"I AM ENOUGH. I am full of sparkle and compassion. I genuinely want to make the world a better place. I love hard. I practice kindness. I am not afraid of the truth. I am." Learn how you impact the world around you. Try the, "Smile, I Am" experiment.
Life coach, Molly Mahar once wrote an inspirational quote titled, “I AM ENOUGH.” “I am full of sparkle and compassion. I genuinely want to make the world a better place. I love hard. I practice kindness. I’m not afraid of the truth. I am…” There was a time in my life when I wasn’t sure that I was enough to even get up off the floor and take another breath.
This beautiful quote is a positive thought or affirmation. When you hear this quote does it resonate with your soul or do you think, “I am NOT enough! I can’t potty train a 2-year-old or figure out how the dryer keeps eating socks?” Our children are the same way. It doesn't matter how much you praise them. If they don't believe it, they will feel just like you do.
According to an article in Psychology Today, the truth is that positive affirmations work for some of us, and not others. Some of us know deep in our soul we are enough to make the world a better place. Some of us are not sure we will ever be enough for anyone or anything.
If you, your spouse or your children fall into the second category, low self-worth keeps you from being comfortable and benefiting from positive statements or affirmations. Because you just don't believe it, you can't recite an affirmation that feels like a lie. It doesn't help. Only when you or your children believe you're enough, will the affirmation become helpful. Children may not think this deeply when they are young. However, it's important that they learn how to develop a positive mindset as they grow older.
Add a goal or direction when you praise your children
Try using this statement, "I am becoming enough, I can sparkle and have compassion. I genuinely want to make the world a better place. I can love hard and practice kindness. I will face my truth. I am..." It is completely acceptable to be a work in progress. Just a few changed words and you have a goal — as well as a positive thought. When you praise a child, include a goal or direction. For example, "I like how kind you are to your brother. You are becoming a good leader."
If you would like to find out if you are enough, or just how much impact you have on your world, grab a journal and begin an experiment. We will call it the great, “Smile, I am,” experiment. Invite your family to join you as you find out just how much your sparkling smiles impact the world.
Every day, everything you do changes something. If it is too overwhelming to think about changing the world, start with something smaller, like changing your mouth.
Today when you see your spouse or children, from the first contact in the morning until the last kiss goodnight, try to put a smile on your face. Invite your children to try it with you. Don't forget to add giggles. It is simple. Smile and watch to see if the people in your world behave differently. Then, as a family, write about it in your journals.
Give compliments freely
Tomorrow, follow-up a smiling face with kind words. Use that same smiling mouth to say something kind to every person you meet — especially your children and spouse. Make it a game for your family. Who can give the most sincere compliments. Record the results of your experiment, as all good scientists do. At the end of the day, measure the mood in your home by checking the mouths of your family. Are they turned up or down?
Practice practice practice
Expand your personal or family experiment to include friends, neighbors and people you meet in your community. Smile and use kind and loving words at every personal contact. Try being extra helpful and observant. Observe and record the mood around you. Is anything changing?
At the end of the first three days, record the answer to the following question, “Did anything change because I changed?” If the answer is yes, then you are enough to change the world one person at a time. Remember for every person you change, they will change someone else. Smiling is contagious. It only takes one to start an epidemic.
Practice compassion daily
Compassion is defined as, “Deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it.” You don’t have to fix everything. If you can't fix it, pray for the people involved. For example, when you see a homeless person that you can't help, say a prayer in your heart for that person.
See truth with compassion
When I have made a mistake (and I make plenty), I am always grateful for a compassionate friend and listening ear. We all crave someone who can listen to our truth, see us as we are and still love us.
You will find more friends and family members willing to listen compassionately when you listen to them without judgment. Practice compassion by listening sincerely to everything your children or spouse tells you. Sometimes, when a family member tells us a truth that is hard to hear, we immediately think, “What about me?” Today, practice taking the you out of their truth and just listening.
Finish your experiment by simply loving. Love your God, love yourself as you are and love your family. Continue to strive to do better and be better while still being grateful for what you have. Love everyone including yourself.
When I take the time to begin my day with a smile, to speak to others with kindness and listen with love and compassion, I see myself reflected in the smiles that come back my way. In others' eyes, I am enough. In my eyes, I am becoming enough. And for right now, right here, that is enough. I am.
Shannon Symonds, Author of Safe House due to be released July 2017 by Cedar Fort, has 15 years experience working as an Advocate for victims of domestic and sexual violence while raising 6 children in Seaside Oregon. She loves to write, run and Laugh