The Gift of an Exclamation Point

Published: December 13, 2022
Category: Mental HealthMind/Body Well-BeingRelationships

I am an exclamation point! 

One day my dear friend Raigan said, “Li, you are an exclamation point!”  

We both laughed. This kind sentiment and the laughter that ensued was a great gift from my cherished friend—and Raigan’s gift is one that has kept giving! Whenever I need an extra boost of energy, I remind myself of what she said and it helps me to harness my inner exclamation point. What Raigan was doing is called strength spotting: She was witnessing my strength of joy in action and telling me what she saw. When we strength spot in others, it is a powerful gift of affirmation for them. What priceless gift, which costs no money, has someone given you? Think of examples from your childhood or more recently when this has happened to you. Write about these experiences and then reflect on the lessons you learned from the encounters. Now, consider what generous authentic recognition can you share with others?

Make a list of people who are near and dear to you, or perhaps someone you know who is struggling with a difficult challenge. Consider the following playful, easy, and powerful ways that you can give them a priceless gift from your heart.

  1. Record a short video telling them how much they mean to you or share something special about them.
  2. Send a hand-written “thinking of you” letter recounting a funny or meaningful experience you shared with them, or a time when you saw them doing something esteemable.
  3. Call them just to say hello and tell them how much they mean to you.

These moments of mutual gratitude will boost the spirits of you and the person who you are extending the kind words to—sharing your own exclamation point!

I’m sending you strength and love.

Soaringwords is the power to heal.


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