We all have dark and discouraging days, especially when we’re stretching ourselves to new heights and reaching into new places, and sometimes we need a little support. That’s why I created my encouragement box. The concept is very simple. Whenever someone says anything loving or supportive or beautiful to me, either on my blog, over email or in person, I take a moment to write it down on an index card and pop it in the box. I keep it simple, just a short phrase, so that I can read it quickly and easily. I keep the box open and visible to me when I’m working at my desk.
Whenever I’m feeling discouraged or down, I glance over and am able to see something true, meaningful and personal that reminds me that I am loved, that people believe in me and that the work I do makes a difference. It inspires me each and every day. And on particularly challenging days, when I’m feeling down and discouraged, I pull out a few of these cards and drink them in with my tea. It helps wash away the mood of the moment, connects me to what’s important and inspires me to keep on keeping on.
An encouragement box can take whatever form inspires you: a pretty bowl filled with little pieces of coloured paper. a gift box with notes written on the backs of old holiday cards, a folder in your inbox. The most important part is that you use it. If you’re inspired to gather your encouragements using calligraphy, stickers or coloured pencils, go for it. If that sounds like a beautiful idea but actually leaves you with another to-do list item and piles of cards waiting to be created, come back to basics. The beauty really comes from the love and the thought behind the words – and that doesn’t need any dressing up at all.
Personally, I’ve committed to keeping the process really simple. I buy a box and some blank index cards from the dollar store and keep them on my desk. I gather encouragement on the fly, not worrying about using a particular format or pen or even whether it’s neat. Making it easy has kept me with it. I’m on my third year of encouragement boxes!
May your encouragement box hold precious treasures that remind you daily of how amazing you are.