Sometimes we don’t realise when our ideas spark inspiration in someone else. Often I guess it does happen but we just never find out about it. The other person goes about their day and simply omits to tell us what we said or did cause them to think something or do something differently and potentially for the better. But occasionally we get the joy of having feedback. Feedback is a wonderful thing, whether it is constructive and a learning point or purely positive. We all need feedback, we humans are social mammals after all. Especially when it’s a topic that’s close to our heart, like our children, our passions or as a result of our hard work on something. Gaining the evidence that someone else has, by their interaction with us, been influenced in a good way, a way that is pleasing to them raises our spirits and helps us on our path. We can do it alone and give ourselves praise and that is important. But this way, via others, is powerful and crucial to receive at the same time because other people are our mirrors. Other people highlight to us how we show up in the world on the outside when we find it hard to remember these details and often have a biased opinion.
The main source of feedback we get can end up being more reliable during our education and in our working lives in some kind of structured standardised process like examinations, marking or appraisal. These have their places and are a solid means of seeing whether we match up to the bar, have met or exceeded our own targets, whether we meet employee expectations and how we compare to our peers. However, the downside of these types of feedback can be with the form of delivery, by post, email or via an indifferent teacher or boss. What if we fall short of the targets or aren’t good at taking exams? If we are lucky, we will have a sympathetic and caring teacher, mentor or boss who will sit with us to capture, deliver and share the information and can truly see our achievements with us, so we can gain a real human perspective.
When the main and only source of feedback people receive is from the official line, the cultural norm, what of the individual? What about what we each bring to the world? When our own special contribution is recognised by others, that’s when the magic really happens. When one heart human speaks to another human heart using words they have felt moved and inspired to say. It’s more likely to get through to the receiver that way and is why we need to let people know they impress, inspire, intrigue and please us with their presence, words and deeds any time of the year.
We need to tell people more often how we appreciate things about them. I don’t just mean people we know, or when big impressive things happen, although that is essential to our relationships, I mean little things and often too. Like telling someone you meet at a party you really love their beautiful colourful dress it makes you feel happy, or when someone opens a door for you, tell them you appreciated them for it. All these little moments brighten your day and the receiver’s day too, good things spread. So don’t just think nice things, whenever you remember, say them :0)
We need to receive better too. When we get feedback, how many of us dismiss it? Shrug it off and sweep it away with self-deprecating replies. It’s very British to do such things. But think the person feeding back is hoping you receive the information from their inspired good energy in order to raise you up. They are being genuine, or why else would they have said something? So can you dare to let it in and take the compliment? Revel in it for a few moments before ingesting the words with a simple “thank you”. I dare you!
That kind of feedback from one inspired human to another is what I gained one day last year. I was driving a long road to a course out in the woods near Salisbury with a pair of new peer connections I’d made. We bantered away getting to know one another and telling each other stories of our new and exciting creative projects.
What happened next was unexpected. After I told the others about my journey towards creating everyleaf and what it is all about, quietly the poet amongst us was inspired to write a poem, especially for me and everyleaf. He presented it to me the same day.
So I am proud and full of appreciation to present the poem.
Thank you, Jason, for your inspired feedback, it raised me up.
Written for Anna Rae-Jones 19th October 2017
Every Leaf to shelter
the creatures spied beneath
veined roofs shun storms
and blanket the soiled earth
calm, still and safe
Sponging mother’s warmth.
Highways of branches
interconnect the energy of life
take a ride to leaf stops
and gaze at rooftop vistas
then glide fiery parachutes
that knit in patchwork lights.
Shimmering rays dance in skips
at Sister Breeze’s guide
from hidden constellations
unmapped in feathered seas
every leaf hides beauty
to journey with your mind.
Every leaf to shelter
every leaf to bind
every leaf to wonder
at Mother Nature’s kind.
By The Ink Warrior