A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending a very powerful conference called Making Things Happen in NC. It’s been a conference I’ve wanted to attend for quite some time after following Lara Casey and Emily Ley and their daily doses of inspiration and encouragement for the last couple of years. I’m still working through all the “stuff” that came up for me at the conference and the areas that have really challenged me to think and act differently. I’ll share them over the next few weeks but I think the one that really came to the surface for me last week was building authentic relationships and encouraging others.
Speaking of authentic relationships and people that encourage – this picture makes my heart happy
“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”. This quote became a very powerful one for me. At the conference they asked us to list the 5 people we spend the most time with. Now…this doesn’t necessarily mean the people you physically spend the most time with but the people that really take up the most head space for you. Most people would probably say spouse, significant other, children, parents, etc. – and hopefully those are all positive people in your life (I’m truly lucky that they are in my life!). But…we all almost always have someone on this list that isn’t necessarily positive and uplifting. It could be a boss or co-worker that sucks the energy right out of us every single work day, a friend that has betrayed us, it could even be someone on Facebook that continuously spues out negative propaganda. You know who that person is, right? We all have them…that person on Facebook or Twitter that’s constantly putting out nasty grams. It could even be someone you compare yourself to in your life or in your business. Sometimes that person can take up a lot of head space for you and take you away from truly enjoying your own life, work, business.
This is where this exercise became powerful for me…I will admit - when I really thought of my 5 there were at least two that really don’t serve me in any positive way. I had to think about it for a while – why do I hold onto them? why do I continue to let them add negativity into my life? why do I allow them to take up valuable head space for me when I could be giving that space to someone that is authentic, real and that encourages me? Well, this week I wrote down this list again and deleted them – crossed them right off my list. Not only that – I’m working on gutting my Facebook and Twitter feeds…getting rid of all those negative Nelly’s and filling them back up with the positive Polly’s. I like how Nancy Ray said it, “I want to be more intentional about spending quality time with quality people”
I wrote down a goal for myself this year and that is to make one new authentic and lasting friendship. This might not sound like much and may seem easy to do but I think it’s hard to find these days. I’ve always considered myself a person that has a million friends, makes friends easily and never met a stranger. I’m also very fortunate to have an amazing group of friends across the miles from every stage of my life. But I think based on my list of 5 I have some work to do with who I’m giving my head space to and now that I’ve got some room on my list I’m ready to fill it back up with authentic friendships whether new or old!
Last week Keith and I experienced something that has been the most significant moment in our entire marriage so far. Something that was truly tragic but at the same time so deeply profound and moving. This experience has provided an opportunity for growth, a lesson, a choice in how we decide to react to it. It’s definitely taught us that life is precious and entirely too short and we need to live the best life we can now. Sorry to be somewhat cryptic but still processing through it all and I’m sure there will be more to come on it. However, the event’s of last week really helped solidify the need for only authentic relationships in my life and surrounding myself with only those that lift me up but also to really be that for other people. This can really come in all forms.
Last week in the midst of heartache, tears and deep reflection came this beauty below in my mailbox. Are you kidding me?!?! How beautiful is this and how meaningful those two words are to me right now. This puppy is from Jacin from Lovely Little Details - a source of encouragement for me since I started this little blog. She and I started blogging just about the same time about three years ago during our own wedding planning process. We quickly became blogger friends and watched each other on a very similar journey from full time jobs to wedding planning businesses and so much more. This girl has been on fire every since – she’s amazing! We had the pleasure of meeting about two years ago in San Francisco over margaritas – boy how we’ve changed and grown since that meeting. All the while Jacin has been commenting on my silly little blog posts, liking my Facebook and Twitter posts and sending me little notes and instant messages of encouragement along the way. She is a perfect example of encouraging others – I know I’m not the only one that got this beautifully framed print last week – she spread love all over with this small but powerful gesture! And it spoke to me at just the right time (and Jacin…little did you know that coming off the MTH Conference they asked us how we felt and my one word was STILL! – you read my mind)
So…that leads me to another goal of mine this year – to encourage someone every day. Like I said, this can come in many forms. This can be as simple as commenting on someone’s Facebook status, blog post or Instagram photo. That seems funny but I’ve had folks that follow me that I’ve never met before but I feel like they are cheering me on, supporting me, encouraging me. You never know when you could say or do something that could help lift someone’s spirits. And doesn’t it make you feel good when you can bring a smile to someone’s face? It does me and sometimes it helps lift me up when I’m needing a little boost.
Who are you going to encourage this week?
Ok – I’m off…ready to start a fresh new week and ready to encourage.