Last week I was at my friend's house teaching a private yoga class and once we were done her daughter Maia gave me a card that she had made for me while mom and I were practicing yoga. I can't lie, I've seen pictures of her cards before and I was secretly waiting for the day that she would make me one, and happily that day came.
I won't go into too many details about what an amazing, resilient child Maia is for so many reasons, what I will discuss is the many lessons I received from just one hand made card presented to me.
Lessons I learned and will follow. I encourage you to do the same!
1. Do things for others, just because. On that particular day I was not expecting a card from Maia. She made me one for no reason, and it was a beautiful gift and gesture. How much sweeter would we make life if we did things for no reason? We don't have to wait for birthdays or holidays to do something for others. The "gifts" I remember the most are the ones I wasn't expecting, the ones that came right at the moment that the universe knew I needed it.
2. Hand made gifts are extra special and they make the recipient feel extra special. I cannot recall a time that I have ever received a hand made gift that didn't make me feel all warm and fuzzy. There is something about the thought that someone spent their time, the most precious gift we have, making something for you.
3. Compliment people! Tell them what you like about them, tell them that you like them, tell them how important they are to you. We live in a society that most people do not take the time out to really tell people how they feel about them. Children have a special gift of doing this often. Why not follow suit. We cannot go around assuming people know how we feel about them. If we really like someone for the person that they are, tell them. Praise your friends. Tell them how awesome you think they are, not just with you, but at work, with their families, etc.
4. Encourage people to be resilient in their lives! Maia encouraged me to be as graceful as a butterfly! Ah, if she only knew my obsession with butterflies, and their transformation qualities, and their ability to gracefully fly through the air. I think she did know... How often do we know just the right encouragement that the people around us need, maybe to pursue their dreams of doing big unimaginable things, or maybe just to get through the day? Let's freely give that encouragement, find those beautiful analogies and anecdotes to be someone's cheerleader, and supporter. Oh how so many people need this!
5. Take an interest in what the people in your life are doing. Maia observed that her mom and I do yoga and she liked it. She also said she would like to try it some day. How often do we know what our siblings, spouses, significant others, friends, etc. are in to but we don't take the time to acknowledge or participate in that part of their lives? Sometimes we go around with our blinders on and because someone else's interests are not ours, we don't participate, but not only do we not participate, often we don't even ask about those interests. Let's take the time out to find out what makes people tick, and even if we will never participate in those things, at least we can know a little bit more about them and why our friends love it.
6. Despite what may be going on in your life, acknowledge that people have things just as important going on in theirs. Maia has a lot of things going on in her nine year old life that I cannot even wrap my head around. What I do notice about Maia every single time I see her is that she is always paying attention to what's going on in the lives of others. She showers people with cards, and love, and kind gestures that come from the most innocent place inside of her. I can only wish to be able to do the same with the people around me.
Please take notice of the lessons that life shows us I. Sometimes the simplest of ways. Maia's card touched me on so many levels, and I hope that my blog can translate some of those lessons for you to take on in your lives. What a blessing it is to know that lessons appear every day, and children are usually the wisest in conveying those lessons in the simplest of ways!
Thank you Maia!