Do All Things With Love

18 Feb 2015

I was having a conversation with a girlfriend for a YouTube video yesterday and there was a certain theme that kept coming up: Do All Things With Love. This really is my mantra and if there is any piece of wisdom or advice that I could share to everyone that follows me, it’s this.

So what does this mean exactly and why is it so important?

Doing all things with love means that you will be getting the most vitality from life, the best feelings from those around you, putting the highest quality food in your body, and loving yourself. There are so many examples of this, however I’ll share just a few that I live by.

Eat With Love: this simply means to eat high quality food that was prepared by yourself or others, by putting time and effort into it. I remember the last time I went to a McDonald’s about 3 years ago and watching the guy throw my burger together in a matter of seconds. I had asked for no onions, a small fries and soda. It came out within a mere 30 seconds and of course there were onions on it, the burger looked like it had been beaten to death, and the fries were luke warm. I realized there was NO love that had gone into this. The staff weren’t happy, the food wasn’t prepared by them, and the place wasn’t giving a loving atmosphere. Contrast this to when you are sick and your grandmother, mother or someone you love makes you chicken noodle soup. They are putting their love into chopping the vegetables, making the stock, and serving it to you. The same goes for when you go to a friends house for dinner and they set the table, prepare a nice meal, light candles and you have great conversation.

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Eating with Love means that you enjoy the people around you, participate in the conversation, really taste your food, and understand that it has been prepared by yourself or others, not in some factory. I always say that when drinking wine, doing it with love means sharing the experience with others and creating moments, rather than sitting alone and drinking because you are stressed. See the difference? The same goes for eating a homemade croissant and coffee while sitting at a table (a la French), taking your time and really enjoying it versus the more westernized way of scarfing down a muffin made in a factory as you walk down the street. Get my drift?

Workout With Love: this is a tricky one because so many people think that working out is a punishment. It really is not and all you need to do is realize that working out with love means loving your body, loving that exercise can make you feel mentally clear, happy, and keeps you healthy. I always treat exercise as a reward if I eat well during the day, rather than a punishment if I eat unhealthy. Who wants to go for a run when they have just eaten a bunch of pastries, chocolate, or hot pockets? When you exercise after eating bad, you are punishing yourself and therefore the exercise becomes something you associate with lack of enjoyment. Versus, if you eat a delicious salad with quinoa, pomegranate seeds, chicken, carrots (among other things!), wouldn’t you be more likely to go outside for a run? You’ll have more energy and be more inclined to treat your body well.

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Treat Yourself With Love: this might be the most tough of them all, because it’s hard for us to treat our own bodies and minds with the kind of love we pass on to others. One of the best quotes I’ve recently posted on Instagram was “treat your body like it belongs to someone you love.” Think about this example: when you are on a plane they tell you to put your air mask on before your child’s. The same goes for yourself outside the plane, if you don’t love and take care of yourself, how can you truly love and take care of someone else?

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Treating yourself with love means to turn negative thoughts into positive ones. We all have moments, days, months, even years where we hate our body, don’t like our career, or are unhappy in our relationships. With everything going wrong in our life, we blame ourselves, call ourselves fat, say we look bad, that we don’t deserve to be happy and just about every other thing possible! What good has come from doing this to yourself? Do you feel happier after you call yourself fat? No! You don’t. Instead, try doing one nice thing for yourself that you know will make you feel better. I personally light candles each night and plug in fairy (christmas) lights because they bring a sense of peace. I paint my nails weekly, dress in nice clothes, and try to smile even when I don’t feel like it. There is a certain point where you are allowed to feel down about life, but to hold grudges towards yourself or others will only hurt your happiness in the long term.

If You Don't Like Something, Change It. If You Can't Change It, Change Your Attitude. Don't Complain - Maya Angelou

There is another quote I recently heard which is: “whatever you believe about yourself on the inside is what you will manifest on the outside.” (unknown) How true is this though? If you are constantly putting bad food in your body, which makes you feel gross, not working out because of it, and calling yourself fat, then you will be more likely to put that image on the outside for others to see and believe. If you treat yourself with kindness, then the light spreads on the outside, you become a ball of vibrant energy and that is when things will come your way; when you make others feel good about themselves, which comes from feeling good about YOURSELF.

So I challenge you with this: for one day only, see how many meals you can eat that are made with love, instead being in a rush. Sit down, put away your phone, laptop, books, etc. and just be with yourself or company and enjoy the food. Can you exercise today and try to think about all the good it’s doing for your body, instead of thinking of the calorie burn? And for one day only, every time you want to say something negative about your body, can you instead say one positive thing? Smile at those around you today. Give someone a compliment.

Now that might seem like a lot to do in one day, but really it’s all the small things like this that add up and make you happy, healthy, and to help you cultivate self love.

Peace & Love,

Nikki

@nikkisharp
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