the way she feels and take a fresh look at the beautiful country she lives, sharing that a lot of other people would love to visit. I also shared that she needed to start thinking more positively as to how she can be happier and more fulfilled within her daily job, instead of feeling sorry for herself and then passing on this negativity to others in hope that they would feel sorry for her and buy.   Is this perhaps me being too hard on Zelda, or was I doing her a favour by giving her a gift by sharing both my time and knowledge with her.

The moral is to remember that a growth mind-set will always be a better option and it starts by loving and valuing yourself first, then this will impact positively on others. I highlighted to Zelda that this kind of mind-set will then help her also generate more self-confidence and result in her communicating on a more positive level as this is what her beach client’s will be wanting to see, this will naturally allow her to build up a rapport and sell more tea towels.  Who wants to buy from someone simply because we feel pity for them, if we do aren’t we then devaluing both ourselves and that other person? So let’s help others learn how to value themselves more.  I hope Zelda can learn to adopt this new approach and go out into the world saying “I value this new day and I am lucky to be living in Barbados”.

I challenge everyone who reads this post to simply pay this forward and find someone else who is feeling low and encourage them to see the value they bring to others.

I am sure that I will end this holiday with another tea towel in my suitcase, however, first I want to see a change in Zelda by her being grateful for what she does have in her life, so she can bring more joy to others as she goes about her days on the beach.