I’ve been writing short articles on the Artful Journey themes (aka Mood Lady themes) for years now. Last year, I wrote one each week for 49 weeks. I made myself a schedule of themes and followed it pretty well, unless some theme was simply a mis-match for that week for some reason.
This year, I’ve been more relaxed about the process, not because I wanted to, but more because this year feels as if it has wanted that.
There’s more to tune into. “What do I and others most need to hear or see or feel?” is the question that I keep hearing and doing my best to answer.
This week I knew I wanted to write about Love. And for me, this always starts with Self-Love.
I went back to my blog of last year, as I always do, to see if there was something there to use or add to.
I was comforted somehow to see that almost exactly a year ago, I wrote about Love.
And what I wrote feels like exactly what I needed to hear again this year at just this time. Actually, this year I need to hear it even more.
So I’m sharing it here for you to read, see and feel…
From October 23, 2016, blog article
Trees with their beautiful leaves obscure the view in places adding luscious color and texture to the scene. I tune into the birds around me and feel the miracle of life, of this day.
As I start to move, I notice a presence behind me on the other side of a shrub shielding the corner house. I look a bit closer and see a beautiful deer peering at me. I smile, say a gentle hello and go on my way — deeply present in the magical feeling of the moment.
As I walk, I take in those impressions and sights and let them soak into my mind and body. I focus on them and the feeling they evoke. I feel full and happy.
In the past, I would’ve missed much of this and still, there are days when I do.
I’m wrapped up in some challenge or some problem that my mind wants to figure out.
It takes focus and practice to let those thoughts slip away — to not engage them — and to remain clear about where I really am, what is really happening and who I am being.
This same practice is what I often invite my clients to do when they are in the midst of a challenge.
It’s what I invite myself to engage in each and every day. I think of it as a practice of focusing on Love.
Instead of focusing on fear — being anxious, disappointed, angry about what is happening — we can each begin with ourselves and focus on Love.
We can take a step back and ask “Who am I being right now?” Is this the person you want to be? Are you focusing on things based on fear or on Love?
The practice of Love reminds me that each and every person is doing his/her best in this world.
I must admit, the best doesn’t always seem all that great to me. But when I stay tuned into Love, I can have compassion. I can try to understand instead of shutting down or trying to make someone wrong.
When my starting point is Love, there is a lot more space for listening and for not feeling threatened by the views or actions of others.
The practice of Love reminds me that I am doing my best. When I make a mistake, when I fail, when I feel I don’t live up to who I know I can be, I have compassion for myself.
I am gentle with myself and remind myself that I’m learning.
The practice of Love reminds me that there is so much to appreciate every day.
Even in times of challenge or uncertainty, I can have a walk like the one described above and feel an enormous sense of joy and contentment.
I can choose to focus on something else that brings me back to what truly matters.
So today, you are invited to focus on Love.
If/when you feel an emotion rooted in fear (like worry, jealousy, anger etc), ask yourself what it would be like to focus on Love instead.
See if you can feel a little shift in the energy within you.
I promise that this little shift can make a world of difference — both to you and those around you.
What do you notice when you focus on Love?
If you’d like to read more about the process and practice of Self-Love, here’s A Love Story
Mood Lady images drawn by Debra Valentino