Recently, I attended a get together at a friend Jo's home. It was her birthday and a group of women, many of whom did not know one another, were there to celebrate.

Shortly after I arrived, Jo's sister-in-law stated she had to leave, a school night, babysitter... we all know the drill. She had an ask, "Before I leave, I'd like for each of us to spend a moment telling Jo what they love about her."

I was put on the spot a little. While Jo was a friend, she wasn't necessarily a close friend, and to be honest, communicating outwardly in this way was something that was unfamiliar to me.

Jo and I had met at a time when both of our marriages had collapsed. And, doing what grieving and stressed women do best, we distracted ourselves from our harsh reality by absorbing our precious time in volunteer work, our moral escapism. Our combined circumstance dictated a natural empathy, sharing stories combined with late night Facebook assurances aimed at getting ourselves through it.

An important thing happened that evening, I've decided to call it 'The Dandelion Effect'.

Consider what it must feel like to be on the receiving end of a group of women telling you what they love about you?  No more hiding behind a generic Facebook or txt message with a vanilla "Happy Birthday, have a great day". What happened was a genuine, authentic and mindful moment.

And... it was awesome!

It wasn't as awkward as you might imagine. In fact, for someone who historically has found it difficult to talk candidly in an unknown setting, that is precisely what happened. Through empathic and honest discourse, came love. Highlighting what I liked and admired about Jo, had helped me to be more in touch with my own feelings too. Through our shared circumstance, some open and honest revelations had unveiled themselves. This was incredibly cathartic and, I believe, mutually beneficial. The combined connection between the women in that room radiated feelings of warmth, generosity, optimism and strength.

This small but incredibly powerful gesture of kindness and love can have an extraordinary and profound effect. It can lift someone, give them a moment to embrace how valued they are, recognise the individual characteristics they have that will contribute to their overarching sense of self-worth. 

So, next time you think about someone, may it be a special occasion or simply that they are on your mind, try truly telling how they make you feel, and what you enjoy and like about them. You may be surprised by the result and, better still, the afterglow makes you feel incredibly good. 

We'd love to hear your stories, please feel free to give us some feedback if  'The Dandelion Effect' worked for you.

#fromaplaceoflove #thedandelioneffect #heroinesnz #beyourownherione.