A Burst of Strategies to Increase and Savor Love

Couple At Play

“I like myself best when I am with you.”  Dennis Waitley    

In elementary school for Valentines Day, my classmates and I would receive a box with our name on it to decorate with pink and red hearts. On February 14,th we would sing songs, eat candy and drop our valentines in each other’s boxes. 

What would our closest relationships look like if we celebrated love everyday by dropping kind words, good deeds and delightful gestures into each other’s lives? What if we put energy and time into being our most genuine, fully alive and generous selves? 

Practice these tips to sky rocket the love in your life. 

1. A generosity of spirit. When we love someone, it’s not difficult to let go of what we want for what they want. Love is being surprisingly thoughtful with time, good wishes and consideration. Love is tuning into the needs of others and become uncommonly caring. 

2. Focus on love. When you think and act on love, you begin to feel more loving. Practice recalling loving times. Plan a love-filled future. Make love your top priority. 

3. Apologize. Learn to say, “I’m sorry. I was wrong. I care about you,” with warmth, courage, and sincerity. Repeat often.

 4. Keep your promises. Keep track of your commitments. Do what you say you’re going to do. Be someone others can count on and lean on. Trust is something you build, one brick at a time. It’s easily lost and difficult to regain. 

5. Recognize what separates you from love. Turn criticism into praise, frustration into patience, and judgment into acceptance. Shift your perception, drop your story, and become a strong and centered supportive force.  

6. Be present. Turn off your computer, phone and iPod. Shut out distractions. When you hideout, you miss out. Learn to savor the sight, presence and essence of others. Create a ritual of eating together, slowly. Join with each other in a light and love filled space. 

7. Stop striving and start living. Spend quality time with those you love. Track how much time you spend striving vs. thriving. A favorite lesson of mine is, “happiness is now, there is no other time. Happiness is here, there is no other place.” 

8. Shimmer with freshness. Break out of your routine. Create a “pushing daisies list,” include what you want to see, do, and experience before you die. Be spontaneous, inquisitive and fun. 

9. Hold a vision. See each other smiling and succeeding throughout the day. Learn to expect the best and give your best to each other. Plan good times and watch them unfold. Be invested in your future together. 

10. Become emotionally open. Learn to be silent in moments of despair, centered in moments of confusion, and comforting in times of grief. Be excited in moments of happiness, cry in moments of joy, and grateful in moments of peace. Hold and comfort each other with understanding eyes and wide open hearts. 

11. Little delightful gestures. Give a hug, a wink, a neck massage or a touch on an arm, shoulder or back. Touch creates intimacy. Affection feels good. Love follows. 

12. Speak and be silent. Learn how effective silence can be. Know when to speak up. Give yourself a time-out to calm down. Create space to chill out. Never fight over the last word. Choose happiness over being right. Communicating effectively is a powerful way to inner and outer peace. 

13. Celebrate who you are and what you have. Only when you accept yourself, can you accept others. Appreciate differences, accept annoyances. Celebrate the qualities that make each of you unique. 

14. Offer forgiveness. Nobody is perfect. At the end of the day let go of anything that didn’t go well, drop grievances and offer second chances. Life is too short for a cold heart. 

15. Do good. Help with everyday monotonous tasks. Take out the garbage, do the dishes, make the bed, pick up the laundry. Share routine responsibilities. Be mature. 

Photographer: africa

What can you share about love?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Lance February 6, 2011, 8:51 pm

    Tess,
    This is a wonderful list of LOVE!!! Gosh, having that every day in a Valentine’s (or EveryDay Box!!) box would be all sorts of awesome!

    That idea of “being present”…it’s one I’m working hard on. Sometimes…I get it right, sometimes…I have a ways to go yet….

    • Tess February 8, 2011, 5:14 pm

      Lance,
      I just went and bought some valentines today. I’ll send you a virtual one…coming your way. Yes be present Tess and Lance. Feel the love!

  • Keith February 7, 2011, 7:44 am

    Tess,

    I love this entire list but certainly number 2 and 4 really jump out at me today!

    I truly hope that all who read this list, do so without any superficiality. It’s easy to read through a list like this, nod in agreement, and move on instead of grasping the depth contained in each point!

    Thank you for continually challenging me, making me think and inspiring me to live a “real” existence.

    • Tess February 8, 2011, 5:13 pm

      Keith,
      Yes I know what you mean. I like to print out articles that resonate with me and put them in my journal for further reflection and writing. Focus on love…it works each time I want to be unloving towards someone.

  • Abubakar Jamil February 7, 2011, 7:48 am

    What a beautiful heart warming post Tess. And thank you for linking to my article in your Point No.10

    • Tess February 8, 2011, 5:11 pm

      You’re very welcome. I couldn’t resist!

  • rob white February 7, 2011, 8:18 am

    Great list, Tess. It takes they mystery out of the word, “love.” The idea of love is a bit skewed in our culture and this article helps put it back on track. Love can be as easy as a willingness to give to others with no thought of receiving in return.

    • Tess February 8, 2011, 5:11 pm

      Skewed oh yeah. But hey were here to show the way. Keep up the good work and example, Rob.

