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Welcome to Day 11 of the IN AWE 21-Day Challenge! Today we spark inspiration, meaning and joy by CHOOSING LOVE.

“Because I always have a choice, I choose love.” – Deepak Chopra

CHALLENGE: Choose to show your love today; through each of your small actions, interactions and words.

INSPIRATION: ‘Wanting’ to do something is so much more liberating than ‘having’ to do it. My wife Beth reminded me of this through a simple action and her corresponding words. One morning when I was tired after a work trip, she surprised me by putting a cup of coffee on the bathroom sink.

Beth –  who doesn’t drink coffee – made a pot, poured a cup, ran up the steps and placed it where I couldn’t miss it. I dressed quickly, danced down the steps, kissed my four little ones and thanked her for her thoughtfulness. I asked why she made me coffee and she responded, “Because I wanted to.” Ah. I felt so loved.

ACTION: What is one thing you will do today for your family, housemate or neighbor out of love? Inspire us all by posting in the comments below or on social media tagging me and using #inawe.

My friends, today is your day! Live IN AWE.
John O’Leary

Did you know? 
The 21-Day IN AWE Challenge is inspired by John’s book IN AWE. Order your copy + see all the fun behind the scenes at ReadInAwe.com.

25 replies on “In Awe 21-Day Challenge – Day 11”

It has been really cold here… I ran outside with coat and shorts (yes I yell at my kids for doing this very thing) and started my son’s truck so it would be warm when he left for school. I don’t think I have ever darted so fast across the yard. BRRR. #INAWE

As a family we have been going more regularly to the beach and I know my family enjoys that much more then I do, but it is relaxing and brings the family closer. My love for my family is everything but I still lack in showing it to them.

I live by myself, but just sent an electronic gift card to a restaurant to my aunt, who has COVID, and has also been evacuated from her home because of fire.

My daughter was one of 5 Virtual students of the week, I posted the notice from the school on her bedroom door before she woke up with it highlighted!

I am seeing my mom tomorrow so mine will be for then. My mom is my biggest cheerleader, and just’s wants to hear from me, talk with me, be with me… but I have always busied myself with other things and other people. Tomorrow, I will be completely present with her, give her my undivided attention, rebuild our connection. Not just because I need to, but because I want to. I miss her and appreciate her and she deserves to feel the unconditional love she has for me, back from me.

I live with my boyfriend and I want to make him smile more often. I want to make special dinner for him today. I don’t it seafood but I’ll cook pasta with seafood for him.

LOVE – i will continue to tell the people in my life that “I LOVE YOU”. It will be verbally. Having lived alone for over forty years I know how important it is to hear these words especially when they come from the heart. They bring joy and acceptance to the receiver. When I write to my Grandchildren I always end my notes with “I love you to the moon and back”.

Last weekend, my husband and I decided to take a drive to just get out of the house, and in SC that’s allowed now! So, we drove about an hour away, and stopped by a friend’s house, not getting out of the car, but just to say hello from a distance. I also carried with me a hand soap that I knew was her favorite to give to her to show we are thinking of her and her husband and miss seeing them. She was thrilled!! 🙂 It made my heart sing, just to see her face light up, and she said “I’ll think of ya’ll every time I wash my hands!!”

I will be getting dinner started before my wife gets home from work – she is still working at a bank (essential service to keep our financial institutions open). That way she can come home and relax instead of worrying about what to make. There is probably a foot rub in order from me to her tonight too… that’s a favorite for her.

My son made chocolate chip cookies for my dad, so I will deliver those to my parents porch with some kale soup, say hello from a distance and move on to my aunt, with the same treats, as she is also isolated during this time.

It seems to me that even before this current world crisis, we have been isolating ourselves more and more, even when fully surrounded by people. We text and send cute emoji messages, and we “love” our friends’ Facebook posts, but rarely do we take many moments for real conversations. I have been making my mission this entire month to call people every day that I haven’t spoken to voice to voice in a while; to reach out because they have been on my heart; to see how THEY are and not to share how I am. I am making it my top priority to especially check in on my self-employed friends (like me) who have had to completely close shop for the time being.

We need to care for each other, even if it is with only a phone call. And, because I wanted to, no, needed to, i have revisted with the book On Fire (do you know it? ?), as it moved me so much, and just recently I have chosen to spontaneously gift it to a few people each week that seem to need its message.

