One of my favorite things is encouraging people. Growing up, my dad always told me to speak life into other people. People are like flowers, if you water them, give them some light, they’ll bloom and flourish. If you neglect them, the opposite can happen. If you look around today there’s a lack of encouragement and kindness online, and even in our day to day culture. A week ago, I posted a video about Encouragement and an easy way to remember how to do so daily with an Acronym of PB&J. Possibilities, Beauty and a Job well done! In making it accessible to all, I put it in a blog post, with ways you can implement these concepts. My hope in you learning about PB&J is that you will go out into your neighborhood and world, and bring a little more hope, joy, and kindness to those you meet.
-Seeing a friend’s possibility in an idea: If you have a friend who has a new idea, speak life into it. Maybe she wants to try sculpting clay! Worst that happens: she buys clay, and it doesn’t turn out the way she’d like and she doesn’t do it again. Maybe, though, she discovers a joy in working with clay. Often times people wet blanket themselves with talking themselves out of trying something new, for fear of sounding stupid, or looking out of place. Don’t be their wet blanket, ask why they are interested in it. Ask what do they hope to get out of it? We lose some of our sense of play as we get older, we could use a little in our lives. Encourage play when you see it!
-Someone going out on a limb: If someone says something that hits the spot, maybe they give you a word, or message you at the moment where you were wondering if anyone even realized you didn’t show up that night, let them know. They might be on a ledge themselves and are venturing out in messaging you, or saying something to you. Encouragement can have ripple effects. If a friend goes out of their way to help you, be grateful, help them know that it was appreciated. Do not take people for granted.
-Your own ideas: Often times we are quick to build up other people, “Yeah! Start that business, Yes! Go lift and get fit, Yes! You would be amazing as a foster mom!” But we tear down our own ideas. I saw a video that had two women write down all the things they said to themselves throughout the day, then they had to say those things to their best friend sitting across from them. No one made it through the exercise without sobbing and saying, ‘I don’t believe those things about you’. So why do we believe them about ourselves? We can’t follow every idea, but we can buy a sketch book, and do one drawing a week, or go volunteer at the homeless shelter, or take one small step towards your idea. Talk to yourself like you talk to your best friend. Don’t entertain your enemies thoughts towards yourself.
-This can be the obvious things of someone who is wearing some fun colors, or has confidence, or is flashy. But take time to also compliment people on their kindness, their generosity, on their deep hugs, or the way they SEE you. Beauty comes in all forms; sometimes it’s sparkle jackets, and sometimes it’s someone taking thirty minutes to sit with you in their home over coffee to hear your story. Let beauty surprise you, and wrap you in a hug. Soak in it, like you’d soak in a bubble bath.
-We often see beauty outside, in a rainstorm, a rainbow, or a wonderful view of the ocean, or the way the wind caresses a field of wheat. Take a sacred moment when you see it. Put your palms up, close your eyes, relax your shoulders and take it in. In our go-go-go world we can go so quickly we forget to breathe in these wondrous moments that are glorious. This should be obvious: but don’t do this if you are driving. Instead put on the Jurassic Park soundtrack and enjoy and keep driving.
-Be grateful for the beauty in your life, I am currently doing the #Last90Days with Rachel Hollis, and each day we write down 10 things we are grateful for in that specific day. It’s a beautiful way to cultivate gratitude for the small beautiful things in your day. Maybe someone smiled at you at work, your husband did the dishes, you got in and crushed that workout, or you saw a butterfly. Paying attention to beauty, helps you see it more often when it pops up in your life.
Job Well Done:
-People work hard. There are many jobs that go without thanks, but are integral in running our society. Our garbage men, the people who clean the bathrooms, mail folk, ladies at the cash register. All these and more go to do the best they can with what they are able to. Build them up, say thank you and mean it, look them in the eyes. People aren’t machines, and we can’t treat them as such. Use empathy as much as possible.
-When you asked someone to do it, and they did: I know that when I clean the kitchen and my husband comments on it, I am more likely and more excited to clean it the next day, (although if I had a self-cleaning kitchen I’d be about that life in a heartbeat). Thanking and appreciating someone for something you asked them to do doesn’t demean their work, or negate that you asked. It means you noticed. Say thank you, because they followed through. Building that follow through muscle comes from practice, time, and encouragement.
PB&J is easy to remember, and simple in practice of it, these are just three ways to encourage those around you, although there are many more. While you do PB&J, Possibilities, Beauty and Job Well Done, don’t forget to do this for yourself as well. When you show up for work, give yourself some appreciation, when you get out of bed, you are facing the day, when you go work out, you are taking care of your body. Tell yourself thank you for showing up for your life and putting in the work. As you give encouragement to those around you, you’ll see more beauty and will live a life more aware of the possibilities around you.
Love God, Love People, Change the World,
And as always Sing your Soul Song Lovelies,