Week 4 Day 4: What Worked Yesterday?

Week 4: My Relationship with Others
Workbook Exercise: My Web of Connections

Watch: Week 4 Day 4: What Worked Yesterday?
What practices help you to thrive in your relationships with others?
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Transcript of Video:

One of the things that I’ve found helpful for me is that I feel like for some reason I have a remarkable tendency to forget what is actually nourishing. And I would say even if you don’t have a reason for why something feels good or why it is nourishing for your soul, it doesn’t matter. I remember there is a great poem from Aquinas, it’s great. He says – I’m going to paraphrase it – he asked a plant, you know, he said to the plant, “What does light talk about?” And the plant says, “I don’t know but it helps me grow.” And so I think in a lot of ways without asking a lot of questions like what is this practice or this hobby or why does it work for me, why does it nourish me spiritually, why does it make me feel closer to God, to myself, to other people? I think without needing to know we should write a little note on our hand or something that says, “What worked yesterday? What worked last week?” Think of something that was nourishing at some point in the past and just do it again … just do it again. I would include that.

– Br. Nicholas Bartoli


  1. Diane Gervais on June 21, 2019 at 09:58

    Taking the time to be truly present to people and listening with an open heart ❤️ rather t’han formulating my response and being kind rather than judgmental. I like what you said about doing again what worked in the past. Great idea! Thank you so much for offering tIs gentle walk with God and self to grow in knowing, loving and serving the Lord and ourselves.

  2. Lisa Bartoli-DeAngelis on March 27, 2019 at 16:18

    I loved today’s message especially since it came from my wonderful brother Nicholas. I would say some things I have learned to better relationships with others…is patience…to really listen when speaking with someone..to be present and not off thinking of something else. The including yoga in my daily routine has helped with this and physically made me feel better. All these things to be honest I learned from my brother…thank God.

    • Chioma Nwaogu on January 28, 2021 at 20:28

      I believe a relationship thrives better in an atmosphere of trust and care. I like to be open and like also that, the one I deal with be so too. the idea of care matters a lot and helps us be there for one another. another important thing is respect and to listen with keenness to each other.

  3. Beth Hewson on February 24, 2019 at 09:46

    I really enjoy being physical, being able to move my body. Walking with others – for example in the Coldest Night of Year walk – is a way to get to know a person, sharing thoughts and feelings about our faith, noticing that we all seem to have new aches and pains as we are aging gracefully and generally enjoying each other’s company-even the person I might find challenging to love The fellowship after doing something physical together is rich. The doing of the activity releases our more authentic self. There is an opportunity for deeper connections with each other.

  4. Jaan Sass on October 29, 2016 at 01:50

    I like the question what practices helped me yesterday or in the the past helped me to thrive with others? For me mentally being there and participating. It is easy for me to disconnect and isolate myself And do a lot of meaningless rituals apart from others never connecting.

  5. Linda on June 5, 2016 at 08:26

    I am working on social skills. I started observing a friend of mine that has lots of friends and doing what she does. That has helped grow my circle. Offering prayer and help. Being cheerful. Being involved in community affairs in small ways. Being involved in things others enjoy.

  6. Julia on March 6, 2016 at 09:24

    I remind myself every face is the face of God. It’s strange that the closer I am to someone the harder it is to see that. But when I see it I feel filled with love and light and the desire to take that person’s hand and tell them I love them. Which in my family might cause the person to run away fast. But maybe not.

  7. CH on March 5, 2016 at 15:11

    Showing love/care in the small ways – picking up the coffee tab or beer tab when with another; TIME – this is a big one – taking time to show my friends I care for them, being there for them in their time of need, letting them know I value them and am grateful they are part of my life.

    Also, annually, around Thanksgiving, I like to send a note to each of my dearest friends that I am grateful for them very much

  8. Douglas Smith on March 5, 2016 at 12:50

    This short video speaks to me in a profound way!!! I have listened to it every day since it was posted and it has caused me to think about what I can do today to nourish my soul. Thank you!!

  9. Ellen on March 5, 2016 at 12:37

    LIstening, that seems to be a big part of relating to others. People need to share their stories and concerns. I’ve noticed a tendency in myself to respond by leaping in with my own similar story. I’m also learning that is not the best way. Stay with the person and his/her concerns for as long as seems right. Let the back-and-forth emerge naturally.

