Love

Yes, it’s Valentine’s Day today.

Yes, today’s supposed to be about love.

 

But I hope today you focus on more than just romantic love. Celebrate love of family. Love of friends. Love of nature. Love of God.

Go past the Hallmark phrases or conversation hearts, and actually share phrases from YOUR HEART.

Kingwood photographer morning engagement session in arboretum & downtown Nacogdoches

Not everyone feels like they write well, or speak eloquently. We don’t all sound like that perfect line from a movie. But that’s not what matters anyway – the real, honest, true-life stuff is what matters, regardless of how messy it may seem.

 

So today, take a minute to share love. Give a hug. Give a high five. Compliment someone’s shoes (as long as you genuinely like them). Write a love note. Call a friend you haven’t talked to in a while. Look in the mirror & say out loud to yourself at least one reason why you love you…. & then believe it.

 

If you’re into grand gestures, by all means go big with your displays of love & affection. But if you’re more a sticky-note on the dash of the car kinda person – go with that. Just share your love today… there are people in your life who need to hear it & feel it.

Stillness

For a lot of us, stillness isn’t an option. We are constantly running from one thing to the next, and hardly have time to just be still.

I think that’s true, but I also think it’s a lie too.

I think stillness is uncomfortable for us. Scary even. It’s not easy to just be still with yourself, because then you don’t have the hustle in the way to block out your thoughts.

We fill our lives with so many things: volunteering, to-do lists, meetings, lunch or dinner or coffee dates.

And in the moments we have to be still, to be quiet, to really notice what is going on around us, we instantly and reflexively reach for our phones. We fill the quiet with tweets, snaps, posts & photos. Because it’s easier to check out than to check in to what’s going on with us & what’s happening around us.

Kingwood family photographer fall family portrait session in open field with mini John Deere tractor

When is the last time you actually sat in the sun & just felt its warmth on your skin, noticing it there is a breeze, or if the birds are singing, or if there’s the smell of fresh cut grass or sea-salted air. When is the last time you walked down the street & actually noticed the other people walking by you.

I am guilty of this too – the filling of every second of my day. And I am going to try my best to carve out time to be still.

Keeping the radio off in the car periodically.

Keeping my phone off or in another room or deep in my purse.

Keeping at least 3 minutes of my day purposefully empty to slow down & be still.

I’m going to try to be more comfortable with letting the thoughts from down deep actually surface and then challenging myself to recognize & respond to them. Because maybe, just maybe, there’s a gem buried somewhere in that endless pile of busy & hustle. And maybe, just maybe, it’s time to let it out into the sunlight.

This Is Us (Crying)

Ok, so I have to guess that I’m probably not the only one around here completely hooked on This Is Us. I have seriously cried in every episode I think! (And don’t lie – you know you have too!!) It’s seriously gotten to the point where I have to hope that Max doesn’t walk in while I’m watching it because I know he’ll tease me for crying.

thisismecrying

There are so many people who have fallen in love with the show & the characters, and I think there’s a few reasons for that…
They are not perfect. This isn’t a new idea when it comes to tv, but I think the writers & cast do a phenomenal job of bringing such a realistic sense to the struggles they face. They hurt & they fail, and I think we just resonate with that.

They value one another. I think that society has gone really far in the way of looking out for yourself, and seeing these people, this family, truly care for one another is really refreshing. They don’t always like one another, but they are still a connected family, and they fight FOR each other.

They consistently keep us on our toes. There have already been a lot of plot twists so far (I won’t go into specifics in case you somehow haven’t seen the show & want to catch up), and I have no doubt they will keep coming. From little surprises to big cliff-hanger moments, it keeps us engaged & wanting to know what happens.

 

I think those things are all really valuable lessons for us too. We are able to connect, to really resonate with other people when we are willing to show the messy side of things. To admit we aren’t perfect & that while in some ways we’re on top of it, in other ways we’re just a hot mess. We are able to gain loyal “fans” – be it friends, significant others, clients – when we show how we value others, especially them. We keep ourselves front of mind when we are consistent about bringing action that draws people in and makes them want more. Now I’m not saying we need to continually make people feel like they’re at the end of a cliff-hanger episode with us… We just need to be engaging about deep and meaningful things!

 

So take a cue from the family that cured my sadness over the loss of the Bravermans, and get out there & be real with people, be for people, and engage people. But please, try not to make them cry so often!