I’m sending hugs and love your way today as we wrap up the week.
And, I’ve got a fun gift idea for you, too!
What I like about it is that it is a gift for someone you love, but also the making of it is a gift for YOU!
Yesterday I was texting with my dear friend Tamara who was packing up to leave a place that has had a special place in her heart. I encouraged her to turn on her audio recorder (on her phone) while she walking outside and to record a message of appreciation to that beautiful place.
While recording, she would naturally pick up the sounds of the waves crashing on her favorite beach or dishes clattering at the cafe she frequented. She might unintentionally capture snippets of conversation or music.
So, the reason this is a gift to herself is probably obvious. She is creating a “audio souvenir” that is filled with the joy of being in a place she loves.
How does this become a gift?
Consider making a similar kind of audio recording when you are vacationing with people, visiting a favorite cafe, or walking down a road you once shared with someone in your life.
Here are a few examples:
- You are passing by your college campus and choose to stop to look around. While you are there, you make a recording to one of your college besties and say, “Can you hear that water in the background? That’s the DePauw fountain! I’m walking on campus right now and thinking of the countless times you and I sat right here, laughing or crying together!”
- You are walking by the carousel in your local park. You turn on your recorder and capture the whimsical music as it twirls. You say to your mom, “Remember when you were visiting me and we rode the carousel? You hopped on the tallest horse and I rode the big-eared bunny! I love that memory and hope we get to ride again soon.
- You are visiting a friend in her home and are spending time making cookies with her young daughters while she is running an errand. You turn on the recorder amidst the laughter and clatter of cookie making and you ask your friend’s daughters to say hello or sing a silly song. Maybe you invite them to tell you what they love about their lives, their family home, or about their mom.
You can send this audio to your friend right away.
Or, you can hold onto it to send when they are feeling down or you know they could use a special connection from you.
Why did I say this is also a gift to yourself? Because it is a wonderful way to stop and put a frame around a moment or memory. It is a way to anchor in joy by creating joy!
Rick Hanson, author of “Buddha’s Brain,” tells us that the brain is like teflon for the good stuff and velcro for the bad stuff. In order to make the good stuff stick, we need to intentionally focus on it. Making recordings of memories or magical moments is a great way to do this for yourself.
(And to gift it to others!)
If you are thinking, “this sounds too simple,” I want you to pause and consider how impactful the “simple” things can be in our lives. A smile or wave from a neighbor when we are walking down the street, a polite driver who gestures us to go first, a cheery whistling from someone in line at the store — don’t these all give us such an uplift?
So, sometimes when our gestures of love are small ones, we might think they don’t really “count.” We may not even think of them as gifts. (But they are!)
I’m here to remind you that gifts are not always material things we go out and buy for someone. Gifts are not always things we wrap in pretty paper.
A gift is an expression of love, appreciation, generosity, positivity, or good energy that we give to someone because we want to intentionally offer them uplift or let them know we care.
I made that definition up! (And I have said this before!)
But, I like it. (And want to keep reminding all of us!)
Do you like it?
I think we need to reinvent the way we see gifts in our culture because that will enable to us realize that we can celebrate and appreciate people way way more.
It makes life extra fun!
Let’s rethink the way we see gifts!
Gifts do not have to cost a certain amount of money or be certain type of anything.
Gifts are anytime we reach out with love and thoughtfulness. Period.
YOU can be someone who brings people in your life surprise LOVE.
Will you do it?
We all need more joy and celebration right now.
How about if YOU are the one to sound it out loud today!?
Seek celebration — even in dark corners,