Our words are stunningly powerful, they have the power to tear down or build up, open doors or slam them shut. I watched a beautiful video some time ago about a tribe that, rather than punish a member for going astray, would powerfully remind them of their true self. They would surround them in a circle and speak only the uplifting truth of who that person really is, they know that we are all created good, beautiful, whole beings of love. If we are committing hurtful acts unto others there can be only one reason, and that is because we are hurting, hurting inside from the forgetting of who we really are. This tribe knows that it is their place to reflect back to them, until they remember, the glory of their true self.
(If you happen to know what video I'm talking about, I would love that link again, so please pass it along so I might share with everyone here. Thanks.)
In thinking proactively, what if we were to begin a practice of love-bombing each other on a regular basis? What if we strengthened the muscle of really noticing the other. Really noticing how awesome that musician was you watched last night, how she seemed to become one with her fiddle and make magic ring through the air, and then share that unabashedly, let her know, even if she's a stranger. What if we noticed more of the greatness in our loved ones, and less of anything else? How much would that mean to our loved ones if we shared their greatness that we see out loud so they could see that we see their greatness.
When I'm working with clients who are finding their way through a rough patch and feeling stuck seeing it play out, over and over in just one way, one little exercise that I often suggest is to keep a list of evidence to the contrary. Say they are really stuck feeling that their child is always unhelpful or defiant, I will have them become a detective for any evidence that begins to break the myth of that story, any little time their child is willingly helpful they will write that down on their list. The list is meant to be kept somewhere that is seen often, somewhere they can pause and replay that positive moment in their mind's eye. By doing this simple exercise the story begins to shift, and we begin to see the truth a bit more clearly. In this way the story we think of as truth itself, begins to change.
Now here's the real kicker, what if we allowed that reflection of our greatness to really sink in... What if, the next time someone reflects your greatness back to you, you close your eyes and breath in for just a moment, let it settle. Rick Hanson, author of Hardwiring Happiness, talks about our brain having a bias for the negative. It makes sense evolutionarily speaking. We want to remember the danger spots, the berry that might kill us, right? This is a great mechanism for surviving, but not so much for thriving.
Most of us are conditioned to think that it's somehow wrong to acknowledge ourselves when we show up our best, we spend way more time harping on our faults, playing them over, again and again and again, in our mind, strengthening the truth of that negative story in our brain, no wonder it's so hard to rise to our highest potential. What if acknowledging our greatness gave our children the permission to do the same, to be their awesome self, and feel content in that existence.
A beautiful teacher of mine and magician of writing prompts, Hannah Marcotti, blessed us with the inspiration to be bold, to collect, to dig out of the dusty corners the evidence and stand in the shining glory of our reflection. To feel graced by the love notes, encouragement, true words that our dear ones have taken the time to gift us with, that is what's desired when we offer a gift of kindness isn't it, for it to be received?
So with a deep breath, I hear your kind words, I accept your words as truth.....
"Mariah, thank you for being the light of possibility"
She said, "You are an amazing inspiration."
She said, "God bless you for making it your business to be the sanity you wish for in this world."
She said, "We've been really challenged this week in my house. I don't know what I would've done without all the tools I've found within myself thanks to my work with you."
She said, "You are a beautiful leader and mentor for me."
She said, "thank you for being such a good friend and great listener."
She said, Thank you for holding space for me."
She said, "You embody Mama Earth, your vibe is radiant and beautiful."
She said, "I love this Peaceful Warrior and her strong stand for Hope."
She said, "Thanks for answering your call and for shining a light in our communities which so sorely need it!"
She said, "You are truly a gifted storyteller and empathy guide"
She said, "Your energy and insights are just like a vortex of magic!"
She said, "thank you for being you."
She said, "I love you, Ri."
When I find myself in the darkness of the waning moon, with corresponding lackluster energy, and in the midst of that blah and my mind begins to doubt, and sadness tries to creep into the space that sleep is meant to inhabit, I do believe that these words will anchor me in truth. When I need to feel my tribe encircle me, comfort me until the energy of the rising sun has returned, so that I might remember who I really am, and that my work in the world indeed matters, I will hold your words close and breath them back in to my being!