  • Mike February 7, 2011, 12:13 pm

    I definitely agree that it’s imperative to love yourself before others can love you too! Accept your so called “faults”, and just appreciate being alive and the amazing individual full of potential that you are! Thanks for your insight on the topic of love! Definitely one of my favourite topics!!

    Mike

    • Tess February 8, 2011, 5:10 pm

      Mike,
      Your welcome and I just checked out your blog. Love those videos.

  • Dandy February 7, 2011, 12:32 pm

    Hi Tess,
    Brilliant list. Relationships are so hard these days. I love # 5. Sometimes I catch myself complaining about petty things. It never gets me anywhere except more frustrated. I’ve made a point lately to stop complaining and it’s had a very positive effect on me, my life, and my loved ones. Thanks so much for your thoughtful wisdom Tess. You’re words really move me!

    • Tess February 8, 2011, 5:09 pm

      Dandy,
      Nobody is perfect, I think we all still catch ourselves falling back. I don’t know anyone who walks on water.

  • Little Lessons Under the Big Sky February 7, 2011, 2:08 pm

    Tess,
    This heartfelt post was just the reminder I needed! Thank you for sharing your wisdom. The list is one that doesn’t require a lot of WORK, but does require a lot of mindfulness. Like everything else, it is easy to get “lazy” in love. I am going to take this list to heart….and practice it again and again!
    LOVE IT:)
    xo
    Jen

    • Tess February 8, 2011, 5:09 pm

      Jen,
      Yes it’s so easy to take the one we love for granted. Don’t be assuming that I don’t continue to work on being mindfully in love. I do!

  • Patty - Why Not Start Now? February 7, 2011, 11:11 pm

    What a wonderful memory of those elementary school Valentine’s Days you bring back, Tess. Do kids still do that, I wonder? I love your list and the deep wisdom you share here. I’m especially concentrating on #6 these days: be present. When I practice this often, I find it so much easier to both give and accept love.

    • Tess February 8, 2011, 5:08 pm

      I’m not sure kids do anything today we did 40 years ago Patti. LOL I’ll have to check with my grandchildren.

  • Mark February 8, 2011, 3:06 am

    Wow…I think we’re thinking along the same wavelength. Moment of collective consciousness =)

    I JUST went into my room to do some writing, when a student came in and wanted to chat about books, her parents and life. I literally had to turn off my computer screen to keep my focus on “storylistening” (your #6!)

    This was a far, far better thing than my plans dictated.

    Have you considered submitting this post to #lovesparks, via allislistening.com?

    • Tess February 8, 2011, 5:07 pm

      Yes it’s the listening while multi-tasking that gets me every time. I’ve changes some but need to do more.

  • Alex Blackwell February 8, 2011, 4:28 am

    Wonderful list Tess. The power of love shines right through.

    Alex

    • Tess February 8, 2011, 5:06 pm

      Alex, You’re a bright shining light of love yourself!

  • Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord February 8, 2011, 8:02 am

    Tess, with a list like this, it’s no wonder you and your husband have been happily married so many years. WOW! I found myself nodding along with each suggestion you made. While I loved many of these, some stood out:
    11. “Give a hug, a wink, a neck massage or a touch on an arm, shoulder or back. Touch creates intimacy. Affection feels good. Love follows.” YES! I can’t tell you how often I’ve noticed the opposite. Men (and some women) make fun of “foreplay” but really, each moment of the day is foreplay if we let it be. And I know that little gestures like having the one I love hold my hand opens my heart instantly.
    6. “Be present. Turn off your computer, phone and iPod…When you hideout, you miss out.”
    7. “Stop striving and start living. Spend quality time with those you love. Track how much time you spend striving vs. thriving…”

    Such an awesome list, from an awesome head & heart. Thanks, Tess!

    • Tess February 8, 2011, 5:05 pm

      Megan, you’re so sweet! Love on!

  • Jonathan Manor February 8, 2011, 8:05 am

    Great post!

    Why is apologize black and not red like the other ones, is it evil?

    When I was younger we had to give everyone valentines or none at all. It was to refrain from hurting anyone’s feelings or making them feel like Ralph did in the Simpsons.

    • Tess February 8, 2011, 5:15 pm

      Jonathan,
      It’s difficult to be a kid and be left out. I have first hand experience;) However it has made me a compassionate adult.

  • Mandy Allen February 8, 2011, 8:44 am

    Very good list, Tess. I have to admit to struggling with number 10…

    Enjoy the journey.

    Mandy

  • Peggy February 8, 2011, 9:52 am

    Hi Tess,

    Love the list… and love the idea of an everyday love box. For the past 5 weeks, I’ve been sending my husband valentine’s Day cards. I crossed out Valentine’s and wrote EVERY on each card…it’s not just one day my love for him is extra special. I love him every day.

    And while he’s deployed we keep our love energy flowing through weekly skype dates and love notes.

    xo

  • The Exception February 8, 2011, 10:10 am

    I love this list as it is about things we can do every day – things that we can practice and share and teach and learn… and it is every day!! Fabulous!

