April 19th, 2013 by Christina | 1 Comment
The other day, a friend stayed at my house, and when she was preparing for a nap, I said “I’m going to go write.”
Later, my friend approached me and said I sounded positively energized when I said I would go write. This had shocked her. (I am writing a new book about the Constitution.) She asked me where my love of writing came from.
I have many answers to this question, because it’s been years in the making. So I’ll start with one.
AN APPRECIATION PRACTICE AND MY HAPPY LEFT HAND
In 2001, I was choir director at my church, and on one Sunday, I felt like choir had not gone well. At all. Tons of mistakes, people flaking out, the audience looking bored, you name it.
I left the church frustrated and discouraged.
Then something made me sit down in a cafe, and write down what had gone well. What had worked? As I wrote the answers, I filled 2 pages. I couldn’t believe it. So much good juju, just by remembering to appreciate.
This made me realize that if I only choose to appreciate, there was ALWAYS something to appreciate.
Since then, I’ve done a “Weekly Review” of “what worked” over the past week. Each week, I write 2-4 pages of appreciations, sometimes more. It’s been 12 years and I’ve only missed a handful of weeks. Each year, I even do a “Yearly Review,” where I look at my Weeklies and distill them down into the juiciest of the juicy.
The side effect of this? I find it’s almost impossible to write negative stuff with my left hand (I’m a leftie) for any period of time. It’s like it’s been trained out of me. My left hand wants to find something to appreciate. It just does.
That is the one reason why I writing makes me happy.
Christina Frei is a youth motivational speaker, presenting leadership programs about the Founding Fathers to schools, historical societies, and libraries all over CT. Her latest book, 5 Rockstars of the American Revolution, was recently endorsed by 2 Pulitzer Prize winning authors and the top youth speaker in America. See her in action at www.christinafrei.com.