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Entries Tagged as 'love'

The Tao of Holidays

December 13th, 2010 · 10 Comments

“When nothing is done, nothing is left undone.”  The Tao te Ching

Do you approach the holidays in a spirit of leaving nothing undone?

I feel your pain.  My holidays used to include a ten-foot Christmas tree, a perfect specimen chosen with a careful eye and festooned with hundreds of carefully placed lights, trinkets, and toys.  It took two ladders and several days to complete it

My family didn’t share my attention to detail.  “Mom,” my eleven year old son said one year, as I was speed-hanging blown-glass icicles moments before dozens of guests were arriving, “The tree is beautiful.  No one cares if you get more stuff on it.  Just relax and enjoy it.”

I thought this was a very uncooperative attitude.

Relax and enjoy?  When there were halls to deck and gifts to buy.  And parties to throw.  And meals served on antique china and vintage linens.

Truth is, apart from admiring my handiwork for a few moments here and there, I was frazzled most of the time.  If I had a spare moment, I’d fill it.  “Florentines?  Perfect! If I go buy hazelnuts right this minute, they’ll be finished by 2 am.  Hmmm…I wonder where I can find organic, fair-trade hazelnuts this time of night?”

Happily, I found a different way.   Here’s how it works—if it feels like love and can be done with ease and my full presence, I do it.  If not, it’s left undone. It’s not only more peaceful, it’s way more fun.

I still love creating a Christmas tree, but now, it’s small and simple and takes about an hour to decorate.  It’s sparkly and beautiful and smells divine, and I have time to sit in front of it with friends and a glass of wine.  I cook on Christmas Day because I love to, but it’s no longer a competition with Martha Stewart.  I might even break out the antique china once in a while, because it’s lovely and these days, because I actually got some sleep the night before Christmas, I have the energy for the hand-washing that follows.

Guided by principles of love and ease and mindfulness, I do less and less, and enjoy the holidays more and more.  Without the long to-do list, I can connect with the people in my life with my full presence.  And isn’t that the point of all the preparations, decorations, meals, parties, and gifts?  Isn’t that connection what really matters, what we really want?

Truly, by doing less and less, all with loving, effortless ease and full presence, nothing that really matters is left undone.

During this holiday season, may you give and receive love and connection with those who nourish your life, and may you keep it with effortless ease in the coming year.

Tags: love · savoring · stress

Feast on Your Life

August 3rd, 2008 · 2 Comments

This poem was written by Derek Walcott, a poet and writer who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992. He’s from St. Lucia, in the West Indies, which I hear is the most beautiful island in the Caribbean, which, to me, means it must be the most beautiful place on earth.

Doesn’t this say it all, and so beautifully?

Love After Love

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the others welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Tags: love · self-criticism · self-love

The Feeling of Being Loved

June 30th, 2008 · 2 Comments

Karen was ecstatic. She was tired of being single and sent an email to an old boyfriend. He immediately returned the email and told her he was single, too. He wanted to see her. They spoke and made a date for the following weekend.

She was elated on our coaching call. “This might be it!” she told me breathlessly. “I wasn’t ready for him before, but this time I am. I’m so excited.”

I asked her to describe her excitement. “It’s the feeling of being loved,” she told me.

“Where did that feeling come from?” I asked.

“From his call,” she said.

“Oh, did he tell you he loves you on the phone call?” I asked.

“No.”

“So, where did the feeling of being loved come from?” I asked.

“From the possibility of this working out,” she said. “I’ve always been so bad at relationships before. Now I’m ready. He sounds really interested in me. This could be it!”

“So, really let that feeling you got from the phone call, of being loved intensify,” I suggested.  “Where is it in your body?”

“It’s in my heart,” she said.

“So where is the feeling coming from?” I asked her.

“Oh my gosh, it’s coming from inside me!” she exclaimed.

“Yes it is. And what changed to create that feeling?”

Just then, she got it. “My thoughts. My thoughts about myself changed.”

Yep. That’s it. That’s the secret formula. When Karen thought the possibility of being in a loving relationship was on the horizon, she felt good inside. She became happy and excited. Before that, life was ho-hum. She hadn’t seen this guy in years, and all that had happened was one phone call. The old boyfriend didn’t do that.  Karen did–she transformed the way she felt about herself.

So, as Karen discovered, being excited and feeling loved can be generated inside of us. Once we “get” this we can create it for ourselves, over and over, every day of our lives. We can just skip the middleman (in this case, the old boyfriend) and create the feeling of being loved and the excitement of looking forward to life within ourselves.

So next time you are feeling fabulous, really explore it. Get to know this place. What do you feel? Where do you feel it in your body? Describe it. Write it down. What thoughts are you having about yourself? Write them down. Memorize everything you can about this experience.

We don’t have to wait to find the right relationship or the right anything else to feel fabulous. And, as a bonus, when we’re excited to be alive, we can attract exactly what we want–like a great relationship!

Tags: connection · creating your reality · feelings · happiness · love

Cloudy Skies and Discouraging Words

March 5th, 2008 · 6 Comments

“You’re so fat.” Julie is scolding someone close to her. She does it regularly.

Paula has a different message: “You spineless jellyfish. It’s a shame you are wasting your life”

“How could you be so dumb? No wonder your life is such a mess.” Kathy is delivering her blows with the accuracy of a champion prizefighter.

All three of these women are bright and educated. Each of them has many close, loving relationships, and excellent social skills. Each of these women knows that these words are cruel and destructive.

So who do you suppose they’re talking to like that? Their kids? Their spouses? Their friends? Of course not! They would never be so heartless and cruel.If you guessed that these are their inner conversations, you are correct. These women, whose names have been changed, berate and scold themselves many times each day. [Read more →]

Tags: love · self-criticism · self-love · stuckness

How to Love the One You’re Always With

February 13th, 2008 · No Comments

What if you got the perfect Valentine from the most wonderful person in your life? This year, skip the middleman, and give yourself all the love, approval, and appreciation that you ever wanted from anyone else.

In honor of the one you’re with, the only one you’re always with, give yourself a Valentine, a luscious, mushy Valentine. Begin with a love letter to yourself. Here are some things to include:

  • What you would secretly love to see published about yourself if someone else was writing a tribute to you.

[Read more →]

Tags: love · self-love · Uncategorized