I've got the goods for you this week, starting with a genuine happy dance worthy celebration!!! Hooray!
After tallying up the November matching program, I'm delighted to share that we hit a grand total of 1134 calendars sold! Which means 1134 calendars are being donated to people young and old!! (#sorrynotsorry for all the exclamation points!! I can't help myself.)
The first round of love bombs went out yesterday when I dropped off 4 cases of calendars at the IRCO office (Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization). I've donated calendars there for the past two years and they've been a big hit, especially with the youth program. They distribute them to the after school programs ALL OVER the greater Portland area. Kids that may be having tough times out there will be able to take a calendar home and read the inspiration message everyday! (Insert cry emoji)
Last week I was down in the dumps... There was much to be grateful for, but I was just feeling so low.
(You know that working on loving the crap out of myself for 20+ years, writing daily love messages, and painting colorful hearts does not mean I'm over here skipping and singing and feeling great everyday, right? Sadly it does not. I go down and I go down hard.)
I'm on the upswing now, but I will testify that even with ALL my daily practices and years of dedicated positivity, I still get crushed.
I've got something for you today and I really hope you will sit back and receive it. This 13 minute video is what I've distilled down over the last 25 years of my journey. It's the secret to creating a more loving world. I know it sounds lofty, but believe me, it's not as hard as you think.
Take a break and watch this now. It will change your day, I promise!
It's time for a new way of being... Well, it's past time (IMHO), but the past is the past, so let's make now the time, ok? You and me, we need to step up our love game. The whole world is crying out for it in so many ways. It's like one giant cry for help.
These wounds of separation and oppression are so deep and they've been there such a long time. We need BIG, deep healing and courageous acts of love. We need tiny seeds of love planted in the soil of our hearts and giant leaps of love being taken in our homes, communities and beyond.
I'm back from the land of gelato and amore, ravioli and chianti. And I brought back some sweetness for you, too.
First, let's just say, it was a big trip...
BIG in its intention to celebrate 10 years of marriage (we've talked about this trip for 14 years actually!), big in the amount of family (cousins on my husband's side) that embraced us with their giant hospitality, and BIG in the level of self reflection and awareness that was gained in the process.
You ever have one of those big dreams that just lingers in the back of your heart for years and years. Of course you have! Every once in a while they move from the back to the front and you know it's time to make it happen. We finally go ALL in for what we've been dreaming about...
This is one of those times for me. I'm leaving on a jet plane to celebrate love!
My dear Sean and I have dreamt of going to Italy together for 14 years now. When we were coming up on our 10 year wedding anniversary we decided this was as good of a reason as any to do something BIG.
Do you ever grapple with navigating BIG contradictions in your life? To put it mildly, we live in a world of contradicting information, contradicting emotions, and it can feel crazy making to live our lives while trying to see all sides of the situation.
One of the biggies I've been grappling with for many moons is how to be a successful artist/entrepreneur AND hold my belief that our current capitalism is a destructive system.
How's your heart today? I hope you are taking good care of yourself with just a little extra attention wherever you can muster it. Remember, a little bit goes a long way. One moment of slowing down, breathing a bit deeper and saying kind words to yourself really does make a huge difference.
I'm over here trying to do the same. One breath at a time.
The thing I'm most excited about right now is the 2019 I Stand For Love calendar is open for pre-sale!!! (Pre-sale means you save $$$ and get your calendars before anyone else). They're priced at $8.88 each (normally $11.95) and start shipping to you by the end of August. Hooray!
I know I just totally outed myself as a Lord of the Rings fan with that subject line ;) I'm sure you aren't surprised....
Let's get down to it!
First of all, your best doesn't have anything to do with perfection (remember you already are perfect). This is not some unachievable goal that we're aiming for here. Doing YOUR best, with your unique and beautiful self, means going a little farther in the direction of love than what might be normal for you. Stretching a bit. Striving to create a new level of normal that is just outside your current comfort zone.
Doing your best means being Loving inside and out with a deep commitment to healing, compassion and kindness for yourself and others. It's not as hard as it may sound.
How's your heart today? If you can, take a moment and put your hand on your chest. Take a big breath, let it out and say "I love you". One more time. Yes...
Part of the human experience is a tendency to forget and remember over and over again. For instance, we fall into a feeling of helplessness and isolation and then something (or someone) comes along to remind us that we are connected to this amazing web of humanity. We bounce back! Hooray!
We do this dance in all areas of life. I'm sure you know the cycle well. Some call it the 'cosmic joke'. Do we forget in order to have that glorious a-ha moment? Who knows.
It's a new moon tonight. What does that have to do with love, you ask? Well, we're all here on a big blue planet hurtling through space with a beautiful moon orbiting around us. Both the moon and love are big players during our short time here on Earth.
For me, looking at the big picture can be soothing during these great times of shift. No matter who you are or what you believe, the moon is starting a new cycle and I just love to lean into that rhythm and the unifying effect of that.
How are you doing over there? I'm sending you a gigantic hug today, wrapping you in love straight from my heart.
I'm so grateful that you're reading these words and my intention is that they bring you hope and support during this time of great shift. Because we're all in this together and we're harnessing the power of LOVE to bravely make the changes so needed right now. We can do this!
I almost hate to say it because it may sound cliche. You may think it too simplified or watered down to actually cause any amount of BIG change. You may roll your eyes, but I have to say that WITHOUT this we cannot make lasting change and create a more loving world..
So I'll let the one and only Solange Knowles say it:
"Self-love is really a foundation for everything, and however you practice or express that is so, so important.”
You are not alone. We're all trying to figure out how to love more instead of lose hope. With every passing day there's more evidence that the power of love is so needed right now.
This may be a tough one to read, but stick with me and we'll get through it together, k?
It's with a heavy heart and lots of tears that I write you today...
It finally hit me. This overwhelming sadness. I've been keeping it at bay. I'm really good at that, mostly. I want to hold up the heart shaped banner for you and never let it down, no matter what is happening in the world.
When last I wrote, I was going deep into a phase of alignment (align has been my word for April) and I'm actually still in it, but a few major milestones have happened and I couldn't wait to share them with you!
With all that's going on in this HUGE time of shift, it can be easy to believe that things are far from awesome (there's a ton of bad news and healing that needs to happen and I'm right there with you!).
However, I feel a little happy dance coming on that there's a few reasons to celebrate today!
You're not alone. Things are crazy. I've been questioning my own truths more than I'd like to admit. Wondering if things I've believed for much of my life are in fact rooted in unwavering factuality. It can feel unsettling.
But one is for sure....
Spring will always follow winter. I've been holding this in my heart so dear. That is real. That is true. Hallelujah!
There's something we can count on with every fiber of our beings. It's flowers and warmer days and spring rains and the evenings stretching on longer and some sense of rebirth coming up from the once frozen ground.
How you doin' over there? I've been thinking about you and us and our tender hearts right now. There's a lot to BE with. There's a lot up. We are in the middle of collective and personal change. It's big stuff.
Last week felt like an extreme of ups and downs.
1st, in case you missed it, I got off my butt and took it to the streets on Valentine's day.
It was a pretty exhilarating roller coaster ride (were talking the way ups and the way downs)!
Being allies in loving ourselves and spreading a little more love in the world is why I get up in the morning. Without you it would be a lonely road.
So, here's the BIG news! I'm taking this love we have and expanding it even more.
From NOW thru Tuesday, November 28th (Giving Tuesday), I'm matching every single calendar purchase with a donation to an incredible organization called IRCO (Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization)!