Recently, I attended a “train the trainer” workshop. It was very good and I learned a lot I hope to incorporate into future sessions I facilitate. However, there was one exercise that really spoke to me!
We broke into small groups and gave impromptu speeches. Several topics were given as suggestions. The last one in our small group picked the topic, My Perfect Day –from start to finish! She was awesome! We all visualized her day, waking up after 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep followed by her children waking up in joyful moods! That was her word, joyful! I loved it! Then she proceeded through the day of taking them to school and spending time attending their school parties and finally, pursuing some of her hobbies. The family would sit down to a home-cooked meal and discuss their day. The kids would take baths and proceed to bed, all in a peaceful manner.
We were all so uplifted! It was such a peaceful story she told. She never complained about what her days look like right now. She only painted a picture of what her perfect day would look like.
SURPRISE! She has 4 children, yes four, under the age of 4! There are twins involved, but still!!! And she works full time!
My fellow teammates and I were impressed with her fabulous use of words to convey her perfect day, but were speechless to learn that she has 4 little ones and she never once said anything negative about her current days. I’m sure there is plenty of chaos and doubt her mornings consist of 4 beautiful babies waking up joyful – at least not all of them on the same morning. I could be wrong, but that isn’t the picture I’ve seen in big families!
What was my takeaway from this encounter? This young woman picked these 4 children through fostering and adoption. She chose the life she has. She is extremely grateful for her world. In painting a picture of the perfect day she hopes to see when all are in school, she never once had a derogatory thing to say about the sleepless nights, chaotic mornings, stressful dinners and no sleep. She didn’t drag us down with a story of what it is today and what she fantasizes about. She lifted us up from start to finish.
It left me wondering. Do I lift people up? Do I paint a picture of gloom and doom when I discuss my life/world? I truly hope I don’t and as the women in the FB coaching group say, I declare that I will be more conscientious of the impact my stories have on others!