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Love is the absence of judgment

Love Word Art by Creations by StarrC on Etsy Over a decade ago, wanting a simpler life, our family moved to the middle of the country. As city dwellers this was a huge change for us on basic levels, but what it did for my tendency to judge was fill my heart with compassion. Living on the West Coast it was so easy to dismiss everyone else as not as cool, intelligent or cutting edge. Not knowing anyone in the “fly over” states we were able to quickly dismiss them as unimportant. What a mistake we had made, not in moving, but in dismissing the depth and richness of spirit of those around us.

Making the change from city snob to simple kindness wasn’t easy, but the lessons are ones that will live with me forever. Having a cool heart isn’t the life I ever wanted, softening into love is a powerful place to be and I am grateful that my neighbors and friends allowed me to stumble into their lives without grace or understanding.

It is so easy to fall into the place where we judge everyone around us. We learn this early on the playground to exclude anyone we don’t think is worthy of our time and energy. That self-selecting by keeping everyone at bay may trick us into thinking we are the cool kids, but what it really does is stops us from seeing just how amazing everyone is around us. Putting out the vibe that you are better than everyone else just keeps you separate.

After several years of living in the rural countryside I was lonely, which was my own fault for putting up so many barriers. You can’t keep pushing people around you away and have friends too. So, I made the decision to just like people where they were. Not to judge where they came from, how they chose to live their lives, what their belief system or politics were. All of that was just superficial to who they were in their hearts.

It was a big leap to let all of that go, but it was critical to living my life authentically and to not being lonely.

So, just like that, I let it go. I allowed people to be where they were in life and let them into mine. Sure, we are different people with different ideas about what are right, cool and good; but somewhere in there we find something we agree on and meet there.

That decision, to just love people and stop judging them, created a diverse community of folks that I can call on to do all kinds of things. There is never a reason for me to be lonely because there is always someone out there who just might be interested in doing something I want to do or I can join them on their adventures.

Last summer I returned home to the West Coast for a conference filled with people who haven’t made that leap. People who haven’t decided to jump in and see what people who aren’t like them at all can bring to the party; it was eye opening. I would have never thought our leap into the middle of nowhere would have landed us into the richest part of our lives. Being able to see everyone for their value and worth is a gift that everyone can have; you just have to leap into love.

Do Good. Be Great.


I love this word art from Creations by StarrC on Etsy. Fun!



Nature Love – A Year of the Word Love

“Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.” — Matsuo Basho I declared my One Little Word to be Love and then had a really hard month in January getting motivated. It took me a week to realize that because of the freakishly warm weather the tree pollen was out of the world and so I needed to start my allergy medication three months early. It takes a week to kick in. So, there wasn’t a whole lot of active LOVE over here.

This month is supposed to be ALL about Nature. What the heck does that mean? When I declared these months I just wrote some random ideas down. Last month was Booty Love and if that meant eating way more Dorrito’s then I care to admit – I was on it.

How I Intend to Bring Love into Nature

It’s cold now and the Groundhog is supposed see his shadow or not tomorrow so the idea of walking in this freezing weather doesn’t sound appealing, but I know to really love nature I have to be in it. So here is the deal I will make with myself to get into the love groove with nature:

I will attempt to walk in it more often than not.

I plan to notice and capture as much as I can.  We have had a tremendous amount of robins around the house lately (hundreds actually) and they are beautiful to watch. If I can’t photograph them I can at least take the time to notice.

I plan to delve deep into my own nature with my meditation practice. I am going to work through a metta practice which is all about LovingKindness to ourselves, those we love, acquaintances, people we meet, those we don’t know and those we don’t like. It is a beautiful mediation practice that Sharon Salzberg talks about a lot and I think will be helpful this month.

It is the month of love and my hope, really, is that I notice where I am and how I am behaving in the month – at work and at play.

Do Good. Be Great.

2015 My Little Word

Love My Little Word 2015

Last year my word was True, which truth be told, didn’t resonate or feel as strong as I thought it would. We had our moments, but it wasn’t the most powerful word that I have chosen. Which is ok. I came to a few deep truths and maybe, just maybe that is the point of 2014.

My 2015 Little Word

It’s time to move into 2015 and my word is love. I resisted this for a month or more. It seems so sappy. So obvious. So hard. But the more I thought about it (and I thought about it WAY more than I should have probably) it kept coming back.

I want to love my work. This year I had moments of feeling disengaged and when I reengaged it was awesome. I love what I do and just need to keep focused on that.

I want to love my body by moving more. I was gifted headphones for Christmas and I plan to shake my booty a bit more! I also want to rethink my eating and overall health and love my choices all of the time.

I want to love when I don’t want to love. (See. I told you this is hard.) I want to love people where they are not where I think they should be. I want to love moments as they are instead of hoping for something different. I want to go back to love when I lose myself in the frustration of the everyday. This is the part of choosing love that I was resisting, but at my very core I want to be a presence of love.

I want to soften into love. I can be extremely driven and harsh. It’s part of the INFJ trait and it isn’t my favorite part of me. I don’t relax well or soften into situations. I look at things critically all too often. I want to continue to soften the edges and the only thing I can think that can do that is love.

I want to do a love project, share #goodlove with people, and explore what love means to me in all of its facets.

When I am frustrated by the news, the day, the people – oh the people – we have started to say “Love all the Colors” at our house. Which is funny and corny, but it lightens the mood and reminds me to love them even though they aren’t like me. Because although my 9 year old heart thinks the world would be better if it was just like me I know that isn’t true. It is the diversity of people and thought that makes the world amazing.

I want to push love where guilt, hardness, pain and suffering lie (usually in the depths of my mind at 2AM). I want to let it go with love. Which sounds VERY new agey, but I don’t have any other real solution to getting rid of the baggage that hangs around on a Tuesday night.

I want to share what I love. I want more people to know about meditation, living small, cottage living in a tiny house, making choices based on values and not money, new ideas, small town successes, marketing ideas, and all the things I know, read and learn about.

I want to do things I love, be with people I love, wear what I love and explore the world to find new things to love. 

12 Months of Love

The boxes at the top? Well, I found in 2013 when my word was focus that if I put a theme to each month I would concentrate more fully on my word. I didn’t do that in 2014 and I missed it. So, I’m bringing it back in 2015 with Love. The idea is to just write 12 concepts around your word and then randomly assign them to a month. I don’t overthink it too much. Then each month I figure out how I can bring that theme or idea into life.

Here’s to 2015 and exploring Love this year and I hope that you find your word to guide you through the year.

P.S. I send awesome other stuff that you might need to make your life a little simpler and your work a little smarter. You might want to check that out.

Do Good. Be Great.

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