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Tending You

Erika Petrelli
Erika Petrelli

Tending You

"Last Day of Winter," by R. Crap Mariner


What does personal development have to do with professional development?

I’ve had many people ask me some version of this question.

In other words, why bother working on myself? I should spend my time working on my job skills, my staff, my responsibilities, my “stuff.”

And, okay, I get that. Tending to others, as I’ve pointed out, gives me a purr for sure.

But here’s the thing that I’ve come to realize (slowly and begrudgingly and after being repeatedly put in situations to remind me of it):

If you tend only to others and neglect yourself, you will start to wither and die on the inside.

Consider this.

What kind of flowers do we love?

We love flowers in full bloom, showering us with their full lush petals, their beautiful fragrance, their delicate stems. Not flowers that have lost all their petals and have shriveled up for the winter, leaving behind a crisp brown stick of a reminder of the beauty that once was.

Okay, harsh maybe.

But you get my point?

Full, lush beautiful flowers are absorbing the gifts of the sun and the soil and the rain and the bees and the butterflies and the hummingbirds and the loving gardeners that surround them.

So should you.

When was the last time you asked yourself:  What do I need?

What do you need?

Personal development is about figuring that out.

Personal development says: hey, there, beautiful flower… time to think about yourself for a sec, here.  Do you need more water? Do you need more warmth? Do you need company? What do you need?

The more you listen to the answers to that question, and—more importantly—the more you heed the answers to that question, the more fully you will bloom. The more fully you will be in bloom.

And do you know who that’s good for? You, obviously, because you start to feel better…great… beautiful.

But everyone else too.

And there is the big AH HA! Of it all.  The more you tend to YOU, the more you ultimately are tending to OTHERS.

Go figure.

Sometimes you have to be selfish to be giving.

Sometimes you have to look inward to be able to give outward.

Hey there beautiful flower.  You need some water? Ask for it, please. We’ll all be better for it.

How can you tend to you today?


Wings & Whimsy Challenge: Ignite

Challenge: How can you find tend to you today? Tell me
about it in the comments below, or tweet it to me


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“Tending You”, The Leadership Program, 2017


Erika Petrelli

By Erika Petrelli

Erika Petrelli is the Senior Vice President of Leadership Development (and self-declared Minister of Mischief) for The Leadership Program, a New York City-based organization. With a Masters degree in Secondary Education, Erika has been in the field of teaching and training for decades, and has been with The Leadership Program since 1999. There she has the opportunity to nurture the individual leadership spirit in both students and adults across the country, through training, coaching, keynotes, and writing. The legacy Erika strives daily to create is to be the runway upon which others take flight. If you enjoy these blogs, you should check out her interactive journal, On Wings & Whimsy: Finding the Extraordinary Within the Ordinary, now available for sale on Amazon. While her work takes her all around the country, Erika calls Indiana home.