Noticing Five

fiveJust read an email about The Noticer Project.

It’s a “worldwide movement to ‘notice’ the five most influential people in your life.” (Based on the book The Noticer by Andy Andrews.)

Naturally, I started thinking of all the pleasant and supportive people who’ve made a difference in my life – my folks, my third grade teacher Ms. Davis, my favorite coaches, etc.

But then I thought about my crackhead neighbor. And a boss I struggled with.

Which reminded me how Abraham says our true soulmates are the ones who make us want to tear our hair out.

So in honor of Abraham and The Noticer Project, I am noticing the five most influential people in my life who were probably least expected to make this list:

My Crackhead Neighbor – man, I love you! You taught me SO many valuable things!  Just thinking about what I learned from you brings joyful tears to my eyes.  (For real.)

I learned that 1) I alone am responsible for how I feel; 2) people are capable of absolutely anything (that means both of us, good and bad); 3) I can commit to how I want to feel despite outside circumstances; 4) I can choose peace instead of war. You gave me great inspiration to learn releasing resistance under challenging circumstances. Thank you for that. I don’t know anyone else who would have had the stubbornness to see me through it. It’s a privilege to call you my friend today.

My Ex-Husband – you were right about lots of things that I got wrong. And it’s all good. You and I are living proof that happy endings don’t always look like we expected. Thank you for your commitment to returning to love through all our ups and downs. (Plus, I got that marriage thing out of the way so I don’t have to do that again!)


My Old Boss – what I learned from you really took me by surprise, and has made a lasting impact on my life. Thank you for teaching me that I am capable of not caring what others think; that I am strong enough to do what’s right over what’s expected; and that winning isn’t most important – enjoying is.

My Ex-Fiance – the third one. When I think of people who made me want to tear my hair out, I think of that moment I wanted to shoot you at the intersection of 21st and 13th.

(The passionate feelings you inspired me to are good reasons not to have loaded guns on hand.) But what I’m most grateful for is how through my experience with you I learned that love is found on the inside, not the outside. That no one can love me like (and until) I can love myself. Could there be a bigger gift to give someone? I doubt it. For that reason, I am forever in your debt.

As for #5, I have a feeling the best is yet to come. Or maybe we live together now. Or maybe it’s my best girlfriend who tried to snag a super hot guy out from under me (first time I was inspired to make a strong stand for what I wanted), or the customer “service” rep from Adobe last month (the gift is yet to be seen there). Just trying to get a couple girls on my list!

I know this much: it’s a pleasure to recognize that our biggest influencers aren’t always wearing white hats. In fact, the best ones don’t, right?

Let’s hear some of yours …

  • April 14, 2009
  • Jonathan Lockwood says:

    I am now ready to give thanks for all the people in my life–past and present–who have complained ceaselessly about The People Up There (bosses, government officials,) while providing every possible excuse for The People Down Here (themselves, their friends and peers).
    Yes those ones who, for instance, have bellowed continuously about how “the company” was not as extraordinarily fair as they’d like–while at precisely the same time are forging fake receipts to turn in for expense reimbursement.
    The life lesson learned from these giving people? If we are going to loudly condemn The People Up There, we cannot wink at or excuse The People Down Here.

  • You don’t forget, Leslie! They keep finding their way back to you, and in perfect timing!

  • LeslieB says:

    Jeanette – thanks for the crackhead neighbor story! It comes at a time when I am at my wits end about an alcoholic/crackhead brother.
    Why is it that I keep forgetting the tools that are available to deal with life’s bumps and bruises?

  • Well said, Debbie!
    I think you’d like the sentiments expressed in Revoluationary Trauma Release Process: Dr. David Berceli talks about how there is tremendous opportunity for us to become more “ourselves” – to be more evolved – as a result of the trauma we experience.
    Here’s to more silver!

  • Debbie says:

    Super great post. Adversity brings us our most precious gifts. Besides, adversity can’t be adversity unless we let it. My prayer for everyone “Perceive everything in your life by the silver lining, and only silver linings will show up”
    Thank you Jeanette

  • Big learning right there, Nancy: “30+ years of hidden distaste and irritation is a waste of time.” Thanks for sharing it with us!!

