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Show Up. Notice. Appreciate.

The little things:
  • The sympathetic smile at a mom as she tries to deal with her child’s melt down at the grocery store.
  • Reaching out to an old friend just to say hi and I am thinking of you.
  • Emailing someone who has inspired you to say thanks
  • Recognizing that even though it is your spouses ‘turn’ to cook dinner, you could help him out by getting things started.
  • Putting a note in your child’s lunch box.
  • Having your wife’s favorite drink poured and ready for her when she walks in the door.
  • Paying for the coffee for the person behind you.
These are all small, little, seemingly insignificant acts.  I have realized 2 things about little things.
  1. They are often more powerful then huge grand gestures.
  2. We don’t do them enough.

Last week I received a simple 2-line email from a reader who just said thank you.  That’s it. Simple and sweet.  That simple email made me smile for days. With that simple gesture, I felt seen and I felt appreciated.  Isn’t that what most of us are looking for…to be seen, to be appreciated?

So I started thinking about #2 above–why don’t we engage in these small activities more?  I think for some of us, we are just too busy, too frazzled, too stressed to even think of the small way we can show up for people.  AND I think the times that we might come up with a clever, fun, ‘little’ idea, we talk ourselves out of it by saying  “I don’t want to bother them” or “what will they think”. (Admittedly something I am guilty of)

And to that I say WHAT?!?!?  We don’t want to bother someone by noticing them and appreciating them?!?!  We are afraid someone might be ‘put off’ by appreciating them.

So I present a challenge to us for this holiday season.

First off:Show Up. Be present to yourself and to those around you.
Secondly: Notice.  Notice those you love, notice people around you, notice the stranger who is struggling or the friend who is succeeding
Finally: Reach Out.

We don’t need to do something grand or magnificent to help people feel seen and appreciated.  Do something little, something caring, something unexpected.  Just do something.

Three simple steps.  Show Up. Notice. Appreciate.

I would absolutely love to hear YOUR theories on why we don’t engage in the little things more often.  Feel free to share in the comments below.

Thanks to those who participated in the Name Your Dream Contest:  I decided to aware a movie to all the participants!  Congratulations Beth, Stacey and Sondra! Here’s to Naming our Dreams!!

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