Your Powerful Impact

“I began to have an idea of my life, not as a slow shaping of achievement to fit my preconceived purposes, but as the gradual discovery and growth of a purpose which I did not know.” ~ Joanna Field, English psychologist

Have you had times in your life when you were struggling and the perfect words arrived – in person, on paper, or both – that let you know eventually you’d be OK?

For many years, that quote above, beautifully handwritten on fancy stationery, lived in a frame front-and-center on my desk.  My angel of a friend Leesa Brown of Columbus, Ohio mailed it to me after a get-together in which she showered me with praise and predicted someday I would write a book.

Yet, to me at the time, my future had the clarity of a Jackson Pollock painting.

I felt crazed and immobilized by grief from the death of my beloved mother-in-law Libby; I was on my way to getting divorced; and I swear I was physically sick more days than not.  To top it off, after a successful career as a newspaper reporter and a Governor’s press secretary, I was stuck in the mud trying to figure out what did I really, truly want to do with my life?

Beautiful, gentle Leesa.  Calmly, quietly affirmed me.  Believed in me. Reminded me of my promise and my potential.  Then, she sealed her support with a remarkable quote that helped to carry me through the years ahead.

Her ability to show me my light in such a lovely, memorable way reminds me to this day of the incredible impact we have and can have on each other.

I hung on to the words of Leesa and many other wonderful supporters as I wobbled out onto the skinny branches in search of my place and peace of mind.

What profound power we have to change the world for the better when we encourage and support each other.

Even though my struggle felt unending at the time, it was only temporary. My life’s purpose and work found me!  Then, along came a remarkable relationship and partnership with Rob and the chance to live the life I truly wished for.  And, years later I wrote that book that Leesa knew I had in me.

What a difference you make when you genuinely observe or notice the talent, wisdom and beauty in another woman – and you tell her.

Leesa likely had no idea of my pain when she reached out with her praise.  No one usually knows the depths of our struggles, do they?

And, really, they don’t need to.  What does matter is a simple practice. One in which we honor those we love, care about and work with by giving them genuine, positive feedback about their gifts, strengths and talents. No shoulds, musts or have tos. Just a clear observation of their attributes.

Is there one woman in your life right now whose gifts and talents you notice yet you may not have clearly, specifically told her?

She could be your boss, colleague, best friend, sister, mother, daughter, aunt, niece, neighbor, babysitter.  Even if you think it is obvious or that surely she already knows how special she is, you might try it, anyway.

Go ahead. Tell her what it is you see in her.  You never know where it might lead.

You could simply brighten her day, or you could change her life.  Who knows? Over time, by seeing and affirming together we could even make the world a better place.  I am optimistic!

If someone has touched your life like Leesa Brown has touched mine, we would love to hear about it. You can let us know in the comments below. What did she say to you? How did she say it? How did it affect you?