A Gift Idea NHA Style!

When we talk about greatness, we are often referring to activities or actions that make us stand up and take notice. Waiting for those to come in the form of extraordinary accomplishments or uncommon acts, how much greatness do you get to celebrate in a day?

What if we looked at life differently and really started to appreciate everyday greatness?  The stuff that happens day in and day out? That which largely goes unnoticed. Instead, let’s celebrate all that greatness!

Even in ourselves. We need to find ways to acknowledge the great things we see and to go deep by adding what inner quality brought the action to light.

The Nurtured Heart Approach® (NHA), talks about Inner Wealth®.  It is always our goal and at its core, is about celebrating greatness. This is not to make another feel good. Rather it is about ensuring they know they are good.

In this way, we help others to be in the world with an authentic form of self-worth, personal strength and trust.

A few years ago, I started to use greatness notes and then greatness boxes. Today, they still serve as a tool to communicate and connect.

Greatness Notes document a firsthand experience of success and add a quality.  In this way, the information is undeniable. I am an internal processor so these are really powerful for me to be able to think and find the words.  They can also help provide that connection when you reflect back on the day or are too busy in a moment to say what you feel or notice.

Also, some people are resistant to being recognized verbally or reject it outright. Sometimes people need to hear it repeatedly to digest it fully. Even how we feel on different days can affect our ability or desire to welcome a shift in how we feel about ourselves.

The beauty of NHA is that there is no one way to download the information that grows Inner Wealth.

Greatness notes get around defences, provide a different tool to communicate greatness, can be kept and can honour another’s preferences.

Last year, we stepped it up a notch to Greatness Boxes.  The idea came from the question of – ‘These notes are so special!  What do I do with them?”

Greatness Boxes can amplify the value of the notes by giving them a special place to dwell until they are needed or wanted again.

Here is how it works ….

Step 1 – Write Greatness Notes

These are a great way to provide authentic recognition of actions and qualities to children and adults. The only criteria are that the note needs to be personal, specific and true. This is what we do ….

  1. I created a template that I print off on coloured paper and I fit 6 squares onto one sheet. I then cut that into individual smaller cards. I am happy to share my template – just send an email to
  2. Each card starts with “(name), I see your greatness”. There is then space to write what positive action we observed (saw, heard, felt etc.) as well as add the quality they possess that led to what they did. My children even write these to each other on occasion which is greatness I sure notice!
  3. All Greatness Notes are put in a bowl on the table.  We all get to see the greatness growing by way of watching the bowl fill.
  4. Once a week, during dinner, we read them out loud.  Some may prefer to read them privately. I have had people share that they have a weekly greatness party to celebrate. Others read them daily rather than weekly.

We did this for about 6 months and then I decided to create a private space where my children could revisit their greatness. Either to help them remember it in a challenging time or to digest it more deeply.  That led me to the Greatness Boxes.

Greatness Notes + Greatness Boxes = the gift that gives everyday

Step 2 –  Have a Greatness Box
  1. You could do this as an activity or a purchase.  Depending on the people involved, you can buy a wooden box at the dollar store to paint, add jewels, sparkles, shells etc.  You could also buy a finished box that appeals to you or the person you are buying it for.  Initially, my children wanted to make their own but as the years go on, I may also bring in a special one I find for them.
  2. Once you have your Greatness Notes, you can add them to your box.  Some may choose to keep them all. Others may choose to keep ones that really resonated or impacted them.
  3. Re-visit your Greatness Box when you wish.  Creating a sacred space for authentic recognitions is like having a space within you that is never affected by external situations. The notes within your box are true and tangible.  They can be used to help grow greatness, reset to more appropriate behaviors or to put a smile on your face.
  4. Add your own personal creativity to make this idea work in your family.  Expand it to work in your relationship with yourself, significant other, friends etc

  This instils “I did do that”.  “I am that”. “It is within in me”.

This holiday season, enjoy noticing, sharing and returning to the greatness within you and your loved ones!

Celebrate Greatness! It is everywhere!

Marny Elliott is a Nurtured Heart Approach® (NHA) Trainer, Coach and Emotional Health Therapist. She empowers parents, educators etc. to use this effective, heart centered approach to transform behaviour, build relationships and grow the Inner Wealth® of children. In addition, she provides holistic counselling to adults seeking to address defeating patterns and improve their emotional health. Please visit, email or call 250.218.8702.






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