A "White Gardenia Book" is a journal of compliments you receive. Letters written to you, things you hear about yourself throughout the week, a letter from a teacher, a casual compliment at the grocery store... anything that makes you feel good about yourself! A personal reference book, of sorts, to be opened when you need a boost of confidence... feel overwhelmed... unappreciated.
It's kind of a magical idea, don't you think? A book whose sole purpose is to make you feel good - your own private Brag Book! It could include an old letter from your father, a post-it note left on your car window, an email from a new friend. It is a book of love letters to yourself! Didn't Oprah suggest this?
The best compliments come when we least expect it - arriving for no reason at all, other than someone thought about you, caring enough to write it down - whether a handwritten note that arrives gloriously in the mailbox, or a simple post on Facebook. I know, I know, Facebook, right? But it is how we communicate today. Sometimes those snippets, those random words of kindness, those little Gardenia Moments, are exactly what someone needs to hear...
One such example came from an old friend, whom I only see on my annual summer trek to Oregon. I'm not sure what prompted her to write this, but I'm so grateful she did:
Debbie, I have loved you since the day we knocked on your door that first visit! You are such a wonderful example of a loving daughter, mother and grandmother and such a true friend. I am amazed by your authenticity and humility in all that you do. I only want for you to trust and love yourself the way that we all trust and love you!
She saw inside my heart... this will be my first entry in my book!
I am often teased for my streak of sentimentality, and spontaneous tears. I saw a post of Paul Pollard and Ted Spring, holding hands after 50 years of togetherness and commented that it "made my heart soar and my eyes well with tears." I waited for the sarcastic remarks to arrive. Instead, I read:
"A soul that has a heart that soars, and eyes that well up with tears belongs to someone that is a gift to us all."
Next time I'm teased for my tears, I will have those words to remember...
So keep your post-it's handy, and next time you receive a compliment, just say THANK YOU, grab a pen and write it down! Nothing fancy - a simple spiral will do. Title it "My White Orchid Book"... "My Pink Roses"... "My Field of Daisies" ... "My Little Red Corvette"... whatever you want - it's for your eyes only!
If you need a jump start it, let me know - I'll send you a love note!