It’s Week 2 and Day 8 of the 2016 #sendcardsspreadlove challenge! We have an exciting lineup of guest posts all about this week’s challenge of making new friends, beginning today with Josh of Hello Happiness Card Company. On Wednesday we’ll be joined by Kara of Boho Berry, and on Friday Lauree with Simply Leap. I think I’ve found my peeps, y’all!
We’re so excited and full of gratitude that you’ve joined us and we love seeing your posts on IG! Make sure to sign up to receive all the info and special bonus content that won’t be shared on the blog. PLUS, there have been some fabulous FREEBIES – one of which is these awesome stickers (see them in use here and here) that Christina made.
As a reminder, we’re asking you to send 4 cards out into the world this month based on the 4 weekly prompts we’ll provide. Totally do-able, right? Our intention with this challenge is for you to connect with the ones you love in a fun way, while bringing back the joy and beauty of real communication … that still fits into your fast paced lifestyle.
Here’s a brief recap of Week 1:
- Week 1 challenge, instructions & prompts graphic [Day 1]
- BIG LIST of reasons to send cards [Day 1]
- Resources on what to write [Day 3]
- Tips for sustaining a letter writing habit [Day 5]
Day 8 of the 2016 #sendcardsspreadlove Challenge
Week 2 Challenge: Make New Friends But Keep the Old
This week’s challenge is to make a new friend and the prize is The Best of Collection. It’s the ultimate best of collection (ooh la la!) as determined by YOU, the subscribers and PbP community. To be eligible for the prize, share your card and/or note, tag both Christina and I on IG (@creativemercantile and @prettybypost) along with the week 2 challenge and #sendcardsspreadlove hashtag by April 18th at 11:59 pm EST. All winners will be announced May 4th via newsletter and on IG.
When I started Pretty by Post®, Josh was one of the first designers I reached out to and not only did he create the freebie e-card for my newsletter opt-in, but he also designed a custom card for PbP subscribers only (you can purchase it as part of a single collection.) I continue to be inspired and in awe of both him and his wife Jenny, and of their generosity and kindness. You can read an interview I did with them last fall here.
Today, he’s sharing how writing and leaving letters for strangers to discover helped him overcome depression, and he shares two of his letters with us. As part of the Week 2 challenge, we encourage you to leave a letter for someone to find.
You know those days where nothing seems to go right? You wake up grumpy. Maybe you have a headache. You burn your toast, spill your coffee. Maybe you had a rough night and someone said something that hurt your feelings. Maybe you messed something up at work the day before. You then start down the slippery slope of negativity and feelings of not being ________ enough. You catch yourself saying things internally like, ‘I suck. I screw everything up. I’m no good.’ And then it just gets worse and worse from there. We all have those terrible things we believe about ourselves when we’re feeling low.
I struggle with my self worth, too. As an artist, both with my camera and with my pens/watercolors, I fall into the comparison trap, the not good enough trap, the jealous of other’s success trap, the [insert your own trap here because I’m sure I’ve fallen into that one too]. In fact, not too long ago I was battling a depression that almost cost me my marriage. I felt worthless. I didn’t want to get out of bed. I was scared to put myself out there. I just felt sorry for myself…all the freaking time.
But then letter writing saved my life. Through written words of encouragement, I found a purpose that gave meaning to my life, in ways I didn’t realize I needed. You see, I began writing letters to strangers, and leaving them all over Kansas City, in the backs of airplane pockets, in library books, on counters at restaurants I went to. I found that each and every single time I sat down with a pen and a card and asked for some inspiration on what to write, I filled up the cards so fast! And as I’d go back and reread the words I wrote, they were exactly the messages I needed to hear myself.
I realized how powerful our words can truly be.
We can use our words to show up with love, compassion, empathy and understanding. Or we can use our words for hurt and fear. Lots of times, we’re super encouraging and supportive of those in our lives, while the story we’re telling ourselves internally is full of negativity and lies.
I want you to take a few moments and write yourself a letter of encouragement. Don’t think too much, just write all the things you feel you need to hear. I’ve learned the best letters come when you’re not stressing out about finding the perfect words. Just write and write until you feel you’ve got nothing left.
How do you feel? Do you feel happier? Do you feel lighter? Do you feel a bit better about whatever might be troubling you?
Think about that for a minute. That just by using some words for encouragement/positivity, you completely changed your attitude for the day. Do you realize you have the power to do that for anyone, at any time? Write a letter to your spouse. Write a letter to your parents. Write a letter to your BFF. Write a letter to a stranger and leave it somewhere for someone to find. You have so much power available to you whenever you choose to accept it.
I overcame my depression, in large part because of the letter writing habit I created. I would write 1 letter a day to a friend/family member/someone who inspired me at some point in my life and 1 letter a day to leave wherever I happened to go that day. The combination of gratitude and positive energy was a powerful force that taught me I had a lot to be thankful for, and that kick started everything else so that I was OK with where my life was. I fell back in love with my wife and re-committed to being the awesome dad I wanted to be for my kids. All because I took the time to use my words for good.
I wish I could tell you how loved you are + you’d believe me and life would magically be perfect all of a sudden. I don’t have that power, but I can take a moment to let you know that even though you don’t always feel it, you’re OK. You’re loved. You’re enough. You’re alive + here + doing the best you can. This world should ask nothing more from you than that. Hold on, my friend. I believe in you.
Hey there. Thank you for your bravery. Thank you for your courage. Thanks for getting out of bed this morning. Thanks for putting one foot in front of the other and facing the world today. Thanks for showing up and loving with your whole heart. I know how hard all of that can be sometimes. I want you to remember that while some days feel like nothing but darkness, others are filled with nothing but light. Hold on to those days. For the beauty of this world far exceeds its difficulties. And you bring so much light with you wherever you go. Never, ever forget that, my friend. You are magic + I believe in you.
With Love, Josh
What a beautiful post! Thank you so much, Josh, for inspiring and reminding us of the power of letter writing to save lives.
Have you ever left a note for someone to find or have you been the lucky recipient of one? Also let us know in the comments below if you’re going to start this practice and where you’re going to leave your letters of encouragement.
We’ve experienced firsthand how our words can change someone’s life.
We believe handwritten letters are magical. Especially when you put lots of love into them. Transferring all the encouragement, love and positive energy one can muster onto a piece of paper and sending it off to a friend is a lost art in today’s rushed and overly stressed world.
We believe a little love can go a long way, especially when you share it.
That’s why we established the Hello Happiness Card Company to create cards that bring love, happiness, and joy into the lives of the people you care about most.