  • Nancy says:

    Thought I would come up with a few people to thank for being my soulmates and ran into something that surprised me.
    When I thought of people who have have made me want to tear my hair out, there was one person who came to mind.
    In high school, she was mean. We were in the same group of friends but she was not very nice. And to top it off she went out with my boyfriend when we broke up. Oh! the angst of high school romance. I still get irritated when I think of her. Only person that affects me this way.
    But the big revelation was that I had not learned anything from this experience. Nada. Can’t think of a thing right now. Except for the thought that 30+ years of hidden distaste and irritation is a waste of time. Thanks for this eye opener. And I thought that learning to keep score in tennis was the biggest challenge from those years! Looking forward to getting over this!

  • Nice list, Amanda! You’re obviously paying close attention and cultivating great knowledge from life’s experiences!

  • Amanda says:

    ..As of late a close friend..telling me that at my age (39)I should be married with a child.- Meanwhile she literally reminds me .. why I’m not hiding in a marriage and although I might not have my own child I hold a great space for nurturing everyone and their true potential.
    An ex for being a poohead and putting me through the ringer. I learned I was living from the ego which was a hard lesson. I now keep my self in check.
    For my parents -although they were affected by their limiting beliefs taught me as a child listening to them from the first floor being silly and laughing, I wanted that same playfulness in my life.
    My sweetheart for being so amazingly good with me who taught me I have to love myself and don’t have to depend on any outside force to make me happy. Also for letting me share with him how utterly ridiculous and funny he is!
    To my adorable kitties..I never knew how much joy two demosticated felines would bring!
    ..And thanks Jeantette for your cool vibes here!

  • Wow, Janette, you’re really highlighting the power of the gifts we can pick up from these challenging relationships in our lives!
    I’m loving this!
    Kinda makes me want to redo it and mine my list for even bigger gems.
    Thanks for sharing this here!

  • Janette says:

    Great, great post – and fab responses (Kim, yours had me LOL!). So here’s my list:
    1. the headmistress who said I’d never amount to anything – LOL, that was guaranteed to make me kick the traces!
    2. the director who fired me two weeks into rehearsal – the day after I cut off all my hair in a bid to please him – WOW!! Not only did that free me up for my first TV gig, it also taught me never, EVER, cut your hair just to please some dude!
    3. the ex, for teaching me the importance of taking responsibility – because he wasn’t ready to do it yet.
    4. the business associates, for teaching me that the old, greed-based, fearful ways of doing things just won’t cut it.
    5. my sweetie, for reflecting me back to myself – every challenge gives me an opportunity to decide whether I really believe in what I’m saying. It’s a great way to build the muscles of conscious belief! (And have some unconscious beliefs brought kicking and screaming into the light of day!!)
    Thanks for such a great thread!!! xx as ever 🙂

  • So nice to hear from you again, Leslie! I’ve missed you! (And I’m sure I’m not alone!)
    Thanks for sharing this with us … I especially appreciate that last sentence in #5.
    God bless, girlfriend! 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    I have to say that over the years of reading and laughing with Jeannette , that she has been a tremendous influence and support for me. I appreciate the talent she has for knowing it’s just energy, and always bringing the fun into it. I have learnt to let go of negative attachments and spot them quicker thanks to that girl! She is so good for my heart.
    On the more cranky side those who have influenced me,
    My mother – I have rescued my mother all my life and recently I am quite angry and frustrated to find myself bringing her back to health and her now living in my house. It certainly has made me very clear that I am my own rescuer and more empowered for that. You have to be a vicitm to get rescued, and look for others to make decisions for you which then you can complain and criticise others for because you didn’t make them.
    It may look like a perk but really, it’s a choice between claiming your power or not. Too high a payoff in my opinion.
    2. Susan was almost brutal how she got over things and didn’t let energy stick. I came to admire that in her and understand she did care she just was very good at
    seeking the high ground fast.
    3. My husband has always pushed me to claim more for myself. We were out in the wilderness and he bullied me into learning how to use an outboard, he didn’t want me to live up in the bush and not know how to run a boat. He taught me how to chop wood, light a fire, run a generator. Amazingly after all these year I realize he has made me a stronger person.
    4. Diane sold me the flower store and she was such a bitch and stayed on for three months supposedly to teach me the trade. But she was too vain to. I have never in my life been that stressed and each day wanted to go into the bathroom and cry but was too busy to.
    I was ditzy about money and now I am accountable. I also claim my talents and gifts now and would never allow another to make me feel less than again.
    5. Scott was a huge influence and now I don’t know why. He was my spiritual guru and I had a blast while I learnt from him. I eventually learnt I don’t need to look to others for guidance or approval, I own it!
    Love Leslie