    • Linda on June 5, 2016 at 08:21

      That’s a good idea. Maybe I need to not do that.

    • David Cranmer on June 24, 2016 at 20:30

      I have noticed this also. I try now not to top then with my own story. Dav

  10. Debbie on March 4, 2016 at 16:13

    When someone has a task and they are short handed. First that person has to have been good to me. Secondly they have to have a real need. They are all alone it is a big task and they need help. Once we are done it is a great sense of accomplishment. I feel good that I have helped them and I gain insight and knowledge by just being around them.

  11. Denise on March 3, 2016 at 17:37

    I agree with all who talked of listening. It is so important to bear witness to another by being present- sometimes to some horrible pain.
    I also must say that being vulnerable is important in being with others. Admitting our failings can make another feel not alone. Not judging can allow God’s healing to begin.
    I am an artist. I feel that making and viewing and talking about art provides new ground to connect with others.

  12. Mino Sullivan on March 3, 2016 at 09:14

    For me, showing up is step one, even when I don’t want to. Then listening intently, really looking the person in the eyes, if possible, comes next. Asking a question, or two or three, that takes the person deeper into what they are saying, particularly asking question that illicit feelings shows interest, awareness and seems to create a sense of easy intimacy. It is only then that I add my own experience, but never from a teaching perspective. Keeping things light and using a bit of humor seems to enhance the communication. My goal is to make every interaction with another a positive uplifting (holy?) experience for both of us. This did not come naturally or easily for me. I study and practice communication skills continuously. Now, mostly by observing and copying others who are uniquely skilled at it.

  13. Debbie McMahon on March 3, 2016 at 06:59

    I can only read what others say and listen to the video. My efforts to be in relationships, despite know the mechanics of doing so, fail. I believe I am unlikable, perhaps because of some remnants of self-loathing I hold on to, but I just don’t know. There are those, like my husband, who people are automatically drawn to, who believe my husband hung the moon, even if they scarcely know him. People do not like me. They just don’t.

    • gary on March 3, 2016 at 12:42

      Debbie, I haven’t met you, but I LOVE you and will pray you’ll see that I’m not the only one praising your presence in the world.

    • Mary Lucia on March 9, 2016 at 16:35

      I agree with Gary! I LOVE you as well, and clearly God and your charming, magnetic husband do too. Your husband chose YOU, after all. Prayers for you to see yourself as God sees you.

  14. Stan on March 2, 2016 at 21:28

    Interesting question. I never had to think about that before. But I have kind of understood the answer for a long time because my relationships with people are generally good.

    Humor is key.
    Never, ever, discuss politics or religion.
    Never ridicule anybody else.
    Ask questions and pay attention.
    Thoughtful listening allows you to “connect”.

    Try to uncover each person’s likes and needs. This helps you discover where your overlaps are, which makes connections and fuels meaningful conversation.

    Always be totally open and honest.
    Always be positive and optimistic.
    Always set a good example by what you say and do.
    And don’t be afraid to be kind and loving when needed.

    Yet … even having said all of that, I’m still kind of a hermit, at heart. But I am not alone …

  15. Kristi on March 2, 2016 at 20:28

    What has really worked for me in the past few years has been improving the domain of self-care. Has my kids neared their late teens, I realize that I could really devote time and energy to caring for myself spiritually, physically and mentally . Going to church regularly and volunteering my time taking on many lay ministry duties has been so enriching. Exercising, reading, eating very healthy and just nourishing myself has helped me to feel connected to my inner spirit. I feel Stronger in a way than I did before & I’m very proud of that. In turn, I can hopefully spread that to the other primary relationships in my life.

  16. Carol Ward on March 2, 2016 at 14:54

    When you are the youngest in a family, you sit & listen to everyone else a lot. Listening ended up being one of the primary skills needed in my work. I’m a Human Resource Manager & if I didn’t listen well, I’d be in a world of hurt with the people & managers I serve. But listening is a key skill with my husband too. He loves to tell stories & if I didn’t have the patience to listen to them, there’d be a lot of friction & he’d feel devalued. I think my kids are comfortable with my presence when they are talking too. People can sense when you are really ‘with’ them & when you are just sitting there nodding your head. I know that’s what makes folks able or willing to share with you. And, my sense of humor helps a lot to put people at ease too.

  17. Eugene Wright on March 2, 2016 at 14:25

    First and foremost, I treat others the same way I want to be treated., With compassion and understanding. Being there when they are in need; to talk and to listen. Sharing and being accommodating.

