the guiding elements: love + joy + gratitude

Love, joy, and gratitude…these are the three elements I’ve come to use as guides for a happy fulfilling life.  Now I know what some of you are thinking…Should I have guiding elements already? Are my guides the same? Do you have a quiz I can take to figure out my guiding elements?  Well my friends the answer is simply NO.  Only you can determine the elements that guide your soul through life…you FEEL them, BELIEVE them, and LIVE them.  For some it will be easy to see what guiding elements seem to reoccur in thought and action.  Now for many (myself included) it will take time.  Time to grow, develop, explore, and learn.  Time to evolve into your unique selves and most importunately time to learn to love yourself for being uniquely you.  Which brings me to my first guiding element: love   (nice segway right?)


: a feeling of strong or constant affection

: unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another

cite: Merrian-Webster Dictionary

Activity Alert: Think of the word LOVE.  Now write down the top three words that pop into your mind. We all have people, places, activities, and things we love.  Look at your list…what’s number one?  Is it your spouse, your new sunglasses, road trips, or your sweet pup?  Now above that item write the word ME.

You’re always number one.  Loving yourself is the most important love.  Now this doesn’t mean you stop doing the dishes or picking up puppy poo cause you don’t want to.  Loving yourself means taking care of your whole being…from the inside out.  Making sure you take time daily to check in with your needs.  Even if that only means stopping and taking five deep breaths to let go of the stress and tension form the day.  We all know how to take care of our bodies, eating (mostly) clean and daily activity, but often times we forget to check in with our soul.  The spirit that makes you….well…you!  God gave us beautiful bodies to carry our spirits through life, but whats the use of a gorgeous box with nothing inside.  Love yourself first, let your light and positive energy shine!  Now that you’ve began the process of loving yourself first all that uplifting energy will transfer throughout your life…in your words, actions, even the way you stand tall and beautiful.

Love is fathomless; a unique emotion evoking unparalleled happiness. – jen ross


:a feeling of great happiness

:a source or cause of great happiness: something or someone that gives joy to someone

:success in doing, finding, or getting something

cite: Merrian-Webster Dictionary

Activity Alert: Think of a time where you were happy…so happy…I’m talking scream it from the mountains and go jump on Oprah’s couch happy!  Now close your eyes and travel back to that moment.  What do you see?  What do you hear?  How do you feel right now?  Are the corners of your mouth curling into a full blown smile?  Are you crying happy tears or belling laughing so hard you abs hurt?  That feeling, those sensations…that’s joy.

On LoVe:k&m we wish to focus on the definition of joy being the source or cause of great happiness.  Of course there are the obvious events that probably pop to mind when you think of joy and happiness…weddings, a new baby, birthday parties, coming home for the Holidays, the list goes on and on…but what about the everyday simple actions?  A hug…a pure and seemingly minimal action that when exchanged between the right people can not only evoke feelings of safety, warmth, and love but also joy.  Growing up I was by no means a ‘hugger’ but since meeting my love I will confess “My name is Mandy and I’m a hug addict”.   A few years back while browsing an article online I read this phrase {for a hug to be effective it must be at least six seconds in length}.  That one little statement resonated with me and I must say [from experience of course] a nice long hug can not only melt away worries & stress but also replaces those toxic emotions with feel good vibes full of pixie dust love.  We don’t need to search for joy…we live it…slow down, smell the roses, feel the joy…from your nose to the tips of you toes!  Within this fast paced world we live, little happy moments can simply go unnoticed.  Make sure life doesn’t pass you by without your FULL  helping of beautiful, joyful moments…big and small.

 Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are -marianne williamson


:a feeling of appreciation or thanks

:state of being grateful

cite: Merrian-Webster Dictionary

Activity Alter:  Quick…it will only take a second.  Grab a slip of paper and writing utensil [fun sharpie and Post It time…whoop whoop].  Now, write down three things you are thankful for today, this second, right this very moment in time.  Congratulations…you just took the first step to leading a life filled with extra pixie dust!!!

Look at your list and think about each item.  Why are you so grateful for that person/object/experience?  What made it jump to the very top of your list at this moment in time?  Not only did each item on that list release feel good vibes and loads of joy while you experienced it or are around the person/object but now that you’re taking time to feel grateful for it here come all those amazing sensations again!  What?!?…a double dose of feel goodies just for thinking about your adorable curly tailed puppy, gorgeous soul mate, or favorite spot to vacation!  That’s right folks…adding the element of gratitude into our lives makes them that much more breathtaking!  What? You don’t fully believe me yet?

Okay…let’s take it to the next level.  I CHALLENGE you to keep a gratitude journal for one whole week.  Now I know this may seem daunting so let’s break it down. Everyday…whether in the morning as a way to start your day with inspired intentions or in the evening as a part of daily reflection…I want you to write down three things you are grateful for at that very moment.  Want to go further…write a short explanation of why that person/place/thing makes your feel grateful.  By no means do I always take the time to jot down what I’m grateful for but in working to shift my thinking to more positive affirmations I’ve noticed I really do reflect throughout the day a sense of gratitude for the various experiences/objects/and people who enter my world.  The blue jay singing in the tree, a kiss on your forehead from your love, a faint burst of laughter in the distant wind, every minute of everyday we have the chance to experience moments of gratitude….don’t let the moments pass by without applause, a smile, or a simple look to the Heavens and a nod of acknowledgement….these moments were made just for you!

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgiving, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.-william arther ward

love: m

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