  • Oooh, I’m liking THIS, Nancy: “Is not every hour a fresh point of view?”
    That’s a gem worth remembering!
    Thanks for trading powerful thoughts, my friend! 🙂

  • Nancy says:

    Thanks for bringing me a new favorite quote. ” The gift is yet to be seen.”… Jeannette Maw
    One of my favorites has been ” One thing I have learned in my wandering life, my friends, it never to call anything a misfortune till you have seen the end of it. Is not every hour a fresh point of view?” Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
    I like the expectation that this new favorite brings to mind.

  • Girlfriend (Eve), just let me get my hands on a scanner and I’ll have some photos for you! We went hiking in Zions Park one year and they’re some of my favorite photos to this day!
    He’s not just hot, either. Heart of gold, sensitive, loves to cuddle – AND built like a Greek God. (Hope I don’t get in trouble for outing him as one of the most eligible bachelors in town.) lol

  • Profound words you share here, N: “I thank the whole world its contrast.” (They’re worth repeating!)
    That is sometimes easier said than done, but with these simple words from you, it feels more embraceable.
    Thanks for becoming a poster. Nice to hear from you, N!

  • Eve says:

    No shit, he IS HOT!

  • N says:

    Long time lurker, first time poster
    I thank the whole world for its contrast

  • Kim, I LOVE your list! And I can totally see you holding your big shiny award in your hands with a big smile while you do it! lol
    You are the BEST! Thanks for the smiles tonight. 🙂

  • Kim Falconer says:

    Oh Jeannette, just think of being called up to get an Oscar and reading this list! I love it!!! This is where the gold is.
    “There are so many people to thank for my success– too many to list–but may I must mention:
    1. My father for thinking I was stupid. You certainly spurred me on to explore my intellect. Ta!
    2. My Mother who thought the body should be hidden, sensuality was taboo and tattoos where for ex-cons and drug addicts. Well, enough said there! ‘wink’ 🙂
    3. My big brother who taught me I am perfect, just as I am by pretending that I wasn’t. May you find peace in Source.
    4. To my ex-husband for reminding me that marriage is not one of my feel goods. Incredibly well done!
    5. To my best friend that moved in with my husband three days after I left. I never had to deal with guilt! Genius action!
    Thank you all, my dark horses–you light up my life.
    🙂 Kim

  • Glad you were able to pull the gold out of those, Danae! Kind of a relief to reframe it all, huh?
    Thanks for sharing it with us here! 🙂

  • danae says:

    1. my mother for being such a terrible example of how to raise children, conduct relationships and live a life – for being so utterly miserable and angry that I always knew I didn’t want to be like her so I put myself on the path of freedom and healing.
    2. my father for showing me the flipside of my mother’s behaviour – passivity, materialism and excess – so that I knew that happiness would never lie that way either. And for, after many long hard lessons, teaching me to focus on what I’m doing here and now rather than what I could be ‘aiming for’ – for finally being able to assert that what I’m doing with my life is ‘good enough’ and I don’t need wealth or credentials to ‘be someone’.
    3. my ex husband who showed me how scared I was of the world, how much I feared being loved and accepted and how true wealth is the freedom to do what I please with my day, and with my life. For showing me that I’m a creative person with many talents and that I have lots to offer the world.
    4. my crazymaking, babymaking steel erector: for abandoning and rejecting me so that I learned not to do the same to myself. For lying, so that I learned how I deceive myself, for being absent, so that I stay here with me, love me more and show me more attention. For showing me my own denial. (how much have I grown lately because of him!!)
    5. my landlord, who doesn’t communicate with me and is unwilling to take care of his property – for showing me that its time to start taking care of my own – to stop relating to the world as though at any time it can all be taken away from me.
    thanks for this – exactly what I needed, as usual! You’re the best!

