Three years ago, I held my mom in my arms as her soul left her diseased and damaged body. She fought for 2 years using an arsenal of chemotherapy, radiation, diet, fitness and meditation. Our family watched in awe as she surrendered to the process while still putting up a fight with grace and heart.
Her death was a horrifyingly beautiful lesson in humanity and a wake up call to what really matters in life. Love.
How could something so devastating be so beautiful? It’s all in the lessons.
She showed up with a smile wherever she went despite having just received a dose of poison or not being able to breath deeply. She spoke softly but her words were powerful. She listened. She spent her time raising money to give to the poor, playing bridge with her friends, cooking for her family, traveling the world and checking off her bucket list. Her diagnosis shifted her personality from someone who could never enjoy the moment to someone who wouldn’t miss it for the world. She was never a victim. She designed her life with precision. It is the way we all should live.
Cancer was a strange gift to our family. We miss my mom, but her spirit is still guiding us, lifting us, loving us. Through adversity we found ourselves and we realized what mattered. Through love, we truly live.
By putting love into every thing we do, in every moment, we make a difference in the world.
Here are some simple things you can do to add love to your life, to simplify the things that take your attention away from what matters and to bring you back into the moment, right now:
- Be thoughtful. Send notes. Make phone calls on important days. Reach out. Let people know that you are thinking about them and wanting the best for them.
- Set reminders in the Calendar app of your device to say hello, give thanks, share news, send flowers for someone’s birthday (repeat every year), participate in conversations on specific social media channels at peak times. Take remembering out of the equation by giving yourself loving reminders to breath, to take daily walks, to enjoy the moment.
- Automate the basics. Quotes from thought leaders you admire. Links to your favorite YouTube videos. Popular blog posts you love. Resources you recommend for your specific audience. It’s okay to automate these things on social media (I love Tweet Jukebox) when it allows you to connect with your life, knowing that your friends and followers are finding inspiration through your posts.
- Check in regularly. Talk, tweet, text, share, like, comment, listen to the people who matter to you in life. Connect. Listen. Allow yourself to be FULLY present. (Set reminders to do this and shut everything else off for these moments.)
- Stay current with the trends in your areas of interest. Know what visuals and experiences your audience is attracted to. Read the news in your industry. Subscribe to 3-5 leading industry blogs. Follow emerging leaders in the field. Share their content. Set reminders to spend 15-20 minutes a week catching up on the trends and then forget about it, knowing that there is NOTHING more here that needs your attention. You’ve got it. So, you can now focus on loving the people in your life instead of worrying that you are somehow “behind”.
- Be the light. Smile. Focus on the lessons. Learn to be a better person and share your journey with others in some form or another. If you find yourself in “victim mode” notice that and then shift into “solution mode” ASAP. You are not a victim. You are a vibrant soul who has meaning and purpose and you make the world a better place. Trust that. Honor that. Be who you were put on this earth to be.
- Grow your mind, your heart and your network. When you read books, listen to the wisdom and truth of others and talk to people with your heart, your life experience will become so full that you can’t help but smile through every day. Seek to grow. Seek to love. Seek to share.
- Stay in touch. We all get busy, but people matter more than anything else. It is okay for there to be gaps in time when you don’t talk to someone, but if it’s someone that touched your heart, make the effort. Love matters. Don’t put the phone call off. At the very least, send a quick text that you are thinking of them. Send an old photo that shows a memory. Keep connections strong with love and care.
- Be thoughtful. Send notes. Make phone calls on important days. Say bless you when a stranger sneezes. Open doors for people. Give compliments. Notice when people are doing good work. Thank them for that. Help others to feel that they matter.
- Set an example of excellence. In all aspects of your life, look to excel. Learn how to dance. Learn new languages. Appreciate art. Acknowledge the beauty in people. Push yourself to be more, to honor your soul’s purpose, to live to the BEST of your ability. Be excellent.
- Look for opportunities that benefit all. You are supposed to thrive and do cool stuff even as you evolve. Open your heart to connecting with the things that lift you and everyone around you to a better way of living with compassion. Look for ways to give back. Talk to homeless people. Look them in the eye when they ask for money and if you can’t share a coin, at least ask them how they are doing. Treat all people with respect and love. Online and off.
- Be you. Don’t try to be anyone else or to live up to anyone else’s expectations of you. Just be. Whether this is meditation or prayer or just silence. Whatever it is, only you know. Be the best version of you that you know how to be in every moment. When you make mistakes (and you will) make amends quickly and forgive others for their mistakes. Don’t ever apologize for being human or for speaking your truth (as long as you are being respectful). You don’t have to do big things in order to be happy, but you do have to love and the more you love, the happier you and the WORLD will be.
If you feel that this message is something you would like to share with the world, I hope you pass this post along to your loved ones. This is one of the ways that I give back and share love, by writing and sharing the lessons I have learned.
Thank you for making a positive impact on the world.
If you want to hear from someone who is creating a movement of positivity, enjoy this episode of Mass Amplify Show with Kris Wittenberg of Be Good to People: