A couple of weeks ago I knew I wanted to acknowledge Valentines Day in a personalized way to some special people in my life. It was tempting to pick up some clever and sweet store-bought cards, which is my habit, yet I was compelled to do it differently this year. This time I wanted to express my love by hand-crafting them. And February 14th was right around the corner. This created a bit of anxiety for me since I have never considered myself “crafty” or artistic.
With no time to waste, I pulled out what I had on-hand. I found some colored paper, pens, collage materials, and promptly got “lost” in my creativity for a few hours. And deliberately didn’t judge what I was creating. I just visualized the recipient and went to work.
The message here is not about what I created, but the reaction I received from the recipients and how, in turn, that made me feel. I felt a little thrill when each loved-one responded, letting me know how much they appreciated such a personalized gesture. And, I deliberately paused and allowed myself to let their response sink in.
What I realized was it wasn’t the action of creating the cards, but allowing myself to step out of both my habit and my comfort zone. I didn’t let “I can’t or I’m not good enough” get in the way of reaching out to these loved ones in a truly heart-felt way.
All of this had a wonderful rebound effect of “both ways” gratitude and also giving myself permission to rethink my habits.
My lesson? Practice amplifying your heart’s inherent goodness by giving and receiving with abandon. I am clear that making cards is still not a skill that defines me, but I know much more deeply that when I give from my heart that it matters not.