  • Wow – cool list, Susan! And not just because I’m on it!
    #1 was super impressive, and it’s clear through reading the rest of your list you have a gift for not falling for the usual “traps” many of us find ourselves in.
    As someone who has spent quality time with you, I can easily vouch for the fact that you are anything but a black hole. Quite the opposite, actually. Anyone is LUCKY to spend time with you, my friend, whether as a client or friend.
    Thanks for being part of this conversation and community. Much appreciated, Susan!

  • Susan says:

    1. My mother who initially taught me about boundaries so that I built 10 foot emotional walls and through her consistent behavior over the years has given me the opportunity to be clear and honest; to learn that staying in my business is where happiness resides; and who I can say without reservation that I love. I just spent 4 days with her and had not a single argument with because I no longer am at odds with who she is….fabulous feeling.
    2. The multitudes of people who have given me the opportunity to learn that when I want to ‘help’ without being asked that it is all about my ego.
    3. The MBI coach in training who called me a ‘black hole’ of energy drain and fired me. After she fired me, I laughed for days because I absolutely knew that it was all about her. Thank you for the opportunity to learn the reality of ‘not taking it personally’
    4. The boss who ‘sold me out’ to advance her career and enabled me to understand my own personal power.
    5. All the people who have been generous of heart and helped me to learn by their examples of the importance of being open and giving without expectation. Jeannette, you are a member of the generous of heart group.

  • Kind of puts a whole different spin on “negative” relationships, doesn’t it, Pernille?!
    Nice growth you picked up from these soulmates, girlfriend. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  • I love this post – it’s so great to realize that what seems to be the most negative relationsships in our lives may actually turn out to be the greatest gifts!
    Here are a few of mine:
    1. My mother – who has always been a negative pessimist believing in fate and (lack of) luck. Thanks to you my passion for more than 30 years has been personal development, and I’m now a certified coach and a Law of Attraction Expert – and I love it!
    (and today I’m actually totally in love with my mother).
    2. My ex-husband – it took me two years to “find myself again” after our divorce – thanks to you I learned how important it is to be true to myself.
    Thanks for giving me the opportunity to learn and to grow 🙂

  • EL says:

    Ok, the synchronicity in this just hit me and I had to come back. LOL
    About 10 minutes before I read this post, I posted a poem I wrote in my blog. It’s called “My Attitude of Gratitude” and it’s corny and it even rhymes… but it’s about how grateful I am for everything in life… even the trials…
    It’s linked to my name up top if you’d care to check it out 🙂

  • Ha! Check us out on the same page and everything, El! lol

  • EL says:

    AWESOME post!
    I’ve always felt that I’ve learned the most from the people in my past who were “negative” influences. Some of my family has even tried to provoke me into arguing because of some people I’ve “forgiven”. I figure, there’s no need to hold onto resentment… and if not for those people and their influence (because it was so BIG) I could never have turned out to be exactly who I am today. I needed those people and influences to keep up with what I was becoming.

  • It’s true, isn’t it, El? We couldn’t be who we are today without their influence. Rather than an obstacle to overcome, seeing them as a gift to help us be more our true selves – that perspective sure changes the vibe!
    Thanks for reading and especially for posting, El. Always nice to see you here! 🙂

  • If you post your list, Patricia, I’d love to read it! Be sure to give us a link if you care to share.
    I have to say, Patricia, I’m liking the thoughts of your “tag cloud” if you had one for that comment: LOVE, inspired, lighter, free, magic … you have a good vibe, my friend.

  • Jeannette,
    I just LOVE how you put your own spit and twist to things and am ever more inspired by your realness.
    I’m off to make my own list of The Five who showed me places in myself I would not have stumbled upon of my own volition. I already feel lighter . . . and much more free . . .
    Make Magic,

  • Nicely done, Mary. Those are two people I’d be privileged to meet. 🙂
    And it says something about you about how easily you can spot them, too.

  • Mary says:

    Oh, this is good! Ok, here are a couple of mine:
    1- my ex who helped me realize what “be true to yourself” meant. I was so false throughout that relationship, so obsessed with making it right and being what everyone else wanted, and when I finally realized it and became myself again, it was like becoming SUPER me.
    2-My friend who taught me that I don’t have to judge you to love you. In fact, if i try to judge all your actions, I really can’t love you. Loving became easier when I gave up on labeling everything right and wrong.

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