This is my sixth and final post as a contributor to Noonday’s blog, Flourish. It was such a joy to add my voice to this amazing resource! You can read all my posts here.
We all want to live lives of impact that bring justice for the earth and its people. And our lives are made up of days, days whose tone can be set the moment our eyes open in the morning.
But what’s on your mind as you get ready in the morning? If you’re like me, it’s often the sound of a very opinionated inner monologue rattling off all the things to do, issues to stress over, or failings to wallow in. Left unchecked, this leaves me feeling defeated before the day I’m getting dressed for even begins. But I’ve found so much power in taking control of my mornings, with a new routine that includes reading affirmations and intentions that I’ve written.
Affirmations and intentions go hand in hand for me: I set an intention to show up to my day in a certain way, but that intention is worthless if it’s not grounded in an affirming belief that I am capable of doing so. To write the words I use, I began with asking myself two questions. What do I want my life to be about – which, in turn, is what I want my days to be about? And what do I need to believe about myself in order to make it happen?
Affirmations have gotten a lot of attention lately, it seems, and for good reason. Muhammad Ali said, “It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. Once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.” And in his book The Miracle Morning, Hal Elrod states, “If you don’t consciously design and choose your affirmations you are susceptible to repeating and reliving the fears, insecurities, and limitations of your past. However, when you actively design and write out your affirmations to be in alignment with what you want to accomplish and who you need to be to accomplish it – and commit to repeating them daily (ideally out loud) – they immediately make an impression on your subconscious mind.” You see, whether you’re a boxer proclaiming “I am the greatest!” or an imperfect world-changer affirming “I can make the world a little better today,” affirmations can set the tone for your day and drive you toward your goals.
So it’s not surprising that many people practice reciting morning affirmations and intentions before getting ready for the day. But I wonder if we can also introduce mindful reflection during another fitting moment: the moment we put on our Noonday accessories for the day. After all, these are accessories with a story that we want to align with each day – and, conveniently, they stay with us all day as a reminder.
Accessorize with Intention
As a Noonday Collection Ambassador, one of my goals at my Trunk Shows is always for those present to feel connected. I share Artisan stories and hope guests feel both stylish on the outside, and impactful on the inside, knowing that their purchases matter. I hope that when their package arrives, with a sweet tag reminding them of the Artisans behind their pieces, they smile, thinking of the makers and internalizing their own ability to create change in the world.
But does this connection remain strong months later? If not, then there is untapped potential to let these pieces inspire impactful lives in a tangible way. It’s important to me that, for my customers, Noonday accessories aren’t just a one-time expression of compassion through the act of purchasing. They can also be an ongoing source, symbol, and reminder of compassion in the very act of wearing them.
And so as you build your Noonday wardrobe, I challenge you to take a simple act – that of putting on your accessories for the day – and make it a ritual. Take a few moments to affirm that your actions matter, and to set an intention for the day, symbolized by what you put on. This can inspire a day where you seek out opportunities to listen, learn, and grow in kindness to the earth and its people.
There is, after all, precedent for jewelry as a symbol. My wedding ring symbolizes the commitment I have made to my husband, and his commitment to me. I take my ring off every night, which honestly started because I didn’t want to gunk it up with lotion at bedtime. However, I’ve learned that I really like taking it off to sleep, because that means putting it on again each morning. It means taking a moment to choose love. Being married is a state of being in one sense, but it’s also an active, daily choice.
Purchasing pieces made by Noonday’s Artisan Partners may feel like a one-time act of social good, but wearing them can be a repeating realignment. It can be a reminder of the impact we have made – not so we can pat ourselves on the back – but to remember that impact is possible, and that our small steps matter. The jewelry can be a physical reminder to live that out every day.
So take a moment each morning to remember the maker, and think a blessing over the Artisan and their family. Ponder that just as you’re a part of that person’s story, you can show up today, too, with an open heart towards others. You can show up with a firm belief that you have what it takes to change the world, right where you are. You’re not too small. You can be open to learn, to listen, to act.
Continue your day adorned with physical reminders – your accessories – of your connection to the world around you. The way you purchase or give or invest, the way you interact with your stuff or the environment, the way you influence the kids in your life, the way you show up in your community, the way you interpret and respond to current events, the way you go about your day – all of it matters. And instead of bringing you to overwhelm, I hope you see that long list as an exciting thing: it means your days are filled with nooks and crannies where you can infuse a bit more kindness, one step at a time. Opportunity abounds for all of us.
Know that your steps toward greater kindness don’t have to be perfect or huge or newsworthy to matter. Say these words – or write your own – and carry the truths with you as you live days, and hence a life, of impact.