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What Are Today's Interesting Finds? - v13 »
Tuesday
Feb142017

How to Change Your Life With More Love and Compassion

Some of the things I enjoy about Valentine’s Day are the beautiful colors, the bouquets of flowers, the abundance of chocolate, and the focus on love. The power of love is undeniable. The ability to give and receive love makes life better. Expressions and acts of love don’t have to be bold. They can felt in quiet moments. They can be felt from a gentle touch, a kind word, or a small gesture. Creating more loving moments towards yourself and others will change your life. Love is the glue that holds our relationships together. Extending that love to include compassion for self enables us to grow, change and give more to others.

 

 

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”

- Charles M. Schultz

 

Hug Break

My husband and I were home during the big snowstorm last week. After several hours of working at our desks, Steve called out to me. He said, “Hey Honey, it’s time for a hug break!” I smiled as I got up from my desk and met him in the hallway for wonderful hug. What a simple act that left me feeling happy and loved. Did you know that the hormone oxytocin is released when we’re physically close to another person’s body? It helps us connect to others. In The Little Book Of Hygge, Meik Wiking said that oxytocin is sometimes referred to as the “love hormone,” the “cuddle hormone,” or “social glue.” Hug someone today to increase your love and happiness quotient.

 

Dance Break
My mom has vascular dementia, so while we can still have conversations, words aren’t always her best mode of communication. Music is though, so we often sing and clap together, or I listen to her play the piano. She has an incredible sense of rhythm. Moving our bodies to music or dancing with others is one of the most joyful things we can do. During a recent visit with my mom, she was so energized by the music we played for her, that we ended up dancing together. It was a joy-filled moment of love and connection.

 

Sisters Break

This past weekend our daughter, Allison, drove from Brooklyn to visit her “baby sister,” Cassie, in Boston. Our daughters have been very close from the day Cassie was born. As a matter of fact, when Cassie was born, Allison was convinced she was her baby. And right from day one, our girls had a special bond. Fast forward 24 years later and they are still close. Each time I thought about them visiting and spending time together this weekend, my heart was filled with love and warmth. Love can be felt through the relationships we have and by thinking about and being around the loving relationships others have. Soak in the love.

 

Creative Break

I like to make cards and write notes. Sometimes I use my photographs. Most recently, when making Valentine’s Day cards, I decided to take out my watercolors. I used to paint frequently, but haven’t in years. It was like having a conversation with an old, comfortable friend. I just loved dipping my brush in the paints, swirling it around in the water jars, and painting on the textured paper. I had forgotten how much I loved painting. Love can be felt from the relationships we have or the creativity we engage in that touch our souls.

 

Mindfulness Break

I continue to engage in living more mindfully and practicing daily mindfulness mediation. Especially through meditation, the practice encourages self-compassion. I set aside time each day to focus on simple awareness of connecting my mind, body and heart. The practice encourages being curious, non-judgmental, and kind to the self. By gifting myself this time, it’s helping me to experience more gratitude, more calm, and expand the energy, focus and love I have for others.

 

On this day of love, this day of sharing and this day of eating more chocolate than usual, I wish each of you a very happy and love-filled Valentine’s Day. What resonates with you? I’d love to hear your thoughts about change, love and compassion. Come join the conversation!

 

 

 

 

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Reader Comments (7)

These are such wonderful reminders about the power of love and connection. I love your description of how music, rhythm, and dance impact your mother. I dance almost everyday and love the connection with the movement, music and my dance partner. It brings me such joy!
I also love to smile. I like to look someone (even someone I don't know) in the eyes and smile. They almost always smile back. It's a simple thing but it brings me joy and I like to think it brings the person I'm smiling at joy too! Happy Valentine's Day!

February 14, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDiane Quintana

I loved watching the video clip of you and your Mom dancing - precious! A friend of mine talks about the power of just "getting out of the zip code." This is a way to take a break from the pressures and responsibilities and allow your focus to be shifted to life and beauty and relationship. We escaped last weekend to DC to see our 2 girls... what a great to have the four of us together!

February 14, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSeana Turner

@Diane- You're shared with me before how much dance plays a role in your life. I've even had the fun of seeing some of your beautiful photos of you and your partner in action and the joy is obvious. What a gift! Smiling is another gift. And what a simple act with such deep, loving outcomes. Keep dancing, smiling and spreading the love and joy!

@Seana- I'm so glad you enjoyed the video of my mom and me dancing. I have to admit that I've watched it quite a few times too. It makes me smile every time. I LOVE that expression you shared..." getting out of the zip code." What a great call to action for shifting the focus and celebrating our relationships. I happened to see the wonderful photo you posted of your family from your DC weekend. What a beautiful family you have...and how precious that time together must have been.

February 15, 2017 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Hugs to you for sharing all these ways to connect. I am finding that connections are the most important but at times neglected parts of happiness. I am so glad to add these new perspectives.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterEllen Delap

@Ellen- Big hugs back to you, my friend! Our social connections and relationships are important...as you said. It takes time and effort to nurture them. And as you mentioned, there are times when that can be difficult...but so essential for our happiness.

February 15, 2017 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Sister Visits are a regular part of my life. I generally spend one weekend per month at my sister's, and we both look forward to it every time. In fact, we have one coming up this week! We drifted apart for a few years as young adults, but now we grow closer every year, and we're both very happy about that.

February 16, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

@Janet- What a beautiful commitment you have to each other. I love that! It's beautiful how you get extra joy from thinking about getting together, actually spending time together, and then thinking about the lovely time you had together. You're creating additional happiness. I also love that you expressed that relationships ebb and flow. Just because we might not be close to someone at this point, it doesn't mean we can't rekindle or strengthen a relationship at another point. It's all about investing time and care with the people we love.

February 16, 2017 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

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