Galatians 5:22-23  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…

As a Christian life coach, many of my clients seek to incorporate their faith and values into both long-term goals/plans and in everyday living, learning how to “walk their talk”. As is noted in the Scriptures above, what we produce in life is the harvest of our beliefs and actions. These are universal life principals as well. This series will explore how we all can incorporate these fruits in a variety of ways that range from traditional to unexpected and fun!  First up?

LOVE

Ah, the word we use to tell others how we feel, to describe your favorite color, food or car, to your favorite song (and of course, chocolate)! Today we will begin the series by looking at two ways we can sprinkle love into our lives (and the lives of others). First, we need to do all we can (especially in this day of so much turmoil and hardness in the world) to show love to others whenever possible. Sharing a smile with a stranger, making a beautiful meal from your heart for another… there are so many ways to care for those with whom you come in contact, personally and professionally. We will be looking at more tangible ideas later on.

But now let’s look at self-love, something we often find harder to do than loving someone else. Even the Scriptures tell us to “love your neighbor as yourself”, but how can you do that effectively if you don’t even like yourself much, let alone love yourself?

Is your self-talk (either what you say in your head to yourself or what you say out loud) self-deprecating, harsh and harmful? Would you speak that way to someone you love? Listen to the words you use about you, to you, each day. Stop verbally beating yourself up! Right now, think of three things you like about yourself (from your features – nice eyes, smile, etc.) to a trait you may have to a talent you possess. Now say it out LOUD! “I am a great friend”, or “I have beautiful lips”, and so on. And don’t tell me you don’t have anything – God don’t make no junk, and you DO have at least three things that you can find to like.  Then, begin to mindfully and intentionally pay closer attention to these words and when you catch yourself clobbering yourself with words, immediately STOP, and counter it with verbal self-praise (and a prayer of gratitude for YOU)!

Next, another way to love yourself is to take care of your body with proper sleep, nutrition and exercise. Start small with choosing one healthier meal a day, sleeping at least 30-60 minutes more a night, drinking several glasses of water more (and other less healthy beverages from soda to booze less). Don’t tackle everything overnight, one step at a time. Then find 15 minutes a day to do something that makes you feel happy and peaceful. I call it #NUTURE900 – 900 seconds, or 15 minutes, just for you. Take a walk, take a power nap, put your feet up and read a book, call a friend, grab a cuppa and journal… you’re probably already thinking of something!

As you begin to pour love into yourself and your life, wrapping yourself in loving words and caring more for you, don’t be surprised if your whole attitude and demeanor and wellness begins to thrive, overflowing to others. And isn’t that the point of love? As I write this, know that I am praying love over each of you who reads this!

Our next post will investigate how we can put more JOY in our lives, so stay tuned!

And in the comments below, do share the results of this:  what one specific way will you show love to either someone else or yourself as a result of this post?

CALL TO ACTION
Let’s continue this conversation over at my Facebook page (click on the photo below)!

@lindabushcannon