Boomerangs of Awareness

Erika Petrelli
Erika Petrelli

Boomerangs of Awarenes

Photo Credit: "Boomerangs", Sam Howzit,


I love hosting. 

This past weekend I hosted my family for a Thanksgiving meal. I spent pretty much all day Saturday cleaning up and shopping and organizing for it, and then pretty much all day Sunday cooking for it. And I just loved it. I love it. 

I love creating an environment that  makes everyone feel like they can have and do anything they want or need.

I love having more drinks and food than we could ever possibly work through.

I love listening to the chatter and laughter of guests as I’m working on the meal.

It’s a love that travels far and wide: it’s the same part of me that filled my van with snacks for the friends I was driving up to Chicago last week. (And that keeps the van full of snacks for the little people that ride in it every day). It’s the same part of me that used to keep a full candy jar on my desk when I worked daily in a proper office rather than a basement. It’s the same part of me that leaves small presents for my kids on the days that I am out of town.

It’s interesting, reflecting on this love of mine. Because, on the one hand it’s easy to be like look at me, being all hosty-with-the-mosty, and leave it at that.

On the other hand, this really has nothing to do with anyone else but me, does it?

It’s interesting to think about—the things we do for others… what are those things in turn doing for us? This “hosting” gene that runs so strong in me—what is it filling in me? Making people feel warm/welcome/loved/seen obviously validates something in me. In the simplest of terms, it makes me feel warm/welcome/loved/seen. It’s a boomerang. What we try to create for others is in many ways a reflection of what we’re trying to create for ourselves.

It occurs to me that if I increase my awareness and reflection on what the things I do for others in turn do for me—if I say “oh, hosting helps me make people feel warm/welcome/loved/and seen which makes ME feel warm/welcome/loved/and seen” then I am more easily able to say “Oh! What ELSE can I do that will make me feel warm/welcome/loved/and seen?” And that is self care at work.

And even more cool… if I notice someone else doing something for me that makes me feel a certain way, I can more intentionally think about what THEY might need from me that will help them feel that very same certain way! Know what I mean? Boomerangs in action all over the place. Boom! Boom!

So this is an important point too: if the energy I give out boomerangs back to me, that must be true for both the positive and the negative. Which is a reminder to me to be mindful of just what I want sent back my way.  

In this week of reflecting on gratitude, I’m grateful for the opportunity for self-reflection. I am grateful for the opportunity to give to others and receive from others. I am grateful for an awareness of the power of boomerangs. 

What will you boomerang out today?

Wings & Whimsy Challenge: Illuminate

What is your favorite thing to do for others? Think about
what doing that for others does for YOU. How does it make
you feel? What are other things you can do to fill yourself up
with that same feeling? Tell me about it in the comments
below, or tweet me @ErikaPetrelli1


Interested in having Erika’s blog come directly to your e-mail each Tuesday? Have comments to share?  E-mail her at   Find all her previous blog posts at



“Oh, Dear World”, The Leadership Program, 2016


Erika Petrelli

By Erika Petrelli

Erika Petrelli is the Senior Vice President of Leadership Development (and self-declared Minister of Mischief) for The Leadership Program, a New York City-based organization. With a Masters degree in Secondary Education, Erika has been in the field of teaching and training for decades, and has been with The Leadership Program since 1999. There she has the opportunity to nurture the individual leadership spirit in both students and adults across the country, through training, coaching, keynotes, and writing. The legacy Erika strives daily to create is to be the runway upon which others take flight. If you enjoy these blogs, you should check out her interactive journal, On Wings & Whimsy: Finding the Extraordinary Within the Ordinary, now available for sale on Amazon. While her work takes her all around the country, Erika calls Indiana home.