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just.be.you.

07-24-2015

Imagine this: you’re walking down the street and someone comes up to you and says, “Hi! I’m spreading the message that the world needs the real you. I would like to give you this be you button as a reminder.”

How awesome is that? In this culture of not-enough and be-more and get-with-the-program, what a gift to be invited, nay encouraged, to be myself.

The oh-so-awesome woman in the photo above, who actually did stand on the street handing out be you buttons is Lisa Myers. I was lucky enough to be her coach through the process of creating this feel-good project.

Lisa knew she wanted to do something uplifting and creative. She told me she often noticed folks on the street who hold up signs when they need food, work, or money. I remember her musing about how wonderful it might be to have a different kind of roadside sign — one that offers something. So Lisa created her be you Project, a somewhat simple idea involving printing some buttons and making a sign.

The not-so-simple part was overcoming self-consciousness about putting herself out there like that. That takes gumption! But I remember Lisa saying how much she has been inspired by people who are willing to be out there in the world, offering something unique to others — like the people who give free hugs.  Lisa was willing to push at the edges of her comfort zone in order to do something meaningful and fun for others.

So Lisa printed up her buttons, made her cardboard sign, and took to the streets to be a spark of magic and inspiration.

***

I first met Lisa at a women’s retreat. Lisa has a way of being totally honest and open and it is really refreshing. She has a quirky sense of humor and an amazing writing style. She’s herself in the world. And you know what? By being just exactly who she is, she invites others to do so.

Usually my writings here center on some sort of celebration or on one-of-a-kind gifts. I think this story is about both. Lisa’s creative project of standing on the streets handing out be you buttons is definitely something that turns an ordinary day into something extraordinary. It is a celebration. And, just like I talked about in my last email to you, (“What do water balloons have to do with anything?”) Lisa’s be you events in the world are experiential gifts. They’re gifts of energy, connection, and memorable moments.

***

Once, after she had passed out a bunch of buttons, Lisa was headed back home. She happened to pass a teenage girl, who had taken about a dozen buttons to give her friends. Lisa said the girl was sitting on the curb, with her back to Lisa, talking on the phone. Lisa overheard the young girl say, “Yeah, the coolest thing just happened…this lady gave me a handful of buttons that say be you. I just love that.”

How great to have even just one person be impacted positively by a conscious gesture in the world. This teenager may always remember “the lady who gave away buttons on the street.” Maybe someday she’ll be inspired to do something out-of-the-box herself because of Lisa. Who knows?! And chances are that almost everyone who received a button from Lisa was changed in some way because of it.

You may not feel as brave or creative as Lisa. But maybe there is some amazing project you’d like to embark upon that would be a sparkling pinprick of light in the world? If there is, and you need some cheerleading along the way, let me know. I had a blast coaching with Lisa for this project. I’d love to work with you, too. Check out my Jumpstart Juicy special.

Or, if it suits you better, just think of Lisa one day and do just a little something out of the ordinary to make someone smile. Surprise the person in line ahead of you by buying his ice-cream cone. Strike up a conversation with an elderly lady on the bus and listen intently. Buy a few sunflowers and give them to store clerks where you shop. Send an anonymous note thanking someone for a kind deed you witnessed. Wear a costume to the grocery store.

Be a gift.

And remember, always be you. Because that is what makes you an extraordinary gift.

With gratitude to Lisa for her inspiration—
Delights,
Sherry

 

P.S. Lisa generously gave me some be you buttons that I could pass out to people. Yay! Do you know someone who could use a little encouragement to simply be themself in the world? (Is “themself” a word? I prefer a single word rather than the ole himself/herself but maybe I don’t have an option? But wait … I’m just gonna take a page from Lisa’s book and be me. I mean, be myself. I’m gonna use the word “themself” ‘cuz I want to!)  If you do know of someone who needs a boost of “be-you-ness,” let me know. Be one of the first three folks to send me an email with the snail mail address of a loved one, and I will send them a cheery note + a be you button! Remember, the snail mail address is really important cuz this ain’t no eButton! This is a Be-button.

Don’t forget what Oscar Wilde said: “Be you— because everyone else is taken.” {Hee hee.}

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