Ever heard the quote “Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate”? (Unknown)
When I joined social media, it was the quote that made the most sense to me when it came to how I wanted to behave, interact and show my authenticity online. I knew that I wanted to focus on the positives, not because the negatives don’t exist in my life, but because it is what my heart needed. I was working so hard on focusing on love and gratitude instead of dwelling on some pretty rough stuff that I was working through. I needed people to know what was going well for me and not what things I thought might destroy me if I let them. Promoting what I love, relentlessly and unapologetically, became my focus.
Because of this, I have built connections and relationships with organizations and most importantly PEOPLE who I promote on a regular basis. Like I said, relentlessly and unaplogetically without being creepy about it (or so I like to think and so many of them have told me). People know where I love to eat, what books I love to read, which authors make a difference in my life, what TV shows I am into, which teachers inspire me the most, which bands I am listening to, what values I hold dearly and who I believe in most on this planet because THAT is what I put my energy into. (And is probably the reason I constantly get tagged in Ellen, Koo Koo Kanga Roo, Dr. Jody Carrington, stories of kindness and Cilantro and Chive posts…. I get goosebumps just writing each of their names!)
Remember those old “Teen Beat” magazines? (Now I am really dating myself…) In those pages there was always a one page pull out of all the addresses of all the fan clubs that you could write to. I remember writing letters to the clubs of those I admired and wondering if I would get a little love in return. I poured my soul into those little envelopes addressed to celebrities and bands that I loved. I hung their posters on my walls, I dreamed of going to their concerts and becoming besties with many of them. I was all in. But more than that, I told everyone I could “Hey! Have you heard of so and so? I love them. You probably will to!” I thrived on promoting the ones I loved and rarely did I ever feel the need to tell you about who or what I wasn’t into at the time. Was I successful in my bestie dreams? Nope. Did I let that deter me? Nope. I loved the idea that those envelopes would be opened and someone would read my words about how much someone I admired was making a difference. I just loved talking about people I believed in and that’s all I really cared about in the end. I’ve carried that “Teen Beat” energy through my life. Letting the world know who and what I love makes me the happiest.
And because of the energy and love I pour into that relentless promotion, some incredible things have happened in my life. I have met so many inspiring people, have attended their concerts and conferences, have been included in their books, have been part of collaborations that will stay in my heart forever. One of the greatest? My idol, Dr. Jody Carrington, has asked me to write a book with her (SQUEEEE!) which we are currently working on and set to release in 2021. She explains in the intro just how much this “promotion” means to her. How my unwavering support and admiration of her affected our relationship and ultimately helped in her decision to ask me to write with her.
Nothing special. Nothing expensive. Nothing crazy. Just a whole lotta love, 5 star reviews and gratitude for what I love has gotten me where I am today with some of my favourite people on the planet.
Just this weekend, I got this message. From someone I have always “promoted”. From someone who inspires me and who pushes me to be better and who literally has no idea just how much impact he has had in our classroom the past 4 years. I got this from George Couros.
It took my breath away. “You are in the corner of so many. I am glad to be in yours”.
Someone who could see that I AM in the corner of so many. And someone who wanted to remind me that they are in mine. And can I just say? It is pretty amazing to know that there are others there too. There isn’t too much more affirming and gratifying than that. (And c’mon now… when George freaking Couros says he is in your corner? That’s empowering.)
Connection takes effort. It takes energy and passion and kindness and love. I am grateful for the connections I have made and I am even more grateful to get a perfectly timed reminder that those I support put the same effort back into me. Thank you “promoters” of the world.