Jul 252013

Celebrating Beginnings and Endings Book CoverThis is a guest blog post from author, Paula Pugh.

If you are on this website, you already know the power of affirmations. Realizing what you need and taking the time to make changes is significant and has the potential of transforming your life. I would like to offer a complementary angle on affirmations – a broad picture of working with others to present a place to share meaningful reflections.

Giving ourselves affirmations is important work. But what about if you were able to hear about yourself from others? Your friends and family supporting you for being yourself and affirming your value and meaning in their lives……or you could do that for someone else?

You may not receive the specific affirmations you are personally working on, but you may receive a picture of who you are in the eye of others. Gratitude, love and encouragement are powerful medicine. We can add these ingredients into our lives easily if we just know how to incorporate them. These are free gifts for our soul. Here are some examples.

Examples of Cultivating Affirmations for Others

Your mother is having her 50th birthday. You want to do something special for her and she doesn’t need more stuff. You gather a group of friends asking each person to bring a single flower. When everyone has arrived, you meet in a circle. You explain what you are going to do – tell your mom what she has meant to them, tell a favorite story about her, why she is important. As you go around the circle, each guest says what they want to say and adds the flower to a vase that has been set up in the middle of the circle on a pretty little centering table. By the end of the time, the vase is filled and she can take it home as a reminder of the day. If someone is too shy to say something, they can simply add their flower to the vase and say Happy Birthday.

Our 6 year old granddaughter loves the birthday bowl. In this case we have a fairly large bowl with low sides filled with sand or rice. Each guest is given a candle (a bit larger than the usual cake candles and smaller than tapers). The birthday person puts her candle in the middle of the bowl and lights it. Each guest then says what they appreciate about her or tells a story, lights their candle from the middle and puts it around the edge of the bowl. By the end of the ceremony, the bowl is filled with love and light. Add the birthday bowl to your traditions for yourself as well as your loved ones.

Take the time to write a card to a friend for a birthday, for no reason except that you are thinking about them, or if they are in distress about something. Affirming them can be very meaningful. Take the time to write a card to yourself doing the same thing – reminding you of your own gifts and value.

I was recently written up in our local paper as a Hometown Hero. The author interviewed me, sent out questionnaires to my friends who then sent in letters telling about what I had meant to them in their lives. The author put together the article and it came out in the local paper. Not everything that everyone has said is in the paper, but the author sends me all the letters. Talk about being affirmed! It was so overwhelming to publicly be upheld that I am still awash in their kind words.

Do we have to wait for a big moment like this (or until a memorial service) to express our joy in having friends? This experience has reminded me to take the opportunity, whenever it arrives, in person or in writing, to share what I value in my friends and family – essentially giving affirmations to others. My guess is when we do that, our own self esteem grows as we see ourselves in others.

People learn to be receivers as well as givers with these small rituals. I cannot explain the power and value of taking the time and having a place to express appreciations for those special in your life.

The power of positive connection with others brings joy, aliveness and meaning to everyone involved. Learning how to make a place where that love can express itself is easy. It just takes a little courage to do something different, very little money and willing participants.

This is A Guest Blog Post from Paula Pugh

Paula Pugh profile pictureYou can learn more about marking moments and setting up places of connection on her Mark the Moment website, or stories of what people have created for themselves on http://www.paulapugh.blogspot.com. Refreshing ideas will encourage your creativity to move into action to affirm yourself and others.

Paula Pugh, Author of Celebrating Beginnings and Endings – a guide to learning how to mark important life events. With twenty years as educator, celebrant, facilitator, story teller, Paula uses her skills to help people move from ordinary space to deepen connections without spending a lot of money, using creative ideas to share from the heart.