Thursday, February 9, 2012

Pay it Forward {with guest, Laura}

Laura McPherson is one of my amazing sponsors and the owner of Labors of Love.  She's going to share with us today a topic that's dear to my heart: paying it forward. This is such an important concept! I could go on and on, but I'll let Laura tell you what it means to her...


For as long as I can remember, I have been the most likely one out of my family and friends to make a gift by hand rather than buy one. There’s something about giving someone something that I’ve personally made that makes it even more thrilling; and to know that there’s only version of that gift just like it is neat too.

Every year, I make a New Year’s resolution (like everyone else) to work toward, but I’ve noticed that I have become increasing able to really stick to mine. Last year’s was to say “I love you” more and yes, I did it – not just verbally, but in gesture (for those who are wondering why you didn’t hear it spewing from my lips). I found that by spreading my love a little more, life was a lot more satisfying, rewarding, and pleasurable. So, when the end of December rolled around this year, I wanted to continue my trend of showing others how much they are cared about – even if they were someone that I didn’t know incredibly well.

I vowed to Pay It Forward at least one time a month for the entire year. Although paying it forward can be as simple as smiling at a stranger or holding the door for someone, I decided that I wanted it to be a challenge – because the more work that I put into the little surprise gifts that I have given, the more rewarding they have been. I want to motivate people to take the gift they have received and use it as inspiration to pass that on to another person. My first endeavor was a silver half-marathon bracelet for a non-greek sorority sister who has made a resolution to ring in a new version of herself with the new year. When the surprise arrived via snail mail, this was the gift I received in return (a facebook announcement of her reaction)…

I am unsure of her physical reaction since I could not experience it in person, but I’m almost positive that when I saw this message on her facebook wall that we had almost identical ear-to-ear grins. And that is what makes paying it forward worth it. It may be a simple wave hello or a project that costs a little bit of cash and an hour of your effort, but who can say the effort’s not worth it when it brings such intense happiness to multiple people? Now, I know that I have made a difference in the life of another. I touched the lives of two birds, one being myself, with one gesture.

I’m hoping that with my twelve challenging gifts that come in the New Year, and many other small ones, that my sense of self-worth and gratitude grow exponentially – as well as those who are on the receiving end of my creativity. Giving gifts is already one of my favorite things to do (as anyone who has seen me around Christmas time can attest), but surprises are SO much more fun. I encourage anyone and everyone to take a second to brainstorm something that you can do to pay it forward. It can be for a friend, a family member or a complete stranger, but have no doubt,YOU will make a difference and inspire them to continue the trend that everyone should be a part of.

I encourage you to {get inspired, be creative, and make a difference.}

Thanks Laura for sharing with us today! How will you pay it forward this month?

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