Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Who Are Your Monkeys?

One of my monkeys gave this to me.
His name is George.  I'm super clever like that. 

I took (another) life-changing seminar this past week (Hello, My Name is Kalei and I’m addicted to seminars).

Since my name is not exactly easy to pronounce, without fail, these events begin with us all playing The Name Game.  For example:

New Person: Hey there [glances at name tag]…Kay-lee!

Me: Hello New Person! It’s actually pronounced [slower than honey] KUH...LAY. 

New Person: Got it, Kahlua. 

(This little scenario, which I encounter multiple times a day, is why I answer to everything from Kayla to Kool-Aid).

This particular seminar was completely AH- MAZING.

The content was incredibly powerful.  However, what excited me more was The People.  Because of the nature of the seminar, I found people just like me (this idea may be completely terrifying to my family, who I can imagine are thinking: um, we can handle just one Kalei at a time). 

Strangely, the word that came to mind while I was there was Fellowship, a churchy word that makes me think of stuffy potlucks and overflowing rice cookers (and cookies. Mmmm. Cookies.  Peanut Butter Cookies.  Ok where was I…). In this context, to me it meant learning together, listening, loving, and supporting each other in spite of our humanness.  

It was another reminder to me that hey, we’re all in this thing together. 

And apparently I think I’m pretty special, because I struggle daily with trying to do life by myself.  

And then I’m reminded, in one way or another, that no, in fact, I am not Wonder Woman.  

I need my monkeys.  

Say what??  (Bear with me.  I know I'm all over the place today but I promise I actually do have a point).

I attended a (you guessed it) seminar earlier this year where I heard a story that really struck a chord*.  Scientists put a monkey in a cage, and then terrified the crap out of it- flashing lights, horrifying sounds, the works.  They measured his stress levels, which, not surprisingly, were off the charts.   

Then they put the monkey’s friend in the cage with him.  They repeated the experiment.  

The monkey’s stress levels were reduced in half. 

It’s a simple experiment, with two profound lessons:

1. Sometimes, our buddy doesn’t need to do anything but be there with us when our cage is rattled.  

2. Choose the right monkeys. 

After hearing that story, I made sure to tell my monkeys how much I appreciated them.  

Perhaps your conversation can go something like this, but slightly less awkward.  (This is a completely hypothetical situation of course): 

Um so I learned this story about monkeys and um…I was wondering, Will You Be My Monkey?

The thing is, we were never meant to do life alone.

We all need our monkeys.  

Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down. - Oprah Winfrey

Fellowship is a place of grace, where mistakes aren't rubbed in but rubbed out. Fellowship happens when mercy wins over justice.  -Rick Warren

Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. - Romans 12:10

*The Monkey Story was shared by Dr. Henry Cloud, and I believe is included in his book, Boundaries for Leaders.  

1 comment:

  1. Another amazing post!! Damn Gurl you smart!