When people ask me what I do I reply that I am in the business of helping women transform their lives. The next question is always, "How do you do that?" I answer that I help them add more love to the world by loving the life they are living and by helping them share their story. Helping women create lives that they truly love is both an amazing honor and the thing that I love.
Often, after I tell people what I do, they say, “You’re so lucky to have found the thing that you love.” They aren’t wrong, I am lucky. I am also not unique in this. With a little persistence and guidance anyone can find the thing that they love and their way of adding more love. Often we think that you have to be favored by the gods to live a life that inspires and challenges us. I think we just have to listen to ourselves to find the things that bring more love into our life.
I also think that living a life you love has more to do with the contribution you are making that anything you may be trying to “get.”
Perhaps because we humans are animals that function best in groups I believe that we are happiest when we are bringing benefit to someone else. Whether it be teaching someone how to do something, explaining an idea, sharing food with a hungry person, or something as simple as cheering on those running a marathon, we feel good when we are contributing to others. When we feel connected to others and feel that we have made a positive impact on someone, no matter how small it may seem to be, our life is richer.
Looking at things from that perspective can be a huge shift. Imagine looking at your photography as your way of adding to the love in the world by sharing your unique perspective. Or maybe it’s the way that you listen to a friend, or stranger in need. Maybe your way of adding love to the world is your art, your skill as a marketing maven, your ability to bake a cupcake that is like a little taste of heaven, or simply the way you greet the people you pass on the street.
No matter what you do, your way of adding love to the world is there within you. The tricky part is not getting caught up in the idea that it has to be a big thing, or thinking that small actions don’t count. We live in such an outsized world, we hear about superstars and super sized actions all the time, and that can lead us to feel that our smaller contribution isn’t significant. When you find yourself thinking that ask yourself, “Does the person with whom I just shared that smile wish I hadn’t?” “Does it matter that I rescued only this one animal?” “Does it really make a difference if I only help one person learn to read?” You know the answers. In fact you would be surprised if someone were to ask you those questions because, in your heart, you know how our small actions matter.
With my coaching clients bringing more love into their lives means, among other things, paying attention to how they feel throughout the day. They are tasked with noticing what actions and activities make them feel alive and which leave them cold or, worse, depleted. Just noticing makes a difference, bringing awareness to what inspires you and makes you feel that you have lived a day that mattered points you in the direction of more love. Building on that awareness day by day leads, inexorably, towards living a life filled with more love.
Give noticing a try and then, let me know what you discover about where you find and give more love.
“More love, I can hear our hearts crying, more love and that’s all we need. More love, flowing between us, take us and hold us, lift us above. If there’s ever an answer, it’s more love.” – Dixie Chicks More Love from the Home album