  • Angela Artemis/Powered by Intuition February 8, 2011, 10:26 am

    Hi Tess,
    I loved this post especially the tip on apologizing. I think that we often overlook that – and it’s really important for getting your ego under control to be able to apologize from the heart.

  • Joy February 8, 2011, 1:06 pm

    Hi Tess,
    Ah the “Valentine’s Spirit”..thank you for a wonderful list to nurture and celebrate love!
    What I can share about love is that when I open my heart, magic floods in..I can tap into Universal love and all forms are readily accessible to me in abundance! Love is the key, the answer to all, the connection, the nutrient..whatever you wish to label it, love truly *is*! I like to celebrate love and allow that gratitude to fill my heart..I’m having a love affair with the world and that love guides me in all else..
    Lots of love to you Tess..perhaps we should create blogging in boxes for love notes:)

  • Charlotte Rains Dixon February 8, 2011, 6:14 pm

    Great post, Tess. I love #3, especially, the “I was wrong,” part. It is so hard for us to admit when we’re wrong and holding onto the “I’m right, I’m right, I know I’m right” attitude shuts us off from growth, forgiveness, and love. This is an amazing list and if we all followed it in all our dealings the world would be a happier place.

  • Frank February 8, 2011, 7:16 pm

    Tess,

    I am so glad that I came across this post. I have been in a relationship for over 10 years. 5 years of dating and 5 years of marriage and to be honest I have lost my touch. I used to be able to show my love and appreciation in all kind of unique ways but now it seems like a struggle. The same feelings of love and devotion still exist it is just the matter in which I portray them. So this was a refreshing and insightful post that I can immediately apply the information you provided.

    All of the tips are valid but the one that resonated deeply within me was to be present. When I recommitted myself to bringing back the spark in my relationship amazing things happened when I took the time to acknowledge my wife in her entirety. I paid attention to everything from her style to her mannerism and my goodness within seconds I was head over heels again. Her smile calmed me. Her voice soothed me and her eyes blew me away….

    Sorry I got distracted for a moment. My wife just walked by. This article was a great reminder on how to create, maintain and sustain a loving relationship and I am grateful I was given an opportunity to read it.

    Thank you Tess.

  • Nea | Self Improvement Saga February 8, 2011, 8:18 pm

    Great post, Tess. Small gestures are my absolute favorite way to have love communicated to me, but I love everything on your list. Being present is an important one, but I must admit that it’s hard for me to push my laptop aside sometimes. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Sandra I Always Well Within February 9, 2011, 4:01 am

    HI Tess,

    This says it all, “Make love your top priority.” All these ideas are terrific, but I find this one to be the heart essence. When I did my experiment of focusing on love and appreciation for 30 days, I realized there’s so much more love that I could express. Thanks for this menu of ways to channel our love.

  • Patricia February 9, 2011, 11:13 am

    I just enjoyed reading this today and was so happy you posted this.

    And she tasted it and it was just right.

  • Rand February 9, 2011, 11:48 am

    Wow Tess!

    You brought back the memories of getting all the Valentines in a box or bag back in elementary school.

    I also remember my “first kiss” that took place behind the auditorium stage curtain (in the dark) after school hours! Sure were lucky that we both did not wear braces!

    Funny if life went full circle? Imagine me now as a stagehand getting a kiss off back stage once the house goes black!

    I “love” how this quote relates:

    SECOND CHANCES____”We all have to learn, in one way another, that neither men nor boys get second chances in this world. We all get new chances till the end of our lives, but not second chances in the same set of circumstances; and the great difference between one person and another is, how he takes hold of and uses his first chance, and how he takes his fall if it is scored against him.____Thomas Hughes.

    Happy Valentines Day!

  • Jannie Funster February 9, 2011, 10:28 pm

    Dearest Tess, it’s always so refreshing and soul-nourishing to feel the love and joy within you reaching out to us.

    What can I share about love? I think you’ve touched on everything love related here. I have been doing a lot of monotonous tasks lately and it feels great to do. I’ll enjoy more of that.

    Learning to be silent is a gift. I like that one!

    Such a wonderful post. As usual!!

    Thank you, Tess.

    xoxo

  • AIleen February 10, 2011, 12:56 am

    Tess, this is such a perfect Valentine’s post!!! I just love how it goes beyond romantic love into the broader spectrum of love within friendships.

    “What would our closest relationships look like if we celebrated love everyday by dropping kind words, good deeds and delightful gestures into each other’s lives?” Such a strong an potent question.

    # 8 ” Shimmer with freshness.” 🙂

  • Pea February 11, 2011, 3:45 am

    “What would our closest relationships look like if we celebrated love everyday by dropping kind words, good deeds and delightful gestures into each other’s lives?”

    Wowsa…pretty amazing I would have thought?

    Can you imagine a slower paced world where folks have the time to do things such as this that would enrich us everyday as we leave to work or school with the truest and deepest love ringing in our ears, as opposed to criticism and/or complaints?

  • Taz @ Climb the Rainbow May 29, 2011, 5:53 pm

    “Turn frustration into patience” – great words of wisdom, and ones that I need to heed more often. Thank you.

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