I Love You
We live in a world that's starving for love. Love has become something reserved for one or two "special" people who are deserving of it and we wait for this holy grail to arrive before we dare utter the precioys words, "I love you". In fact, some relationships can end because the so called "L bomb" was dropped too soon as if love is something scary we should run from. What makes us, the giver of love, the right to decide who gets it anyway? Shouldn't love be free?! It's the only thing we have to give that multiplies when given away.
We also violate the golden rule daily! Rather than treat people the way we want to be treated, we treat people the way they treat us, robbing the world of love and hoarding whatever is left of it. How the hell did we get into this mess?
Thinking we are special separates us from one another and only perpetuates the cycle of racism, sexism, bigotry, and entitlement.
Have you ever wondered how arranged marriages survive in other cultures? How is it possible our great grandparents stayed happily married 75 years plus? Why are the Danish so damn happy? What's so romantic about countries like Greece and Italy? LOVE
Let me break it down for you...
Imagine if you thought about yourself as love. As you went throught your day, you gave love away to everyone you encountered. Before meeting each new person, you said to yourself, "I love you" and saw them as a fellow imperfect person, not only deserving of love, but as love. Rather than judge them on what you perceived upfront, you'd see their struggles as circumstantial and their behavior easier to accept when love is present. And remember, because you are love, they can feel love from you and are more likely to love in return. Its the only thing we have to give away that multiplies.
Put this into practice each day. Before meeting a new person, tell yourself, "I love you".
Sign up for "Mission: JOY" on my services page to join the happiness project of like-minded people seeking more joy and love in their lives.
Want more JOY in your life again?
You asked...I answered! Since the pandemic and isolation began, I've received a number of requests for mental and emotional support from friends, family, readers, and listeners. Admittedly I was as overwhelmed as all of you during this as these are unchartered waters and none of us had the map to navigate the emotional bermuda triangle we found ourselves lost in. But, personally I feel ready to put the Captain hat on and get the F out of here and sail towards paradise if anyone is interested in joining! Who's in?! Let's go!
I remember sitting at my neighbor's house back in March when rumors of mandated "quarantine" first began. I was upset I'd had to cancel a few trips and was looking forward to my summer excursions. My neighbor, and friend, laughed. "2020 is fucked. You're not doing anything this year."
I refuse to believe an entire year of my life will be without travel...without joy...without success...without adventure. I WILL move forward in my life and I WILL find joy if I have to create it myself! So, that's what I did. I've created joy every day.
Of course I spent a few weeks overdrinking, crying, sleeping late, binge watching TV, journaling my sorrows, snacking on junk food, and wondering if I'd ever feel alive again, but...so did you! LOL We all have ridden the rollercoaster of emotions during this time, but I'm on the flipside now and I want to tell you how I did it so you can do it too! I feel awesome. I'm eating well, sleeping great, exercising daily, journling, reading, goal setting, and seeing the fruits of my labors in my personal, professional, and family life!
I'll share one tiny happiness secret with you (shhhhhh). Positive psychologists say happiness can be improved by making others happy. So, I made that one of my goals everyday.
1. Reach out to someone to check on them, send them something special OR simply tell them why they matter
2. Compliment a stranger and/or give back in your community
In the movie 'Eat Pray Love' Kutuk tells Liz to "Smile with liver" and she laughs as though he's joking. He advises to smile with every part of your body; even the internal organ that's responsible for bile, lol. I smiled while I was running last week and even though I'm sure I looked like the village idiot, I enjoyed my run EVEN more. Smile while grocery shoppping, while cleaning your house, and smile doing all the things you used to consider chores. It sparks joy.
That's just a teeny tiny teaser into the transformational work you'll be doing if you join my 6 week course "Mission: JOY"! What's required of you? Nothing but the commitment to read the exclusive content provided to you and be open to the suggestions and exercises provided! I'll be available to my group members via phone, email, text to support you further. I''m limiting the group to a small number so don't hesitate! Sign up NOW...we start Monday June 1. Click "SHOP" to purchase your seat. No formal attendence necessary. You're signing up to learn and grow at your leisure. Mission: JOY
Myth: In order for a parenting tip to "work" the child will be happy.
Fact: When setting limits, its much more likely your child will cry, scream, and pitch a fit
Its common for parents to seek parenting advice and support because their kids cry, kick, and scream when they don't get their way. News flash! That's normal. Setting limits with small children doesn't mean your kids are going to be happy every time you "parent" them. In fact, if you've got a live one, they'll likely be pissed. The purpose of parenting skills is to maintain your calm as a parent to increase the joy of parenting AND set limits without damaging the parent-child bond.
The value of setting limits is three-fold!
1. Your child learns they're not the center of the universe
If you'd like to avoid raising an entitled asshole, stop making them feel they're the only person with needs and wants and succoming to their every whim by sacrificing your own need. This is not doing them any favors and you're likely exhausted from neglecting self.
The goal? BALANCE
I do not play with my kids all day, but instead encourage independent play while I engage in things I enjoy like reading, working, cooking, and so on. I interact with them off and on with love and affection, but I don't neglect completing tasks or hobbies I enjoy or prioritize.
Try phrases like, "It looks like youre having as much fun playing cars as I'm having fun reading this book" or "When I'm done cleaning the kitchen, I'd love to hear about your drawing".
2. Your child learns to say 'NO'
When a parent always says 'yes', they rob their child of the power behind the word, 'no'. It's valuable to let a child know when you don't want to do something and there's no need for a lengthy explanation. This is a valuable learning opporyunity for them to put into practice later. I say 'no' to birthday parties I don't want to attend and I may say something like, "I wanted to go to the museum with you Saturday so we're going to say 'no' to Michael's party" or "I was in the mood for spaghetti tonight so I'm not going to make tacos like I had on the calendar". Saying 'no' is a skill many adults lack because it was never modeled for them as children. They grow up to be adults who say 'yes' to everything, even at their own expense and sacrificing wellbeing.
3. Children crave boundaries
From the tight quarters provided in the womb, to playing in forts, closets, or under tables as a toddler...kids crave boundaries. They look to you as the adult to provide structure! When they act out, they're begging for you to tell them where the limits are. They want to know expected protocol and what behaviors are appropriate in different circumstances. A child running and screaming through a restaurant isn't a "bad" kid or misbehaved, they're asking "Is this ok?" When they hit or bite another child, they're asking, "What's the best way to share the feeling I'm having?"
It's not conscious thought, but rather subconscious needs from tiny humans hoping you can show them the way. It doesn't mean they'll like the options, but if you can provide answers and guidance with love while maintaining positive relaytionship and validating their feelings, THAT is success!
Parenting expert, blogger, inventor, single mom to twins, barefoot nomad, adventure seeker, boho spirit, advocate of play