Of course, the beaches are beautiful, but I kept longing for the mountains, and now that I'm back I'm forming Teams, planning Leadership experiences, and doing a million other things for Omega State. I hope you'll get as excited as I am and join in the fun!
One invitation I shared at State Convention is to join in my biennium theme of Promoting Praise and Possibility. As you read this, you, too, can join the challenges.
First, take the initiative to write a note of praise to everyone in your chapter by Christmas. Take time to tell each member one thing she's done well and one quality you admire about her. If each member in each chapter writes a note to each other member, imagine how positive your chapter will feel within the next five months!
So what's so great about praise? Well, let's say your three year old granddaughter draws a crayon picture. You tell her you love the red flower and the way she put the dog in the corner. Then you hug her and hang it on the fridge. She feels loved because you complimented her skills and hugged her. You noticed her drawing, and others will notice it on the fridge so she gains confidence knowing people value her work.
I could go on, but so far one simple act of praise has built love, attention, and confidence into a three year old. Praise her every day and she'll become President of the United States, or, more importantly, a teacher and a member of DKG!
While praising lifts up those we praise, it also centers us. Before we can praise another, we have to notice them so the act of praising makes us more mindful, more present in the moment. It slows us down. It makes us breathe. Praising another person lifts our spirits because we're looking for the good. At the Southwest Regional Conference, the Hawaiians told us that the "h" in Aloha is a long breath out that empties us. One speaker said all real relationship begins when we are empty and can receive. This emptying of self has to happen before we can notice another person , see something we admire, and offer praise. Try that right now. Breathe out a "ha" and see how you feel.
I'd love to hear about your praise notes and praise stories! Share them in Omega Peaks or send them to Nancy Scofield (firstname.lastname@example.org) to put on this website. She's so quick that she'll have them up in no time!
A few years ago, a leadership workshop invited us to start a gratitude journal. I hate journaling, and I thought it was dumb. But I'm a good sport so I tried it. That darn journal, just a list of all the things I'm thankful for, turned into an article and a biennium theme for Colorado DKG. Try a praise journal if you like. Maybe one member of your chapter could write in a Chapter praise journal each month and then you provide her a private one as a gift when she turns it over to the next member. Let us know if you try it.
My second challenge is to think about things that seem totally impossible for your chapter. Maybe it's bringing a half dozen members to the October 21 Board Meeting at the Lone Tree Marriot. Maybe it's getting 3 new initiates or giving a scholarship to a senior girl or something else. You decide. Once you've chosen one thing that you think is impossible, laugh about it, share it, talk it up, dream it. Then watch as the impossible becomes the possible, and come to the October Board meeting ready to report how it's going!
Why possibility? Possibilities are the children of hope. When I become hopeless about anything, I think about what is possible. I list all kinds of wild and crazy things that couldn't be. That makes me laugh. Then I share them with others and they laugh too. And they just sort of happen. Dreaming of possibilities gets my brain headed toward possibilities and my heart open to whatever comes.
Hope opens the door to possibilities. Thinking of possibilities builds hope. I like to have a bunch possibilities handy because if one doesn't happen, another one will. That way, I'm always hoping.
All you goal setters are good at setting goals and working toward them, but I'm not talking about work. I'm talking about opening our hearts to what could be, sharing our dreams, and watching them come true. If that's too touchy-feely for you, consider how well our goal-setting has been bringing new members into DKG. Not too well. Let's have the courage to try something new. Let's shout out some possibilities and see where they take us!