  18. gwedhen nicholas on March 2, 2016 at 12:07

    Being kind helps. Also being considerate to others needs.
    And being warm in my dealings with others. Another thing is to think positively about them; with love. It is important to stay in touch, even if it is just once a year. And finally to listen when friends and acquaintances are speaking; to really hear them.

  19. Russell on March 2, 2016 at 11:20

    Laughter helps my relationships thrive. Compassion. Expressions of authentic admiration and celebration of achievements also facilitate and grow intimacy among my family, friends and acquaintances. I like to recognize others’ goodness. Listening is a place that my relationships thrive, even though it is very difficult to hear others’ troubles and struggles without trying to solve that specific problem. Companionship, fellowship, I find joy in the presence of others for meals, conversations, study. Giving my relationships the attention and time to grow, being patient, also contribute to deeper intimacy and stronger relationships for me. Praying for my family and friends deepens my appreciation for them and helps me focus on my desire for their health and safety. Honesty is something that I wish helped grow all relationships, but it doesn’t seem to work for a number of mine. This makes me wonder if these specific relationships are ever going to be healthy for either of us.

  20. Winifred on March 2, 2016 at 11:10

    Agree – I love “just do it again!”
    Really affirmed the outlook on my morning – thanks.

  21. Claire on March 2, 2016 at 10:55

    Love, love this video! And yes whatever works, do it again and again! My favorite thing is to work with others in a creative process to accomplish a goal, but fully aware that God may have another result in mind. I work mainly with children and older adults and results are not my goal. I consider this a blessing.

  22. Bettie on March 2, 2016 at 08:53

    Reaching out
    Attentive interest in them – listening,
    Doing with and for
    Accepting help

  23. William Spies on March 2, 2016 at 08:39

    listening helps.

  24. Ruth on March 2, 2016 at 08:23

    A generosity of spirit. Looking for ways to be generous to someone without anticipating or needing reciprocity.

  25. Bobbi on March 2, 2016 at 07:53

    When I remember to listen, others thrive, I thrive and our relationship thrives. By listening, I mean being very quiet, saying very little, and offering ‘wait time’ to allow the other to formulate and express to the full what he or she wants to say. Needless to say, this practice is definitely a challenge. However, as I think about the rule of life that I am growing during this Lenten series, I know that listening will be part of it.

  26. Betty Donahue on March 2, 2016 at 07:14

    One of the practices that helps my relationships with others to grow is to do something active- an excellent example of this is hiking, or walking with my husband… another example is going to a museum and walking and around and just sharing the experience of being in a new and different place. A second practice that helps my relationship with others to grow is sitting in the morning, and doing my prayers as he does his puzzles while we drink our morning coffee.

  27. Suzanne on March 2, 2016 at 07:03

    I have found that the daily practice of being with God is a golden key to my relationship with others. I’ve mentioned having a cup of coffee with God each morning. When I miss this opportunity to be quiet and reflect on who he is and who I am in him, I still go through my day, but maybe not as engaged as I did the day before. I am also in a weekly prayer group with four other women. We meet before the sun rises on Thursdays for coffee, conversation, and prayer with prayer being our primary focus. We serve as accountability partners for one another.

  28. Karen on March 2, 2016 at 07:02

    Remembering them in prayer.
    Spending time with them.
    Allowing them to help me.
    Letting them into my ‘personal space.’
    Accepting them as they are.
    Being there for them.

  29. Jim V on March 2, 2016 at 06:41

    I think it simply boils down to being with other people. I am one to dread occasions, but have often after the fact had felt “that was life giving and I am glad I did that”.
    For family, that is just visiting of meals together or really doing anything together
    For coworkers it is parties or celebrations
    For friends it’s a night out, or like family doing anything together
    For community it is church or fellowship or working together for some common good.

  30. Muriel Akam on March 2, 2016 at 03:46

    Keeping in touch i.e. regular communication with others helps maintain and grow relationships which is nourishing to one both spiritually and emotionally even if it is only on social media.. Praying to God, remembering Jesus’s teachings is necessary to maintain a Christian perspective of life which is nourishing to my inner and outer self. It is encouraging in every way.

  31. Mrs T on March 2, 2016 at 02:18

    Taking the time to be kind through some small surprise act. Making time to spend with them ,remembering them before God .

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