Thursday, November 29, 2012

Write a Love Story This Season

'Tis the season for LOVE and PEACE, right? So why are so many people stressed out, exhausted and irritated right now?

We try to cram so much freakin' JOY into 31 days that the DOING and GETTING become a consuming drive, crowding out the BEING.

What's the point?

I recently wrote a commemorative speech about my brother who died 23 years ago, this New Years Eve. It was half a lifetime ago for me. There are two attributes of his that came to mind as having a big impact on my life since his death: a concern for the underdog and a zest for life.

The circumstances of his death are quite a "downer" (few deaths are happy ones, anyway), so I'll spare you the details at this time. Of course, this speech stirred up a lot of memories and emotions that are best allowed to be felt but not wallowed in.

I am not going to wallow. Instead, I choose to DO.

I am a different person because of his death. I would have much rather read a book, watched a movie, or taken a class to learn the lessons that I've learned as a result of losing my brother so suddenly, at such a young age, but I didn't have that luxury. While I am a different person because of his death, more importantly, I am a different person because of the fullness of life that I live as a result of how I've learned to savor living as a result of his LIFE.

He had a unique perspective on life. He saw things in people that others might miss.

I have a renewed sense of this perspective after being steeped in this speech for the past few weeks. I'm more aware of others in the background of my life. My eyes are opened in a fresh way. I have been noticing kind acts that I have missed in my day-to-day busy-ness that have been going on in spite of my lack of scrutiny. These are not necessarily acts directed at me (we tend to notice those a little more since our world tends to revolve around ourselves, no?). These are acts that I see others committing FOR others... it reminds me of my brother, and it reminds me that life can be a fairly beautiful thing - a GIFT even - to be given to others.

What if everyone decided to take a break from focusing on the stressors swirling around them, and instead decided to look for ACTS of LOVE?

When I meet with clients, the first thing I ask them to do is to tell me something NEW and GOOD. It's tough to do this initially, because usually the first words out of our mouths to someone when we meet is about how stressed we are, or how someone cut us off in traffic, or how awful our workplace is, blahhh, blahhh, blahhh ...

WHAT IF we first focused on NEW and GOOD? WHAT IF we first focused on LOVE?

For the next 30 DAYS, can YOU decide to LOOK for acts of LOVE? OPEN your EYES to what's going on around you that is LIFE-giving and LOVING, and see if it becomes contagious.

I want to issue a CHALLENGE to LOOK for LOVE in the course of your everyday life. Write it down... tell someone... Make reminders to yourself by posting sticky-notes on your bathroom mirror, the dashboard of your car, on your cell phone, and your computer ...
and SEE what HAPPENS.