I can’t tell you how excited I am about this part of my “intentional” plan. When I was sitting in retreat at St. James this January I was thinking about a lot of things, including what my word for the year was going to be. Even though I just landed on intentional last week…I was thinking about other things I wanted to do with my year.
One of them is what I am super excited about today. But first, let me ask you a few questions…
Have you ever wondered if people see you? Like really see you? Have you ever felt invisible?
Have you ever felt like the good you put into the universe is ignored? Overlooked? Unappreciated?
Have you ever felt like people only notice what you aren’t doing to their specifications instead of all the good things you do on a regular basis?
Have you ever felt like you aren’t enough…like you could always do more?
If you are a parent…do you ever lie in bed and think about all the things you want for your kids and stress about how you will get to it all?
If you are a teenager do you ever feel like you are alone? Like you are the only one who understands your exact predicament?
Have you ever let yourself down?
If you are a human that cares about other humans, I’m guessing the answer is YES to more than one of these questions.
As a teacher, coach and mom I often wonder if I am heard or seen. Don’t get me wrong, I know that I am appreciated by many…but I do believe we live in a world where often times the extra stuff we do to make someone else’s day better or easier or to make them feel seen, makes the person doing those things feel like they don’t exist. We also live in a world where we are buried in our own problems (or phone) and aren’t necessarily noticing all the awesome that is around us on a daily basis.
How many times do you tell someone (not in your immediate family) that they are doing a good job…at anything?
Sadly, in today’s world, it’s unnatural to do so.
That’s what I want to change.
As I sat in the chapel that day and reflected on these questions, I mostly thought about ways I could change this problem. How could I make a small impact on people’s answers to these questions?
Of course, I want to instill this in our own children as well…but the bottom line is it costs me nothing to pay someone else a compliment or to make someone else feel good about themselves. It’s like Gaga always said when we were kids, “a smile costs you nothing, but it could open up a lot of doors.” That always stuck with me and as a result, I’ve always been a smiler; so I am hoping that my desire to celebrate people’s awesome will rub off on my kids someday too.
At this point in the retreat I started to doodle.
Then I called my former player, now colleague and friend, Taylor Nill, who has creative abilities I will never possess and I asked her if she could design something for me that says “I see you” that would mirror my drawing.
Taylor being Taylor said she would absolutely help me and she delivered my stickers last Friday.
I then ordered myself a custom made stamp with my celebr8awesome logo on it (also created by Taylor).
My plan is to put a sticker on the front of a note card and my stamp on the back and write someone a note everyday about something I see them doing that is awesome. My plan is to make people feel seen.
My mom also taught me that you get what you expect in life. That was always meant to motivate us to have really high expectations of not only ourselves but the people we allow in our lives. So, as a result, my expectations of myself are off the charts (as are my expectations for those closest to me) and may not always be totally reasonable at times.
But…this makes me, me.
One thing that has always fulfilled me are words of affirmation. Because I am so hard on myself, I think it has always helped me to hear that I am doing a good job either in the spoken word or written down on paper. Sometimes, I don’t feel seen and words of affirmation help to make me feel like I am. So in the spirit of all of this…I really wanted to reflect on how I could make others feel seen and this is what I came up with.
For the next year, every day I will write one of these cards to someone. It may be a colleague, it may be a family member, it may be a student in my classes or a player on my team, it may even be a stranger and I cannot tell you how excited I am about it.
I wrote my first one tonight.
I hope that anyone reading this will join me in letting others know they are seen or at the very least, go out of your way to look for the awesome in others and tell them when you see it. I’m so stinking excited about this!