Our words have more power than you will ever know.
There have been two specific acknowledgement exercises in my life that I will never forget – one of which happened today.
They both involve expressing gratitude and celebrating each other for who we are. I have found them so powerful and inspiring, the effects have been profound.
Both exercises have been with my wonderful teams at lululemon athletica. I wanted to share them with you in the hope that you can experience the deep sense of gratitude that comes from them. You could get together with your colleagues, friends, family or community group.
2 WAYS TO ROCK OUT ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:
1) The ‘Love Note’ Exercise
Create a small card for each person with the heading “I like (person X) because . . . “. Write down the reasons why you like that person (*tip – make sure it’s authentic to you!). Pass the note around the group so that everyone has input on each individual card. It can be a word or a sentence, anything that springs to mind when you think of why you like that person – big or small. Present the card to the recipient & voila! Stand back and watch the look on their face, it’s absolutely priceless.
Below is the love note I received today, something I will cherish forever –
2) The ‘Acknowledgement Circle’
Gather into small groups of 3-5 people. Pick someone to begin with, and start by going around the group and saying the following “(Person X), who you are for me is . . . ” ie/ “Dave, who you are for me is an inspiring cheerleader who always supports my growth.” Then follow this with the statement “What I wish for you is . . .”. Look into their eyes as you tell them, and share generously from your own experience of them. Once everyone has said their part, move onto the next person until everyone in the group has been acknowledged.
Now these exercises aren’t difficult, or timely, or expensive – but the result? It’s huge –
The biggest sense of sincere gratitude, love and genuine celebration of who were are.
As Mother Teresa once said –
“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”
Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the beautiful words you say today, but the recipient may cherish them over a lifetime.
There is such power in sharing our appreciation and gratitude for others. Maybe because it’s such a rare occurrence. We often think positive things about others, but rarely communicate it. Whether you are hesitant to be vulnerable, or worried about what the other person may think of you, or simply just forget to – there’s something that holds us back.
My experience has been, if I am thinking it – I should say it. Don’t be stingy with expressing your feelings for others, be a generous giver that shares without hesitation.
We are our harshest critics, and we often focus on the things we would like to change about ourselves, the parts of our personality we are dissatisfied with, we beat ourselves up over ‘bad’ decisions, our physical looks, we compare ourselves to others – when in all honesty, those around us only ever see our truest beauty.
These exercises made that so abundantly clear to me.
The people closest to us are the best witness to our soul, and it’s so important to get that outside perspective on ourselves once in a while.
This only reinforces what I am such an advocate for – TO JUST BE YOURSELF!
Embrace your uniqueness – because trying to be anything other than the magical being you are is just futile. We all have a unique gift to offer this world, what is yours?
So accept the praise and the acknowledgement you will receive with these exercises – take the upgrade!
It’s time to celebrate who you are.