Every day at 7:58 a.m., my phone buzzes. It’s my Daily Question from Daily Haloha. The questions are simple, open-ended, and powerful. Once I answer my question and choose a “mood” to attach to the answer, it shows me someone else’s answer (anonymously) and sends my answer to a different person (anonymously). After I “react” to the person’s answer I received, I’m taken to the Daily Wall to check out all the answers that have come in so far that day.
Sounds simple. Might even sound strange to some of you. But here’s the thing. It’s truly amazing. The app is loosely based on the Subway Therapy that started in NYC subway stations after the 2016 election. And, it’s not just the appearance of “post-its” that these two amazing brands have in common, they also share the principles of Community, Inclusion, and Peaceful Expression — and the shared goal of showing what it likes to be Human today.
One of the ways Amy’s app, Daily Haloha, differs from the Subway Therapy work (besides being available to those of us who do not live in NYC…) is that she has created something to specifically target the negative feelings that many times come from social media.
One day, the question went like this: “One of my personal superpowers is ____________ .” I filled in the blank with “seeing the big picture.” Super true. Also, poignant in my life right now as I continue this journey of showing the world the value I’m adding (and getting paid for that value). The answer that came back to me said “being a great mom.” Bam! Instantly I thought, “Oh! I could have said that too! I’m also a great mom. That IS a superpower.” Next, I went to the Haloha Wall to see what other people had said — each time I read one of the following, I felt connected to someone — sometimes because I could have also said what they did, and, many times, because the thing they listed as a superpower is something I have been told I needed to change about my own self.
“being an empath.”
“always seeing what people are rather than what they are not.”
“leaving behind my belongings everywhere I go.”
“boundless, fearless, out of box creativity.”
and each time I read one of these next few, I felt connected to someone because I have been there, I want to be there, or I’ve held someone’s hand while they were there:
“drawing someone’s story out of them.”
“falling asleep anywhere.”
“not taking the fallout from other people’s problems personally.”
“spacious open compassion.”
Although we’ve all heard and read that stats that say that seeing people on social media constantly sharing their success and large amounts of money and perfect lives causes great anxiety and insecurities and feelings of isolation in many of us, here’s why this is different. When you write your answer for Daily Haloha, no one will ever know that you said it. You aren’t putting something out there to be seen in your best light.” You aren’t seeling a course or trying to convince your judgy father that your life is good. I mean, I guess some people might answer the questions this way, but I suspect if they do that they won’t use the app for long because they will miss out on the benefits of deep authentic truth-telling — mostly to yourself — but in a place where someone is holding space for you to do that.
In contrast, when I see that someone on Daily Haloha shared an answer that is how I hope my future self answers, I am reminded that there are people who are doing what I want to do and people who are living the life I’m trying to create, and people who have the same goals and dreams as me. When I see someone shared an answer that makes me feel sad or have compassion (for them or for a past me), I am reminded that people are everywhere dealing with things we don’t even know. When I see someone answer in a way that lets the world know that they don’t like the question or one of the things they wish were different about the world is evidenced in this question, I am reminded to always choose my words as carefully as I can and that there are other people, like me, who are critically analyzing everything they come in contact with.
And, when I see someone say something that is completely off-the-wall, either hilarious or unexpected or honestly doesn’t seem to answer the question, I am reminded that the world is full of people who take every chance they can to play, people who will surprise you, and people who don’t see even the most clear things the same way you do.
It builds community in another way, for me, as well. Sometimes I read the answers on the wall, and I instantly think of someone I know who could have answered that way. This might prompt me to call them, text them, or check out their latest blog post — and it always prompts me to stop and say “Thank You” for the part they have played in my life.
One of the most amazing things about Daily Haloha, though, is Amy, the founder. She is every single thing I listed above and more. She is Community, Inclusion, and Peaceful Expression. She is a picture of what it looks like to be humxn (and a female in tech) today. She is someone who holds space for you. She is someone who takes every chance she can to play, She is someone who gets to the deep authentic truth sooner rather than later. She is all of that and so much more.
When Amy and I first chatted, I felt like I was talking to a long-lost soul-sister. I say long-lost because we were definitely doing that “here’s who I am in today’s world” thing, but it also felt like we had known each other for many lifetimes. I am honored to have met her. I’m absolutely tickled that I get to do my part to help her make Daily Haloha a success.
It has been my privilege to be part of a small group of people who are dedicated to making Daily Haloha the great success it is going to be, and I look forward to continuing to do that for a long time.