Posted: by Jo Wednesday, 25 January 2017 @ 13:01
So, how did you get on in January, being your healthiest self? We all found it pretty tough, as there is always a lot of temptation around, but we have each found 2 or 3 things that work for us.
For me, drinking more water, going to weekly yoga, and sticking to a weekly mileage target for running have all worked well, and I will continue them. Going to bed at 10pm, and going for a walk at lunchtimes from the office, have not been so easy, and I found that I simply can’t manage them without adding more stress to my life! So, as ever – take forward what works for you; leave anything that doesn’t help you.
February’s focus is all about LOVE. Love is the strongest, most positive, most beneficial, and most important force in the world. We all benefit when there is more love in our lives, and in those of our friends and family. And we all have a role to play in bringing more love into the world, and prioritising love over hate, indifference or intolerance.
There are 4 things we’re asking ourselves and you to do this month, to practise being a more loving, more compassionate and more caring version of ourselves. We want some of these to become habits that we take forward throughout the year, and integrate into our lives.
This month, we are asking ourselves to find ways of:
- Showing the people whom we love, just how much we love them
- Feeling and showing love for strangers
- Looking out for love in the world, and shouting about it
- Being more loving to ourselves
Some of my suggestions for doing this are below, and Rhian shares ideas for self-love and self-care in her blog here; while other team members share examples of being shown love unexpectedly here.
Read our ideas, share our stories – then make a plan of what you are going to commit to this month to be a more loving version of you.
1. Show someone you love them
It’s often easy to say ‘I love you’ at the end of a call or in a text, but how about taking some actions to show them how much you really care? - Carry out a task for them that you know they hate doing – put the rubbish out, fill up their windscreen wash, do the food shopping. - Put your phone down, give them your undivided attention, and really listen to them.- Offer to do something with them that you wouldn’t normally do.- Leave a note in their wallet or stick a Mantra sticker inside their notepad (‘You’re the reason I’m smiling today’)- Surprise them by making their lunch or booking a movie.Look for little things that require you to make an effort, with a completely selfless motive.
2. Feel and show love to strangers
It’s easy to be judgemental or jump to wrong conclusions when you see someone behaving in a way you don’t approve of. But you have no idea of that person’s story, situation, or intentions. This month, suspend your negative judgement, stop criticising, think the best of people. Go out of your way to be more friendly; say hello to strangers you walk past; chat with the cashier at the bank or the ticket seller at the station; buy a coffee for a homeless person without overthinking it; let people out in traffic; pay for someone else’s lunch. Practise ‘good thought meditations’ through the day: focus on a stranger you happen to see, and wish them good things and good feelings. Use a mantra: ‘May you feel joy and happiness. May you be free from pain and suffering’. The practice of doing this has been proven over time to make us more compassionate towards others.
3. Look out for love in the world, and shout about it
We are quick to share bad news stories on Facebook, and be drawn into negative discussions with friends about all the horror that is happening in the world. We are somehow programmed to notice bad news and disasters, over good.This month, pay different attention. Change your antennae. Look out for positive stories and share only those. Look for stories of love, kindness, goodness. Maybe even stop watching the News for a while, or just glance at the headlines. Go out of your way to read blogs, articles and posts that celebrate love, and share them with friends.
4. Be more loving to ourselves
This month, we are also trying hard to be our own best friend: our cheerleader; our biggest supporter. We’re going to forgive ourselves when we make mistakes; laugh, rather than frown, at ourselves; take time to really invest in feeling good. We’re making a list of small treats, things that bring us joy and make us smile, and we’re doing them. For me, time to read is essential, and cherished; prioritising a Sunday evening bath; booking exhibitions in my diary, so I know I have things to look forward to that I love; snatching half an hour in an art gallery between meetings; a long walk at the weekend with my husband. I’m using February to forward-plan my year, to make sure there is something in each month that’s my investment in myself. I am also going to buy and wear the ‘Scripted Love’ Mantra necklace, to remind me to focus on love this month.
Now, your turn. Make a plan of what you are going to commit to this month to be a more loving version of you. Work out what might stop you; and create some actions to overcome any hurdles.Let us know how you get on, and share your stories with us on Facebook and Twitter. Download your February planner here, and read our other LOVE blogs here. May your life be filled with love!