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Updated: 5 days ago

How do we know if we are loving the people, we hold dear to us, well? The simple answer ~ Ask them! And not just once. Ask them regularly. Yearly, monthly, and even weekly. Do I make you feel seen, heard, and understood? Are you fulfilled? Is there anything I could be doing more or less of to be a better friend/lover/partner/parent? Chances are, we could all be doing a better job with most of the people in our lives. It is easy to fall into our routines, patterns, and subconscious programming of how we move through our days and weeks and show up for the people in our lives. We tend to often we see things through our own perspective or lens of what being loved looks like. Learning what, in particular, makes each individual feel safe, secure and attended to is not a one and done conversation. It takes consistent attention, intention, and action.

Reading The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman completely changed how I look at and engage in all the relationships I surround myself with, not just romantically but my children, friends, family, co-workers and even my community. There are versions of this book for singles, couples, children and teens. When we take the time to notice how someone shows up for us and how they are asking to feel seen and heard, we can learn to love them the way they actually want to or value receiving love and be more in tune with how they express their love towards us.


Sometimes, we are unconsciously neglecting the people we love and don't even realize it. I could be showing you love in 4 of the 5 languages but if I am not consistently expressing my love in the primary way you need to receive and believe my love is genuine, all of those 4 can feel a bit less meaningful, hollow or even ingenuine. However, if you are receiving love in the way that fills your tank most, the others are always nice icing on the cake and feel good because your cup is full and are already in the state of safety, trust, and security in feeling loved. That is why all too often, relationships can build tension when one partner feels like they need more and the other feels like they are doing everything they can. The miscommunication can be that simple because you are speaking different languages. The good news is that even if a love language doesn't come naturally to you, they are all fairly easy to put into practice with a little bit of effort and care. Obviously when you do find people with the same love language, it can feel a bit more effortless, almost like just being yourself is exactly what the other person needs to feel cared for, but it doesn't always work out that easily.


“Our most basic emotional need is not to fall in love but to be genuinely loved by another, to know a love that grows out of reason and choice, not instinct. I need to be loved by someone who chooses to love me, who sees in me something worth loving. That kind of love requires effort and discipline. It is the choice to expend energy in an effort to benefit the other person, knowing that if his or her life is enriched by your effort, you too will find a sense of satisfaction—the satisfaction of having genuinely loved another. It does not require the euphoria of the in-love experience. In fact, true love cannot begin until

the in-love experience has run its course.”


~Gary Chapman


This is a fun and easy Love Language Quiz you can take to get a better understanding of what each of these actually mean and learn a bit more about yourself along the way!


1. Words of affirmation

Positive words and phrases that communicate love, appreciation, and respect


2. Quality time

Spending time with your partner and giving them your undivided attention


3. Physical touch

Showing love through hugging, cuddling, being intimate, or simply putting a caring hand on someone's shoulder


4. Acts of service

Doing something for your partner that you know they would like, such as filling up their gas, watering their plants, or cooking them a meal


5. Receiving gifts

Giving someone a specific thing that makes them feel special


One of the important things to keep in mind is that sometimes the way we like to receive love is not necessarily the same as how we like to show our love so we can assume others may vary as well. With that being said, the old saying of "treat people the way you would like to be treated" doesn't really apply in this situation and you also can't observe how someone shows others love and assume they like to receive it in the same way.




For me, Quality Time and Physical Touch are a close tie for the top of the list with Receiving gifts at the bottom. That is why snuggles, vacations and even quick little getaways always fill my heart and soul in a way that I can't put into words. However, I really enjoy showing my love with words of affirmation as well but can actually find it a bit difficult to receive that way.


The best way to really know how someone you care about wants to be treated is to simply ask. Initiate the vulnerable conversation. They may not necessarily know right away so it may be fun to take the quiz with them or ask some probing questions. In the end, isn't that what intimacy and connection are about? Those simple moments. Taking the time and putting in the attention to have the meaningful conversations to better understand the people we choose to share our lives with.


