Throwing down the gauntlet!
My quest, more commonly known as #ReasonsToSmile, emerged during what turned out to be the early phase of the pandemic here in the UK.
I don’t know about you but I found it increasingly harder to notice the tiniest moments of joy in my day and if I did they seemed more fleeting, harder to grasp as the days, weeks and months moved on.
In December 2020, as I sat reflecting back on the year I started to notice the little things my clients, colleagues, family, friends and even strangers had shared with me. I realised I was smiling as each story I recalled sparked a connection within me.
From that moment I knew I had to do something but what, challenging myself I tried to come up with ideas to reach out and inspire others to give voice to their reasons to smile (sounds so bold and I notice my voice of self-doubt creep in).
I started talking about it with whoever would listen, created a number of social media campaigns aligned to the commitment, wrote a blog and consciously paid attention to my clients who voiced their struggles with something similar.
In a world of uncertainty
Fast forward 2 years inspired by a group of leaders I was working with, despite the challenging business conditions, they demonstrated resilience, hope and care; my quest for those reasons to smile was reignited.
Their voices rang out with pride and conviction – a collective belief in their ability to succeed together. Their stories were filled with reasons to smile.
Providing a foundation to this was a genuine desire and commitment to support each other – when I say support this was not the ‘let’s just be nice’ type - it was intentional, reflective, tangible; it was support that provoked deeper awareness and choice of action.
I have to admit I did a ‘happy dance’ (in my mind anyway), recognising and even revelling in the spark of joy I was experiencing in that moment. I have made sure this experience is safely stored in my muscle memory so I can draw on it whenever the uncertainty feels unmanageable and I need to reignite my quest for those #ReasonsToSmile.
Today, in the face of what seems to be unending change and upheaval, we are challenged by uncertainty every day, inside of this uncertainty we are experiencing individual and collective grief, health issues and economic instability and more.
Again I find I am asking myself what reasons do I or we have, to really smile right now?
My clients talk of overwhelm, burn out, fatigue – I can see in their faces, bodies and hear in their voices the effort they are putting in to just keep going, to achieve one more thing, not give up.
Yet, if I listen carefully and focus my attention on possibility… I can hear the voice of joy in the little things in life. See the fleeting moments of compassion, gratitude and laughter.
I am reminded that there is something good in every day when you consciously look for it.
That is what gives all of us #ReasonsToSmile! 😊