My whole life I have been dispenser of solicited advice.
Starting early on, I remember pondering the emotional musings of my friends and, when prompted, doling out soundbites of information to get them through their state of flux, need, turmoil and confusion—cheering them on as they headed out onto their life’s path with new wisdom and a fresh look in their mind. Taking great care in crafting the answer back to them, ensuring that the advice I was giving was going to help them in their life living not hinder progress.
From what I can remember, this began as early as 11 years old and continued into the teen years, throughout college, into early adulthood and now at middle age.
I do not believe that my friends take lightly asking me for advice as many of the seekers have questions and situations that need the utmost discretion and care. What they know when they come to me is that not only would they have a sounding board for their needs but they know I will keep their secret safe.
It is an evolution of sorts how I came to not only be the council but also the secret keeper for my friends. A long road on my own personal journey in which I learned how to navigate and understand the obstacles and challenges that were set out before me. Some highlights: Failed relationships (both friendship and love), heartache, depression, identity crisis throughout my early 20s.
Over time, the questions and pontifications have changed and evolved in magnitude, severity, and need. As I get older I realize that while I cannot “fix” a problem I am happiest when doing my best to assist someone so that they see what is in front them more clearly—giving them tools and thoughts to ponder as they move through situations arising.
My friend Mary once called me a “Life Actuation Guide” telling me that I had a knack for taking a problem, blowing it up and putting it back together in a more manageable way for the querent. The result then being that the recipient of advice had the tools needed to actuate their goals and decisions and forge ahead.
Recently a client of mine, Tim, stated: “Licia has been my go-to guru for life advice for more than a year now. Her sage insight and direction have been spot on…every time”.
Two of my fellow writing constituents said the following about my advice capabilities:
Erin Donovan: “Licia gives advice that is at once unbiased and filled with heart. The worst part about her going public with her advice is that I will now have to take a number for my own.”
Liza Garder Walsh: “Few people have the capacity to deeply listen and then, after checking in with their wise well of intuition, offer the advice that you know is profoundly right. Licia’s advice hits the core every time with its kindness, intelligence, and optimism. This is advice with a pulse, advice that will steer you immediately back to your rightful path.”
While I am no genius and I would heavily argue the usage of the word “guru” to Tim, I can say that my emotional intelligence tends to run pretty high (I once took an Emotional Quotient (EQ) test and received a perfect score— astounding not only myself but the proctor as well).
I also try my very best to keep judgement of other’s experiences non-existent (I am a firm believer that our lives and decisions roll out before us and we deal with them the best we can—if I were to judge such things that would be a clear indication of what I fear within my own self—not actually what I think of the person’s experience. After years of education, on again/off again Buddhist study, therapy, mentorship and a Bachelors degree in Contemplative Psychology from Naropa University I have learned nothing if I haven’t learned this).
So in an effort to help those in need and to spread the love of (hopefully!) good advice, we give you Ask Licia: elephant journal’s answer to the advice column where the mindful life questions have a voice. Ask anything at all—I will do my best to answer as thoughtfully as possible.
I look forward to hearing your questions and hope that, while not a fix completely (this is an opinion column!), the advice I can dispense can help remove some obstacles your life’s path puts out before you.
Responses will come in both written and video(!) form and questions can be submitted to: [email protected].
I look forward to hearing from you!
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Ed: Bryonie Wise
Photo: via Flickr