What a Stranger On The Beach Taught Me About Love

Happy Friday! 

So I was running along the beach yesterday, (yes, indeed I’m very blessed, and currently enjoying a lovely beach holiday with my family…) and said good morning as I passed by this same gentleman I’ve seen walking most mornings this week.

On my way back, he stopped me. “I just have to tell you, you are the most beautiful woman on this beach!

I smiled awkwardly, very aware of the perspiration now dripping down my face. And then I said thank you, and what a lovely thing to say, especially being Valentine’s Day.

He proceeded to comment on my positive energy, and said I looked like I could be right out of University. HA! We had a brief little chat, and it turns out he’s a sculptor on the island. He was jokingly trying to convince me to move here.

Now I have to say, it’s nice to receive a compliment. 

And seeing as how it was Valentine’s Day, it was all the more welcome. 

Because even though I tend to believe it’s a bit of a Hallmark Holiday, it can still be a little tough for single women (I gave a special ‘Shout Out To All The Single Ladies’ yesterday with an important message you can check out HERE.)

But at the same time, I realised I was allowing another’s opinion to affect my own feelings about myself. 

I shouldn’t need a compliment from a random stranger to feel better on Valentine’s Day! 

And moreover, we don’t need a special holiday to experience, feel, and celebrate the love that is all around us, and available whenever we want. 

So whether yesterday included chocolates or flowers, a romantic dinner out, or staying in to watch reruns of Sex In The City with popcorn and ice cream by yourself, it doesn’t matter. And here are some other ways you can show the love to yourself, and others, any day of the week. 

Because regardless of your situation, we could all do with a little more love in our lives. 

“Love doesn’t make the world go around. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” ~ Franklin P. Jones

 

1. Write yourself a love letter. 

When was the last time you wrote yourself a love letter? Have you ever written one?

No doubt you’ve written some in your time (I actually have an antique trunk where I keep old love letters and special cards from folks over the years…), however as important as it is to spread and share the love with others, it’s arguably even more important to show the love for yourself. 

So go on, get out a piece of paper or a card – or splurge on a fancy piece of stationary – and start waxing poetic to yourself, about yourself…

You can write it to yourself today, to your younger self, or to your future self. 

2. Write a love letter to someone else

Everyone loves a good love letter. And now that we’re older, or gotten too ‘busy’ – we’re not making time to express our love for other important people in our lives. And I’m not just talking about lovers or significant others. Love notes can be shared with friends, family members, colleagues, neighbours…

Share some of the reasons you love and/or appreciate someone. You’ll make their day, and yours too. You can do it spontaneously, or anonymously, or even pretend to be a secret admirer.

3. Take yourself out on a date

I used to take myself out on dates all of the time. I’d even get dressed up, and choose a nice place to treat myself to. 

Far too many women are too afraid to take themselves out… to put a fancy outfit on, to sit at the bar, and to simply enjoy her own company. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s fun to go out on dates with other people, too – but it can be just as special to show yourself enough love to take yourself out.

Don’t want to go out? Order in and watch some Netflix in your pajamas. You may just find out you’re pretty good company!

4. Do a random act of love 

We’ve all heard of random acts of kindness… but what about random acts of love? Perhaps similar in nature, however random acts of kindness often have to do with strangers (or friends you haven’t yet met.) Whereas random acts of love could be considered random acts you do for people you already know. Put a love note into your child’s lunchbox. Send your sibling tickets to their favourite concert. Or say yes to watching a movie of your friend or significant other’s choice, even though it wasn’t first on your list. Love doesn’t have to be limited to romantic love. You can show small acts of love to anyone who means something in your life. And no doubt they will be open to receiving the love. 

5. Buy yourself flowers

There is something about having a fresh bouquet of flowers. It freshens the air. It freshens your home. It freshens your soul. And it’s almost like you’re giving yourself a special treat. We do it for our guests, but how often do we do it for ourselves? Well, you’re worth it.

6. Give up something you love

This may appear counterintuitive, so hear me out. Sometimes we do things that aren’t good for us, because we are very good at rationalising or justifying why we deserve it. A Netflix marathon until 2am in the morning. A second bowl of ice cream. A 3rd glass of wine. Maybe it’s time to love yourself enough to give something up. 

So next time you have a craving for a little extra indulgence, when you know it’s not going to be good for you in long run, say no. Because deep down you know even though in the moment you may think you’re showing yourself some love, ultimately, saying no may show you actually love yourself even more.

7. Donate to a Charity in honour of someone you love

It could be in memory of someone who has passed, or someone still living. It could be in their name, or given anonymously. Although it is nice to have our love received, arguably it’s even more important for YOU, as the sender to know you are expressing it. And it’s not always about what you may get in return.

So, which of these are you going to take on this week?

I wanna hear from you in the comments below.

Don’t wait for a compliment from a stranger in order to feel good about yourself. Be brave enough to be the first to show some love to yourself and to others, and watch it grow.

Have a FAB week!

The world needs your fighting. Someone needs your cheering.

The world needs your fighting. Someone needs your cheering.

Standing at the Run for the Cure Wall of Hope, seeing all of those names and meaningful messages to loved ones remembered, still bravely fighting, or celebrating survival, is always an emotional moment for me.

And this past Sunday ~ despite being clad in wings, flowers, feathered boas et al, despite the sea of pink (my fave colour always makes me happy,) and despite watching the sun bursting through the clouds to appear in its magnificence over the CN tower (it was forecasted to rain!) ~ was no different.

Although it’s been 11 years since losing my Mother to breast cancer, and 10 years of participating in the run, it still gets me every time. (You can read my full story here… and yes, if you feel like donating the equivalent of a latté I won’t say no!)

There was an estimated 94,040 Changemakers in 63 communities across Canada running, and approximately 30,000 at the Toronto location.

There’s something powerful about seeing community come together to run for something they believe in. To run for people they believe it. The determination and fight that so many display (especially the survivors) is quite remarkable actually. And it’s incredibly inspiring.

To think every single one of us there have been affected or touched in some way by breast cancer, is crazy. Moreover, to think that is only ONE type of cancer, and cancer is only ONE type of disease, and disease is only ONE of the big scary issues out there we face daily is insane.

There’s a lot of big, bad, ‘stuff’ out there – and a lot of it is out of our control. That being said, you can choose to be victim to whatever life has thrown at you, or you can choose to stand up and fight back.

The world needs more fighters.

And the world needs more champions.

The other thing that gets me about this run is all of cheerleaders along the route ~ the volunteers waving signs, the bystanders ringing cowbells, and the musicians performing in full on costumes and wigs. You can’t help but smile and get a little burst of energy to keep going.

It’s not about the distance or the speed. It’s not a race. It’s about you pushing yourself to fight for something, or someone, you believe in.

Who, or what in your life is worth fighting for? And are you fighting the good fight?

Who, or what, in your life needs championing? And are you being the cheerleader you can be?

It doesn’t have to be cancer, or world peace either (although both noble causes… )

A clean kitchen, a chance to be heard, your values, landing your dream job, making it across the finish line, family dinners, open communication, regular exercise… all worth fighting for in my opinion.

“Better to fight for something than live for nothing.” ~ George S. Patton What are YOU fighting for? Who are you cheering on? (Click to tweet it out)

 

So, what are you fighting for? Who may need your cheerleading this week? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

 

Have a FAB week!

 

Carol