Our 7 year old, Bonnie, was given a signed first edition copy of Heidi for Christmas from her Uncle David. I’ll be frank, I was more excited about the gift than she was. Heidi was one of my favourite story books as a child and I couldn’t wait to read it again as an adult. I snuggled the kids up in bed. It’s a fairly big read and the kids started to get a little restless, but I was all in. I was there fully until the end and it was magic. On boxing day, 2019, I read Heidi through a different lens and it hit me hard. It covered many topics from the world of self development, goals, motivation, mindfulness, love, energy, kindness and all the good stuff. The line that really got me was from the part that she was reunited with her grumpy Grandpa, he said:
‘I missed you just like the mountain misses the sun’.
She had brought him to life with love.
Keeping love at the centre of what I do has been a life goal for me, because I believe that love is the most powerful energy available to us. I want to be missed like the mountain misses the sun. What about you? What impact do you want to make? It can be hard to accept and give love. As we grow and learn each decade, our understanding of what love is can change and develop. I’m going into the next decade with a strong desire for less negativity and more love in my life. To do so, this starts with clarity. What is love? What does love feel like? I hope my take on love helps to spark something deep within you.
Love is fun and free. Love plays. It doesn’t cling. Love is non controlling. It is equal. It feels warm and light. Love can’t be forced. Love flows, it gives. Love cooperates. It brings joy. Love smiles. Love supports the passions that bring you to life.
Love is admiration. It’s moments of intimacy. Love is looking a little closer and paying attention to someone. Love listens. Love is present. It is being interested and there, all in. Love is connection. An energy and force that can be felt. Sometimes strong, deep and intense, other times calm and rejuvenating. Love is being real with no mask or agenda. Love is open and doesn’t punish honesty. Love welcomes and accepts differences. Love is the opposite of small talk. Love is a liberating adventure. Love is affection and touch. It’s abundantly delicious. Love is the greatest power that we have.
Love starts from within. How can we love others if we don’t know what love means? How can we learn to accept love if we have never received it?
Love can get complicated and messy. Raise your standards for it either way, set the bar higher in terms of the love you give to yourself and others. Set the bar higher for the love that you deserve. Choose love. Listen to love. Give it a greater place in your life.
Now i’ll come back down from my writing bubble and leave you with some practical tips to bring more love into your life. This advice is as much for myself as it is for you.
1. Meditate daily, tune into your body and energy levels. Step back from your racing mind and remember that you are more than your thoughts. Stay curious about your thoughts but don’t judge them. Remain compassionate because that is what love would do. Take time to train your mind each and every day. Even if this involves some deep breathing in the shower (easy now).
2. Take time to move your body in a way that feels enjoyable to you. Take time to rest when you feel pain. Really listen to your body and ask what would love do? Would love tell you to nap, to rest, to move more, to put on some great music and dance? Would love take a break from the screen and get out in nature? I took myself for an hour walk/run yesterday. All alone. I returned refreshed and recharged.
3. Set boundaries. If you are feeling sad or low, could this be because you are being too hard on yourself? Are you taking on too much? Sometimes love is cutting yourself some slack. Sometimes it is taking a break from a person that fills you with negative energy. Sometimes love is surrounding yourself with people who light you up. So jump out of the drain and go sit by the warm fire. Tis the season to be jolly, not sad.
4. Write it all out. Write out the thoughts and feelings that are limiting you in a compassionate way. Challenge behaviours and people that are lowering your energy. Address what you can do to lift yourself up. Take the time. Writing heals, you don’t need to share it like I do. But writing helps to remind you who you really are. It helps us to process stuff. I have been writing for as long as I can remember. It’s amazing therapy.
5. Think about the labels you are carrying too tightly. I will be going into much more detail on this with book number 2. Notice the labels you have become attached to. Is it time to let them go and drop the pressure. You are more than an adjective.
6. Read. In 2019 I have got through a crazy amount of books, either via audio book or hard copy. Bonnie, our 7 year old, asked me last night as a lay in the bath with a book:
‘Mummy, why are you always reading?’.
I quoted one of my favourite authors, Matt Haig:
‘Reading makes the world better. It is how humans merge. How minds connect. Dreams. Empathy. Understanding. Escape. Reading is love in action.’
Right now, I’m off to dance. Feel free to join me.
Jojo Fraser is an award winning author, podcaster and motivational speaker. Jojo believes that we are all born to lead. She has been a mental health researcher for the past 6 years and is known for her positive energy, giving leaders a ‘mojo injection’. She is a regular speaker on BBC Radio, a keen foodie and loves to sing.
Follow her popular podcast here, which is dubbed by her global listeners as ‘free therapy’.
You can purchase her first book here. More info coming soon about book number 2.