Sunday, January 18, 2009

Encouragement Box

We all have dark and discouraging days, especially when we're stretching ourselves to new heights and reaching into new places, and sometimes we need a little support. That's why I created my encouragement box.

The concept is very simple. Whenever someone says anything loving or supportive or beautiful to me, either on my blog, over email or in person, I take a moment to write it down on an index card and pop it in the box. I keep it simple, just a short phrase, so that I can read it easily with a quick glance. I keep the box open and visible to me when I'm working at my desk.

You can probably see that in this picture I've captured something beautiful and inspiring from the wonderful Breedale (thank you so much, Breedale!). Her comment touched my heart so deeply. Whenever I'm feeling discouraged or down, I can simply glance over and see something true, meaningful and personal that reminds me that I am loved and that people believe in me.

You might want to pretty them up or make them special with colour or calligraphy or some other personal touch. There are millions of possibilities! But for me, I had to commit to keeping it simple, doing them on the fly and not worrying about using a particular pen or format or anything else. I know myself well enough to know that if I did that, I'd get hung up on the details and never end up doing them. And besides, the beauty really comes from the love and thought behind the words - and that doesn't need any dressing up at all, just listening.

If you make an encouragement box, I'd love to hear what form it takes and how it works for you.

20 comments:

todayandeveryday said...

What a great way to remember those sentiments from others that we think "wow, they think that of me?". AND what a great pick me up for those down days.
I usually write down stuff like that in my journal so I can re-read them in context to that day.

Peace~
Dawn

Anji Gallanos said...

I just found these sweet little boxes from the store I just closed..and thought what am I going to do with these...what a perfect idea..I will keep all the positives in one and maybe inspirations in another..it will be interesting to go back over the year and look through them.

Kavindra said...

I started doing this a few years ago. I keep it in email - if I didn't receive the comment by email, I email it to myself. But I like your way better, and I think I may collage a pretty box for this soon.

It's encouraging to see our heroines (you) struggle with the same demons sometimes. Thanks for sharing this.

Paula - Buenos Aires said...

Lots of loving thoughts from me to you. They won´t be in your box but surrounding you today. :)

Tori said...

That is such a nice idea! I think I'm going to try it. =)

Her Speak said...

I had my first gallery showing by sophomore year in high school and I remember that there were several viewers who took time to write notes to me about how my work positively affected them or spoke to them. I still have the notes tucked away in a little envelope and pull them out to peek at them when I'm feeling sub par. Sounds silly--but it changed my life. :)Love this idea!

Much Joy, Many Blissings~*
Molly

Trula said...

I like this idea of an encouragement box. I'm somewhat of a minimalist in my physical surroundings, so maybe I will do a virtual one...

Shell said...

A great idea, Jaime. I think I may try this. We all need encouragement from time to time.

Tabitha Chooses Bliss said...

I love this idea so very much!

miss*R said...

oh what an absolutely wonderful idea Jamie! I sometimes print comments out for my journal, ones that touch my heart and make me gasp... but this idea is even better..I think I might do something similar.

once my daughter collaged a real tea cup and inside it, she put lovely words that we had written to each other over the years.. I still have it and sometimes when I feel low, I take it and read the words.. amazing how they can brighten your spirit in a flash.

Kriebels en Krabbels said...

What a great idea!

Breedale said...

Jamie-

I love this idea! I think we can all benefit from an box like this. I will definitely copy the kind words you wrote about me in my box. I was so surprised this morning and never expected to receive recognition for something I believe to be true. I am glad my words meant something to you and I know I will have many more for you. It is just a little gratitude for all of the inspiration you give to me and others. You are awesome. Thanks and have a great day!

Bohemian Single Mom said...

I am liking this idea Jamie!
I have an empty cigar box just waiting for a purpose!
Thanks for sharing this positive and uplifting morsel of your daily routine.

Sacred Suzie said...

Oh Jamie, what a wonderful idea! I absolutely love it and I think it's a completely original idea. An original, like you!

jennlui said...

oh jamie!!! i absolutely LOVE your idea of having an encouragement box!!! that is sooooo fabulous!!! especially the part with including others encouragement. now that's special!!! thank YOU for sharing this with us!!! i'm getting cracking on mine!!! hee hee!!!

peace and love

Latharia said...

*grin* I think I may have just inadvertently sent you an email for your box. :D

KathrynAntyr said...

What a lovely idea. I had started a special journal where I have jotted down the comments. I have set it down and haven't picked it up in a month or so. In the last week or so I have been jotting them down in my day planner. I jot down inspiring quotes or ideas. I doodle. I glue in scraps from my day. One of these days I'll get some photos of it onto my blog. I like the idea of your encouragement box. I like too how you kept it simple.

Sandy Weiner said...

Ditto on all the encouraging remarks. I am starting my box today! We all need a place to remember that we are enough!!

Laura said...

You make it so tangible! I used to keep a folder in my Outlook called "Positive Feedback", and that's where I collected the nourishment I needed to encourage me on my work performance. Now I have a gmail label called "nice things" and another one called "heart emails" - I use these to collect the encouraging, and the moving, notes that people send me. I'm due for a reread soon - thanks for reminding us.

LMA said...

I love this idea. I've encouraged everyone in my family to make one, too!