I often think about this but rarely take action. Thank you for this word of encouragement. It does make a difference! Who is the author of the book you mentioned?

I baked treats for my family. Just little gestures of love. An extra hug or an extra word of encouragement or praise go a long way. I appreciate when someone does something nice for me unexpectedly and I want to model that same behavior for my kids.

The other day I went grocery shopping for my elderly neighbors, as they were too afraid to venture out on their own. I did my best to find everything on their list, but I wasn’t able to find the husband’s favorite cheddar popcorn from Trader Joe’s.
Yesterday I saw that the popcorn was back in stock! I grabbed a bag and left it at their front door as a surprise.
You would have thought they won the lottery! They were so grateful and told me that I made their day. Amazing that something that took so little effort on my party actually made such a big difference in their day.

Today, I made a chick pea salad for my son, that He was asking me to do for a while…
Actually, I made it with him, which is much more joyful 🙂

I took the time and was rewarded by a happy boy!!!

Marie-Josee – I’m loving all of your comments on these pages. Wanted to let you know I’m seeing them and am grateful for them. ALSO I’d like to send you a copy of IN AWE once it’s released in May. Please send an email over to brian@johnolearyinspires.com and include the best address to send to. Thanks again my friend!

Recently, and just before social distancing, I was behind a young couple in the grocery store. My cart was filled with all the things we wanted, not needed, at home. In front of me was a young couple with “items of basic necessities, all “store” or “generic” brands. They were working to put together their change to come up with the total due. I told the cashier to add their total to my groceries and told them to go on, their bill was paid. They looked at me in wonder and asked, “Why?” I said “Why not?” even before I ever read In Awe. I never shared this with any one at the time. I don’t like to pat myself on the back for doing what I choose to do, but this group of people understands, so it’s okay to share it here. You get it, you know that it means more to me than that young couple. Nice to relive that, thanks for the opportunity.

Choosing Love

On Challenge Day 7, I was on the hunt for a picture of my childhood. I am blessed that my parents (dad-84 mom -81) live next door to me and I asked if they had any pictures of me when I was young. My dad knew he had some, but he needed to look through a few boxes. He and my mom found the box and brought over some pictures they found.
Often, I take for granted that they are next door. They visit often and sometimes when they think we are not home (my husband is more understanding in this area) they use a spare key to leave a treat or surprise on our kitchen counter.
Today, I wanted to give them a couple of muffins I had made to say thank you. I rang their doorbell and you would have thought I was a celebrity. They were overjoyed to see me! I believe my visit was the better gift than the muffins. FYI-The box of pictures that they found…brought them joy to see people they hadn’t seen in a long time. My mom organized them and made piles, so she good give them to family members and friends when she is able to get out and about. The love they have for us is undeniably endless!

There is so much good we can all do in the world right now to brighten someone’s day. The comments I’ve read so far have been very encouraging and inspiring. I trust that everyone in this community continues to hold their head up, walk in faith, and believe, truly believe that THIS TOO SHALL PASS.

I’m going to send out at least 25 emails today to healthcare workers, to thank them for their efforts, patience and commitment to their patients and the pubic health during this season.

I LOVE this one! I went to Costco to get some supplies. I had just had a conversation with the neighbors about how they were doing and if they had everything they needed. They said they were good but were running out of toilet paper. I wasn’t planning on it but they actually had TP in Costco so I picked some up for them. The line to Costco has been on quarantined entry for a bit now so kind of a line to get in. I hauled home some TP for them, had to assure them I didn’t need it as I was still working and we had TP at work being in the financial industry and husband is a pilot so we’re really good on TP. They have 3 people at home right now so using 3x plus more TP than us. I asked them to share with the other neighbors if necessary. This was AWESOME. I’ll also be checking in with them for housework or other pickups so they don’t need to leave.

Seriously….I am the first one to comment?! Fine, I’ll go first and increase my odds of winning a book!

After making Sunday breakfast for the kids to normalize the new realities, we went upstairs and watched our pastor live stream our church service. A Sunday service can be difficult with four kids even with peer pressure…it gets even harder at home with a dog walking in and out of the room…but it was a beautiful, reflective, prayerful time for us as a family and as a community.

Afterwards, and this was the real action, I Facetiimed and texted some friends I knew could use encouragement….

k….what about you?


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