I'd love for you to share your love languages with me! Let me know and spread love in the way you know best. They all matter!


All the love,

Pamela

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One of the hardest truths in life is that we don't have control over anything, and things almost never work out how we think. Allowing ourselves to find the comfort in discomfort is one of the greatest tools we can teach ourselves, though I believe is a lifetime practice and is never perfected. Letting go, releasing the efforting and surrendering to the unseen is where we find our solid footing. The only consistency we can count on is change itself. So how do we stay in the eye of the storm? How do we keep our feet on the ground amidst the tornado of our emotions? The truth is that there is no one answer but it often starts with silence and stillness. Coming home to self.

When we connect to the truth that nothing in this world is ours and is simply borrowed from someone who once possessed it before us and will be treasured by someone after us, there is something that makes it a bit sweeter and more precious. What if, in the present moment, we did recognize that everything is temporary. Would we view it a little differently? We so easily take this beautiful world we are blessed to experience, for granted.


The practice of non-attachment and letting go can allow us to walk in a more present state of gratitude and appreciation for what we do have in our lives in this very moment. You know that saying, you don't know what you have until it's gone. We have all experienced that to some degree. Now, what if we DID appreciate all that we have and fully allowed ourselves to cherish each and every moment with the things we hold dear to us? Part of the suffering we experience in having to let something or someone go, is possible the truth that we feel a bit guilty because we didn't appreciate it, love it, cherish it or care for it in the way our soul wanted to, and we then wish we had more time to do it right. Or we are attached to the way having it our lives, makes us feel.


“Living in the moment means letting go of the past and not waiting for the future. It means living your life consciously,

aware that each moment you breathe is a gift.”

~ Oprah Winfrey


There is so much information out there about how we can do more and be more, but what about doing less and relaxing deeply into what is, just as it is. That space between the inhale and exhale. Maybe we can start celebrating that moment.


  • What if we started looking at all the things, opportunities and people in this new light of, what if this was my last moment to treasure it?

  • What if we hold the perspective of decreasing the clutter in our lives instead of attaining?

  • What if we participated in the practice of freeing ourselves from our attachment to things. Be it, material, ideas, expectations, outdated perspectives or even people?

  • What if we were so saturated in the present moment that there wasn't any room for the fear of loss because our mind was filled with the love and joy of cherishing it for all that it is and is not?

  • What if we let go of trying to be clever or brilliant and just allowed ourselves to be ordinary, even for just a day.


Do you care to join me in a practice letting go and surrendering? What if we put 5 items that we believe we own and possess into circulation for others to enjoy. Then find one item that we are particularly attached to and release that as well. Notice the joy that you feel, and the ease that comes from realizing everything we possess is only temporary. Notice the discomfort we feel from our attachment. Be curious about where that is coming from. We were always just borrowing it. Then notice the joy we can feel knowing that someone else will get to enjoy what we once loved dearly.


Suffering is nothing more than wishing things were different than they are. remaining in the present moment with a heart of love and gratitude is the remedy.


Often, when we are faced with letting something go, as scary or difficult as it is, the unseen story being told is that it's to make room for something better and more in alignment with who we are becoming. Allow the process of transition, often our suffering comes more from our own imposed resistance to the change rather than the actual change itself. Remember, everything is happening for you, not to you.


All the love,

Pamela

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I recently heard an interview with Lewis Howes, of "The School of Greatness", with Price Pritchett, where they discussed why it's more valuable to stop negative thinking instead of just trying to think positively. He uses the analogy that if you have dirty water, and you add clean water to it, it's still going to be dirty, so we need to remove the more challenging thoughts first to have more pure and clean energy.

There will always be the little voice of self-doubt and insecurity that we will all experience to some degree or another, from time to time, no matter how much growth, expansion and healing we have done. Thinking positive seems like such an obvious choice, however, when we are in these low perspective places, trying to change our mindset to optimistic thinking can seem impossible. I mean, let's be real, if we had the ability to think positively, WE WOULD BE! (haha) So when I saw this story, it got me thinking. What if in those moments, we just stopped the negative thinking instead of trying to replace them with positive thoughts? What would that even look like?


