These are some of my favorite people

I want to introduce you to some of my favorite people.

MC. She writes a list every single day. She has come to be the anchor of it all.

Lisa creates whimsical word-smithing delights and deep spiritual lessons with every list she shares.

Shayna pops in with a smidge of self-deprecating humor and a then a big dollop of deep personal insight.

Emily writes from L.A., talking about her beloved Atty, her new job writing for a big time Hollywood star, and reminds us all to that our lives are important.

Blaire’s lists took us on a tour of the U.S. as she hopped from city to city performing her heart out while keeping her body and mind healthy.

Nikki shares truths and profound triumphs about her life and family, much of what she discovers on her long walking meditations.

Lupe is determined to find love 200%. So are a few of the others.

This is just a small snapshot of the people on my gratitude list. There are several more beloved souls.

Community and Sharing

Today I want to talk about community and why having the courage to share the juicy, raw, dirty, love or sorrow filled details of your life is one of the most powerful things you can do.

Six years ago, in one of my very first workshops, I started a yahoo group (this was in the olden days before Facebook groups).  I gave everyone the assignment to share 10 things they were grateful for THAT day and 10 things coming up in their lives that they were excited about.

Each participant not only shared their lists, but in turn of course got to read everyone else’s lists.

As time went on and I ran more workshops, people were added to the list. Some stayed on and continued to write.  Some went on their merry way. Either was perfect.

Flash forward 6 years.

The workshop as it was no longer exists.

The original assignment is long gone.

And yet, every single day I get emails from members of ICWGRATSWED (the very random name of our group).  Emails filled with gratitude, inspiration, and endless, and I mean endless words of support from people now all over the country, some of whom I have not seen in ages.

To my very pleasant surprise, not only has the act of writing these lists brought a great amount of pleasure and peace to everyone, but the act of witnessing other people’s lives has brought even more joy than I ever would have imagined.

As the lists have evolved to include prayers, brags, and requests for support, it is a given that each email will be an honest, genuine look into someone’s life, near or far. Each one is an act of vulnerability and truth, detailing the very real moments of our day-to-day lives.

Here are a few of the most important things I have learned from starting and being a part of gratitude/excitement/brag/prayer list and why you might want to consider starting one or joining one.

1. You get to know people in a way that most of us do not know each other.

Most of us do not share our daily triumphs, fears, reflections and prayers with even our closest friends. Nor do we ask our friends to share theirs with us.

And yet, something quite profound happens when you begin to share the fine details of your life with people who you know will not judge, but will simply be a pillar of love and support.

Not in the “Oh yeah, I read about that on Facebook” kind of way, but in a way that is sacred and whole.

It’s as if you are keeping each other’s precious secrets and building trust as you support each other’s dreams.

2. Holding space and supporting someone else’s success or struggle builds a compassionate and open heart, leading to deeper self-acceptance.

While each of us share the inner workings of our life through these lists, we are also called upon to witness and acknowledge the same inner workings, triumphs and true losses in someone else life.

When you allow yourself to accept the (not always so beautiful or perfect) parts of other peoples lives with a non-judgmental gaze, you become kinder towards your own downfalls.

Even better, when you allow yourself to feel the true delight in someone else’s success, almost as if it were your own, you begin to eliminate a sense of competition and “not enough”-ness.

3. You pay attention to your life in a new way.

The feeling I get when I hit COMPOSE in order to share a list of my own is unlike any other feeling I get when writing an email.

I am instantly triggered into a state of mind where I want to be real, vulnerable, kind, generous, specific, abundant, and unafraid.

It’s a wonderful trigger, as I certainly don’t walk around every minute of my life in this state of mind.

Even if I only take 5 minutes to write a quick list, it is 5 minutes of my day that I acknowledge where I am, all that I have, and all that is becoming. It often changes the tone of my day from that moment forward.

You can see why my little gratitude list has grown to become one of the sweetest, most unique, more precious parts of my life and you can understand why these are some of my favorite people.

If you feel inspired to share any thoughts you have on the communities you are a part of, how they started, or even if you would like to start your own, leave your comments below.  I would love to hear from you.

With gratitude for you,
Erin

 

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