Saturday, October 22, 2011

acts of love: changing the mindset

I came home from shopping last weekend and on the dining room table was a vibrant bouquet of market flowers that Charlie had arranged in a vase on the table. Yep, this is the man I am in total love with. For the past week, I have gotten to come home and see this exquisite bouquet of orange-yellow dahlias and zinnias and just enjoy their immense beauty in my home. Although a small gesture, it was a huge expression and act of love. It was exactly what I needed during these dark and dreary days up here in the Pacific Northwest.

The flowers were not only extremely lovely, but they got me thinking about cultivating acts of love. For us, our relationship centers around the values of honesty, communication, compassion, and teamwork. Those four things bring with them unconditional love. Sure, we have our days where we just can't seem to get on the same page and there are arguments and there are mood swings. But, all in all, there is a deep seated love that fills our home and our lives and I am grateful for that.

Unfortunately, I have been catching the news here and there the past couple nights before bed. Note: This is sacrilegious in my own life and I must say, I try as hard as I can to not do this simply because it's poor mental health and does not align with my values of self-care. The news is symbolic of how although we try our best to stay positive, loving, and grounded, we may feel that there will always be this lingering background of negativity, despair, depression, and dark clouds. How do we cope? 

This past week, I attended The Bridge 2011 Conference, a two day education conference about bridging the gap between the regular school day model and extended learning opportunities (i.e. after-school programs, summer enrichment, etc.) Not only did it inspire me and infuse some energy back into my bones, but it created the context that everything we do has the power to transform. Our actions or lack thereof have a direct result on our environments, relationships, work, personal life, and our money.

The cultivation of love is one of my new priorities. I am trying to ask myself what would be the loving thing to do? Operating like this can feel like a trap. Sometimes I think of being loving as an outward expression for someone or something else. I struggle with shifting this paradigm for myself, knowing that sometimes the most loving thing to do is say, "This isn't working," or "No. I won't be able to do that," or "Can we pause for a moment and come back to this?" It does circle back to creating healthy boundaries and transforming our mindset when it comes to being loving towards others and most importantly ourselves.

Bask in the greatness of who you are and what you have to offer to the world and all the relationships you have.

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