What would happen if you were mindful of the words you spoke each day for ONE WHOLE WEEK straight?! That is the experiment we are doing here at “We Live Inspired!” this week. If you have not yet read yesterday’s post about what this project we call “The Praise Project” is all about, then please catch up by reading that post first HERE. (click on those words)
That being said, I am not the author of today’s article. Today I want to introduce you guys to a friend of mine, Tonya, who blogs over at a place called “Nearly Missed It” (see bottom of this for a picture and bio of Tonya too!). We met through the Five Minute Friday’s that you see me post weekly now, and she is a great person with a great heart for people! She is going to share her experience with our secret week long project now:
I am so excited to be writing this guest post for the We Live Inspired readers. My name is Tonya, and I blog at Nearly Missed It. Rebekah asked me several weeks ago if I was interested in participating in a project with her in November, and I am so glad that I accepted. Rebekah introduced the project yesterday and will be writing about her experience with the project tomorrow, so today I’d like to share my experience with you.
Rebekah came up with these rules for The Praise Project:
- I will try to use my words to only say positive things, kind things, speak praises over people, compliment them and let them know how I feel or how much I appreciate them.
- I will reach out to people and let them know how important they are, how I appreciate them and also freely give compliments. I am going to make a point to say everything good I notice about people this week.
- I may have to wear a rubber band around my wrist or something to remind myself because my goal is to not utter one derogatory thing to the people I come in contact with.
- If an issue arises that needs to be addressed that may not be in a positive light, I will address it, but try to be mindful of how I am responding.
- I will take notes on a pocket notepad, on my phone or computer so that I can document what happens around me during the project.
- I can achieve these actions in various ways. The most effective will be in person, but also phone calls, texts, email, Facebook, etc. all counts.
- Finally, I will keep this project a secret!
Goal: To spread sunshine around and hopefully bring joy to people. I am interested to see if it improves morale in the environments I am in and how this affects all of the relationships around me.
The week started out good. I was motivated and had the project on my mind. I did my best to compliment people that I am around on a regular basis (mostly my co-workers and my husband) and generally be a cheerful person. I also worked on my listening skills by taking in the words of others before speaking myself and genuinely listen to what they were saying.
Without a doubt, I was much more mindful in what I said, even when I caught myself saying negative words, I stopped myself before I went too far down that road. I did, however, find that I still had negative thoughts. It’s so easy to let the negative thoughts continue when the words aren’t being spoken, but it’s still just as important not to dwell on those negative thoughts as much as it is not to say them. While it’s far better to keep those thoughts to yourself, negative thoughts can lead to negative words, and before you know it, your mood and the mood around you can change quickly.
There was one opportunity that I didn’t take when it came to nearby gossip. I heard it whispered quietly nearby, and I almost got up to hear what was being said, but thanks to this project, I refrained and did my best to block out what little bit I was hearing. As much as everyone says they hate gossip (myself included), it’s easy to get wrapped up in it. I knew that if I involved myself in the gossip, there was no way that it would be a positive experience that I was looking to achieve this week.
Some other non-verbal acts of encouragement and praise that I participated in this week was to send my mother and mother-in-law cards in the postal mail to let them know how much I appreciate them. I mailed them off on Monday, and they received them on Wednesday and Thursday. I heard back from both of them how much they appreciated my thoughts. Both of them truly are admirable women in my life that I love and adore greatly. I also dropped little cards of sunshine on my co-workers desks early one morning before everyone got to work.
Another project that I participated in this week was Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child. I believe this is the fourth year that I have participated in gathering a few small items to fill a shoe box to send Christmas gifts to children all over the world and let them know not only that I love them, but God loves them even more. The last two years I have participated with my co-worker in packing the boxes. This year we sent four boxes total. I love shopping for the items and take extra special consideration into what I would want if I was a child who might not get any other Christmas gifts this year. I am blessed beyond measure when I participate in this project every year.
One final project that is still planned in the next week or so is to put together some Blessings Bags and include a gift card to McDonald’s. This was a last minute idea when I read about the Happy Day Project earlier in the week. I tried going to McDonald’s to get the gift cards, but they were completely sold out. I hope to try another McDonald’s this week so that I can have these Blessings Bags packed before Thanksgiving. Nashville has a homeless paper project called The Contributor, and I pass a few homeless people here and there throughout the city, and I hope to bless a few of them and add a little joy in their hearts.
The observations that I have made this week might not be as big as I was hoping; that everyone around me would be cheerful like a Disney musical, but my mood was certainly improved this week. Even though it was challenging, I found that when I concentrated on the positive and did my best to ignore the negative, I was a much happier person. This doesn’t need to be a project for me. This needs to be a way of life.
Tonya is a woman of faith blogger, Jesus follower, pop culture geek, introvert and all-around Jane of Many Trades from Nashville, Tennessee. She married her best friend, and together they have chosen not to have children…human children, that is. They are parents to some pretty awesome dogs, though. Tonya can be found at Nearly Missed It, Facebook and Twitter.