\ All You Need Is Love | Christina Brandt

Christina Brandt

Sunday, February 25th, 2024 | Making "What's Next?" What Matters ™

All You Need Is Love

Since I believe that variety truly does lead to a “spicy” life, I came up with three Words of the Year. Word #2 is Love.

Eve Ensler said “Consider what would happen if security were not the point of our existence. That we find freedom, aliveness and power not from what contains, locates or protects us, but from what dissolves, reveals and expands us.” I believe that both truth and love in all its forms do exactly that – dissolve, reveal and expand us.  (It’s also a great definition of the coaching process.)

Dissolving:  There’s so much talk about love in our culture. The phrase “I love…” peppers our speech, and we’re told we’re not “complete” without a romantic relationship. This month, you can’t walk through a store without seeing hearts everywhere. While it’d be nice to have a romantic relationship, it wasn’t until I dissolved the belief that life was incomplete without a man that I noticed the abundance of love that’s already around me.

Revealing:  Here are some of the ways that love revealed itself to me this past month:

  • friends who sent cards, emails, fudge and brownies, and others who cooked, cleaned and ran errands while I recuperated from surgery
  • a mom who made sure I never bent, stretched or twisted, all while cooking up a storm in my kitchen
  • a cat who wouldn’t leave my side as I rested
  • the folks at the bank and bagel store, asking my mom to convey their good wishes
  • people who held doors for me as I slooowly made my way toward them
  • a desire to get back to work, because I love what I do for a living and it makes me really happy to help others find the love in their lives

Expanding:  Over the last year or so, I’ve made a conscious decision to look for love in every situation. The choice to expand my definition of love from the romantic to the ordinary has helped to anchor me in the present moment, aware of what’s truly happening. I ask myself how I can both see and bring love and appreciation into the moment. Some situations are harder than others, but when I can remember to look for the love, life gets a lot easier and more fun, too.

So, what the heck does all this love business have to do with finding your right life and career? Everything. In the past six weeks, four of my clients have found jobs. Each was discouraged, sick of the long slog that her job search had become. So, we focused on what they loved to do and dream about doing before they die.

One focused on voiceover training. Another, on being around art. Another, on adding color into her life and her home’s walls. One saved pennies, sold jewelry and consigned clothing to pay for classes. Another went to any and all art-related events that were free. And another made inexpensive purchases to enhance her home. Small steps toward love led to more curiosity and love of their own lives, and with the focus off how to make a living, they each found work. Martha Beck would tell you that they found work because “love sells better than hate.” When they focused on what they loved, they became more interesting people, and who doesn’t want to hire interesting people?

Just as in a grand romance, we often expect our lives to be filled with this huge flame of passion and inspiration, when often our loves sneak up on us with the smallest and steadiest of flames. I often tell clients that discovering your right life often looks less like a bonfire and more like a stove’s pilot light. It’s the small, constant warmth that sustains and nurtures us.

I’ll leave you with this quote from Martha: “The ultimate lesson of regret, the one that will help guide you into a rich and satisfying future, is this: Every time life brings you to a crossroads, from the tiniest to the most immense, go toward love, not away from fear.”

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