This question reminded me of an analogy of stopping the momentum of a train. If it's on the track going 100mph, you can't just change directions from negative to positive, so how do we at least begin to slow down the train? I can visualize and understand the concept when I am balanced and regulated but when I need to show up for myself during the difficult times, it can seem unfathomable that I will be able to see any perspective other than the distorted story I am experiencing in that moment. I pondered this concept for a while and realized, what if I just think about something totally random as almost a pattern breaker? I thought to myself, what is something neutral with no memory, emotion or opinion attached to it and the first image that popped into my head was an elephant.


I began to practice this new technique I created for myself and am so happy to report that I have had incredible results!! As soon as I notice myself beginning to trail into an unproductive, low vibration thought pattern, I just, close my eyes and in my head say elephant while I begin to visualize my elephant. I notice as many details about it as possible but at least 5. The roughness of the skin, the whiskers on its face, the ears flapping, the powerful yet gentle and versatile trunk. By the time I am done listing the 5 qualities, I often don't even remember the original negative thought that got me thinking of my beloved elephant.


“Dwelling on the negative simply contributes to its power.”

~ Shirley MacLaine


What we give our attention to, grows and a belief is nothing more than a thought we think over and over again so what if we stopped putting so much pressure on ourselves to do a complete 180 with nothing but positive happy thoughts and saw this experience for what it is? It is an opportunity for us to notice that we have the power to choose that we will no longer carry the same beliefs and thought patterns that have weighted us down and held us back. Here and now, we choose different. Imagine that all you have to do is practice stopping that train, not jump off or turn it around, just gradually slowing it down, one thought at a time. Just like in meditation, every time our thoughts and focus begin to wander, we simple notice with love and non-judgement, then think of our "elephant" and bring our minds back to the present moment. With this simple action, we are allowing space for our mindset to shift and our neurological pathways to redesign.


After a few weeks of this, because I am so into spiritual symbolism, I decided to look up what the elephant represents, and this is what I found.


  • Strength and power: In many African cultures, elephants are revered as symbols of strength and power.

  • Loyalty: Elephants are known for their tight family bonds and loyalty.

  • Wisdom: Elephants represent wisdom gained through experience and the ability to make sound decisions.

  • Patience and endurance: Elephants are associated with patience, endurance, and steady progress.

  • Kindness and empathy: Elephants are known for their gentle and compassionate nature, emphasizing kindness, empathy, and nurturing relationships.

  • Connection and acceptance: Elephants can represent connection and acceptance with family and can be seen as a reminder to stay connected with family and friends even when apart.

  • Luck and prosperity: Elephants are a symbol of luck and prosperity.

  • Knowledge and academic success: Elephants can symbolize knowledge and academic success.

  • Intelligent leadership: Elephants facing out on your work desk can symbolize intelligent leadership, poise under pressure, and cautiousness.

  • God's power and wisdom: In the Bible, elephants symbolize God's power and wisdom, and their ivory tusks highlight abundance and wealth.


I feel even more happy with my random choice of diversion and have even begun coming up with designs for my next tattoo so that I can have the visual reminder.


If you are anything like me, and hold yourself to a high standard, it can be really challenging to allow and accept those moments of struggle and discomfort but over the last few months, I have begun to welcome this practice and experience as my teacher and guide. I find myself feeling less pressure because I know in any moment the stillness and peace of my elephant is always there waiting to bring me back to my center.


I am also finding the phrase "we'll see" so much more comforting and attainable when my only objective is to find the nothingness in that simple moment. Allow the space and pause that my elephant provides. Simply being. Not doing, pushing, healing, growing, or manifesting. Just the stillness of the ordinary yet extraordinary present moment where all potential lies. That breath between what is and what could be. And then from that clean, clear place, we make a choice and take our first step towards love, not fear.


All the love,

Pamela

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