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Show Up. Notice. Appreciate.

Over the past few weeks, I have been in a bit of a mood. In addition to being extra kind to myself, I have been challenging myself to: Show Up. Notice. Appreciate. 

Here is what I mean:

  • Reaching out to an old friend 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 spouse’s 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. (or down the stairs if she is working from home)
  • Paying for the coffee for the person behind you.

These are all small, little, seemingly insignificant acts. Yet, I have realized two things about little things.

  1. They are often more potent than 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?

A few days ago, a friend dropped off a paperwhite bulb in a glass jar with a simple note. Every time I see that bulb sitting on our window sill, I smile, thinking of her.

So I started thinking about #2 above–we don’t do them enough–as I asked myself, 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. (This is why I have been challenging myself to do it because it helps me move beyond the busy, frazzled, stressed way of being)

AND I think the times that we might come up with a creative, fun, little idea; we talk ourselves out of it by saying, “I don’t want to bother them” or “what will they think?” 

Which I admit is frequently where my thoughts take me, 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: Show Up. Be present to yourself and those around you.

Second: Notice. Notice those you love, notice people around you, notice the stranger who is struggling or the friend who is succeeding

Finally: Reach Out. Appreciate the little things in those you love.

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.