Thursday, November 17, 2011

Operation Beautiful

I am a very impulsive, but sometimes, thoughtful creature. At times, I manage to get things right... in a big way.

One day, while perusing the internet and writing my blog, I came across another blog, one with a positive message and quest for starting a public movement that, I believed, warranted a little of my participation and devotion.

I had stumbled across a site called Operation Beautiful.

The mission statement from this site states: "The goal of the Operation Beautiful website is to end negative self-talk or “Fat Talk.”  If this little blog only does one productive thing, I hope it helps readers realize how truly toxic negative self-talk is  — it hurts you emotionally, spiritually, and physically.

Followers  are encouraged to secretly, and anonymously, post messages of positive self-worth in random locations.

I have a secret stash of pretty post-it notes in my desk. Some of the post-its have been treasured for almost 10 years! I hate to use them on something frivolous. I actually hoard pretty post-its and will chastise anyone who touches "my precious".

This Operation Beautiful is anything but frivolous. So, out came my pretty pieces of paper; pink hearts, purple butterflies, peachy flowers...
Operation Beautiful had posted a challenge for readers to anonymously place unlimited messages of self worth on a specific date and time. I accepted the challenge. As the date neared, I diligently penned my own positive affirmations; some simple, some profound. And when the moment was right, I slipped away from my desk at work and placed pretty affirmation post-it notes all over my workplace. Post-its on the bathroom mirrors, post-its on co-worker's computer monitors, post-it's on the copy machine.

I was stealthy... nobody caught me and I was very proud of my accomplishment...even giggled to myself  when I started  hearing people ask about the post it notes.

I denied all inquiries. I didn't know a thing about it, but thought that it a pretty cool thing.

And, then, a male co-worker, whom I barely knew, from another suite came to my cubicle with the sticky I had placed on his computer. The post-it simply said, "you are loved."

"Did you do this?"he asked .

"Do what?" I replied.

"Did you put this on my computer? I stepped away from my computer for less than a minute and when I came back, this was on my computer". He held up the sticky again so I could read it.

"Hmmmm, wow,  ummmm, nope, I've been at my desk almost all morning", I lied.

I could tell that he wasn't buying it. But I held fast that I didn't know anything about it.

And then, I noticed that as he was looking at the ground in front of him,  little salty tears started welling up in the corners of his eyes and threatened to spill out onto his cheeks.

"If you did this," he said, "thank you. I really needed to hear this right now."

I stood up and gave him a wink and a little hug, and still denied putting that sticky note on his monitor. He hugged me back, held on tight.. he just kept saying thank you.

"I have no idea  what you're talking about", I lied, "but you ARE loved" I told him, truthfully.

I didn't know this coworker very well. My relationship was nothing more than a friendly professional one. He's always been helpful and kind, but I knew nothing more about him. I didn't know anything about his home life, his personal life.  I didn't know that he was going through a messy divorce and custody battle and he was questioning whether or not life was worth sticking around for.

Just when his life was appearing to be at it's lowest point, a little butterfly post-it note reminded him that he has blessings in his life ... and that he was loved.

I went home from work that day with a renewed sense of purpose, myself. I was reminded that even the smallest gesture can be monumental to someone. I was reminded that everyone has a story before they reach us, and we need to recognize and be sensitive to that. I was happy, and, yes, even proud, that I had held on to those post-it notes and had taken the time to follow through with my little project .... my post-its had more than served their purpose.

Those butterflies, hearts, and flower post-it notes stayed up on the mirrors and computers for many, many months after I had placed them there. The cleaning crews would clean the mirrors around each and every one of them. I would catch a glimpse of them on monitors as I walked by coworker's desks.

So much good came from each little piece of paper.

Here is your challenge, reader. I challenge you to make a difference in someone's life today... take one simple little piece of paper and anonymously tell someone that they matter... that they are loved.

It's not difficult to do... even put one up on the mirror in your own bathroom... because you are loved, too.

PS.... please visit and like them on facebook... I think the message here is an important one for all of us.


  1. Crying at work is not a good look for me.

    What a wonderful act :)

  2. It still feels good, K.
    If you get the opportunity, I hope you get to place a couple post-it notes here or there. Please share this link if you feel it would prompt others to write little notes of their own... we all can make a difference in somebody's life... thanks for reading :o)

  3. I think you're so awesome Ali! Thank you for sharing this story! I am so excited to be onboard with Operation Beautiful!!