With one week of February gone, I’ve had ample opportunity to “practice” working with the mantra “What would love do?”, and I had to admit, I’ve had some surprising results.  There have been many instances where I’ve stopped, asked myself what would love do . . . and then not been able to find an answer.  Like this morning – the kids were playing a game with some leftover balloons we had blown up for the Super Bowl last night.  They were shrieking, laughing, having fun, and running ALL OVER the house.  They were having a blast.  I was not.  I was trying to pack lunches, clean up the dishes and get organized for a day that required hockey equipment, ski equipment, uniforms for ballet, tap and jazz, never mind my own gym bag.

I wanted to scream “Stop”.  But I didn’t . . . I paused.  What would love do.

Would love see the joy the kids were having and let them continue on doing what they were doing.  Or would love see my need for some calmness and peace and place a priority on that over the fun the kids were having and calmly request they stop what they were doing?

I suppose what I’m getting at is this: Does love place a priority on others’ needs or on our own, or a mix of both?

This morning, I was able to find a compromise – the kids could play to their hearts’ content . . . as long as they were in the basement; Love, in this instance, could let us all be happy.

As I went about my morning this morning, I thought a lot about this situation . . . as silly as it was.  Not that I want to make myself out to be some kind of martyr, but love to me has always been about showing love to others; not about being lovingly kind to myself.

Now to veer onto a tangent for a minute . . . I listened to an amazing podcast on the weekend – Lewis Howes’ School of Greatness – in which Esther Perel was interviewed.  In the podcast, Esther, who is a “world renowned relationship expert” mentioned that we are most attractive to others when we are in our “element”.  I suppose this shouldn’t come as shocking news – I have been known to plead with my husband to make more time to play guitar because I love nothing more than watching him practice, to see him work in his element.

So if being in our “element” (aka working from a place of joy) makes us more attractive to others, and can in fact improve our relationships with others, shouldn’t we all be doing more to spend time doing those things that bring us joy?

I’m pretty sure that’s what Love would do . . .

And so, the proverbial penny has tumbled . . . rather than look for pockets of joy in my everyday life like I have been doing, I’m going to work hard to focus on what brings me joy, and to foster that which brings joy to my kids, and the Husband.  Don’t get me wrong, I have found so many of these little pockets of joy in the last 5 weeks.  But, I know that there’s more to be found if I dig a little deeper and work a little harder.

I’m not saying this will be easy.  This is “Practice February” after all!  My natural inclination has always been to forfeit my joy for the sake of others (again, not trying to be a martyr, promise).  And so, I will have to work to stand up for myself, if you will, and make sure that I make time for my joy.

Earlier today, I saw a great quote in the One Little Word Facebook community . . . and so I made a little image for myself using the quote to remind me to keep practicing.

Happy practicing!

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