who fuels you?

Do you realise how powerful your words of encouragement are?

Why is it that we hang onto negative comments, or constructive feedback so much tighter than we do positive, kind words?

I can bring to mind within seconds any comments that have been critical, constructive or downright hurtful – yet ask me to list all the wonderful, positive affirmations that I have received over the years and I’d have to really rummage around to find these buried deep in the recesses of my memory bank.

Most people I coach are exactly the same. When asked what they are great at, what they do best in the world – the answers trickle in slowly and cautiously, like pulling teeth. Yet when I ask people to step outside of themselves, and think about what other people would say; what they are often complimented on, what people rely on them for, what their friends or family would say they are great at – it becomes so much easier to rattle off their strengths.

Why do we do this?!

Perhaps it’s a fear of looking full of ourselves, or that we will seem too ego driven.

Or perhaps we are better at acknowledging the greatness in others, ahead of the greatness in ourselves.

So I shared with you previously how a year ago I took the plunge, and moved to the other side of the world. What i didn’t tell you, was the support network that gave me the courage to leap into the unknown.

I am blessed to come from one of the most nurturing families on earth. As the years go by, I am feeling more and more grateful. I have only been met with possibility, love, support and encouragement from all of them, and this was so evident when I made the decision to move overseas. My chosen people, my “sista’s from anotha mista” are also responsible for giving me the strength and belief in myself that made this scary big move possible.

These people really did fuel me on my adventure.

I took three pieces of gold with me onto the plane that day. Three handwritten letters, from my twin sister, and my two best friends.

I knew it was going to be one of those ugly cry moments when I finally read them.  As I sat on the plane on the third leg of my epic flight, I finally felt ready to open them. At the risk of sounding like I’m tooting my own horn, I want to share some excerpts from these letters with you. In doing so I hope to highlight how important our relationships are with each other, and the power that we all have in supporting those we love:

  • “If there were to be anyone taking a trip like this with such an open mind, heart and determination to explore the world – it would be you. With your passion for adventure, optimistic attitude and zest for life, only time will tell what magical knowledge, experience, and people you will meet along the way . . . you are a gift to this world and it is waiting for you to experience it all.”
  • “Wishing you the most fun filled, adventurous and life changing trip! Smile, dance, sing and enjoy every single day of your amazing adventure! I’ll be there with you in spirit!! I’ll miss you madly and be thinking of you constantly.”
  • “You have such a power Jules, a spiritual energy that not many people posses, and I hope you harness that super power in every situation going forward because your unique instincts will only propel you to your amazing fate.”

I still get choked up when I think of the love, the encouragement and the unwavering belief in me they had.

They believed in my vision more than I did – that’s an incredible thing to feel. Their inspiring words empowered me and reinforced why I was on this journey. My head space went from one of anxiety and fear of the unknown, to one of quiet confidence and a deep belief that everything would be ok, because I was strong, capable and deserving.

I cannot tell you what that support meant to me sitting on an airplane headed to a foreign land. Their love gave me the courage to leap into the new chapter of my life.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to acknowledge other people. Never underestimate the role this encouragement plays in shaping those around us. It fuels, gives strength, lights fire and fosters belief.

“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

We assume that others know the greatness that lies within them, but we all need constant reminders. Often it’s as simple as  holding up a mirror just so others can see how wonderful they truly are.

We are not islands.

We all need to relate to others, to feel connected, and most of all – to feel LOVED.

Thank you to all my energy sources, you know who you are.

Who can you fuel today?

youthinkyourenot

acknowledgement party!

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 –

lovenote

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!

live your passions they have more power than you know.

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.

fabulous

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There is so much beauty to be found in the perceived flawed, the unravelled, the imperfect, the raw & the crumbling. If we could see this within ourselves as well as we can appreciate it in the outside world, oh what a joy it would be! 🙌🏼
How much self love & appreciation there would be, along with a total disregard for comparison. 💕
YOU are perfect!
👌🏼 Missing the heat, the bright blue skies & the beautiful madness that is Morocco. (But most of all missing my twin & travel buddy! 😢) What an adventure we had 🙌🏼 😂 those Sunday feels . . . ✌🏼If I could leave the house wrapped in my doona,
I would. Brrr ❄️ Oh how I've missed the food from home! Such fresh, healthy, delicious goodness 😍 🌱
This is a Buddha Bowl from my local vegan cafe - quinoa, Kim chi, satay tofu, beetroot relish, roasted pumpkin & rocket. SO GOOD! 😋(My Nan even had her first vegan meal & loved it - she wants to buy cashew cheese 😂!) "It feels good to be lost in the right direction" ✌🏼💙 Wandering the lanes in one of my favourite places in Morocco, a blue city built into the mountain side. The secret tonic to creativity. To living a life of freedom, vitality, exploration & adventure 🙌🏼
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