Tag Archives: Valentine’s Day

All you need is love. Three areas of love, to live by.

I’m a true believer that all you need is love. Sometimes I actually have to remind myself that I need a little money and some amenities to survive in this world. Love is what fuels me buts it’s also the reward. I remind myself daily to focus on these aspects of love.

Love for Someone

Love for Something

Love for Yourself



Love for Someone

Whether you’re married or single is not important. Loving someone is the key. Anyone. A friend, a parent, a sibling. Not the kind of love that brings you together a few times a year or gets you a birthday text. The kind of love that you put work into. The love that is above and beyond a text or Facebook post. Love that they can feel no matter where they are or who they’re with. That’s how you love someone. Real commitment and dedication. The kind of love that’s an action, that’s hard to give to a lot of people at once. So choose your people. Who do you love? Who needs your love? My people right now are my daughters and of course my husband. My mother too. I’ve always believed that loving someone was not the difficult part. Making sure they feel loved is the challenge. So, challenge yourself.

Love for something

My thing is the steelpan. My instrument. An instrument I played since I was a child. Recently, a student asked at an assembly “why do I feel a warm breeze like I’m at the beach or somewhere nice when I hear you play?” She had never heard a steelpan at the beach so I told her that feeling was called joy and if you enjoy being at the beach then you’re relating this sound to a happy memory. That’s what the instrument does.

I’ve never witnessed anything else in my lifetime that makes so many people so happy. Well, maybe…s’mores. I’ve also never witnessed anything that brings together so many different types of people. Because of this love, I’ve become extremely dedicated to teaching about the steelpan and preserving the legacy of one of its pioneers, my father.

 

Love for yourself

I’ve always been a big advocate for loving yourself. Thinking you’re beautiful, knowing your worth and having pride in your story. I believe that I was blessed with self-esteem and pride. Growing up in America in the 80’s as a poor, immigrant, dark-skinned girl is not for the faint of heart, but somehow when I looked in the mirror, I loved what I saw… a pretty, strong, smart, talented and a very hard-working girl with big goals and a giving spirit. I knew these things about myself then and years later I still believe them to be true even if at times it’s wavered.

Growing up, I saw that women who looked like me were not perceived or portrayed as having those qualities. So not only did I have the challenge of continuing to believe that about myself, but I was also faced with the challenge of defending why I believed that about myself, especially from those with opposing views based on what they were taught.

Still today, I encounter people who are offended by my self-esteem and confidence. It’s  challenged, as if I don’t deserve it or it somehow makes them lesser than. I recognize that their behavior stems from how they in turn feel about themselves or the biases of that individual. Biases they sometimes don’t even recognize they have. However, I’m raising young girls who are even more confident than I was. Their strength is what pushes me to continue to not only be a great example but to always overcome.

 

All in All

Give your love, make sure it’s felt.

Find a passion and nourish your soul.

When you love yourself, you are better able to love others.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day xoxo

 

Love Is All You Need

I’ve been thinking a lot about love and relationships lately. Maybe with Valetines Day around the corner and most celebrations beginning this week, love is on my mind. More than love, relationships with people you love, or deeply care for.

What makes a great relationship? And, what makes the relationship between two people endure? Not just marriages, but any relationship. Friends, siblings, parents…what makes them last, what makes them special, what makes them great? 

I’ve spent a lot of time researching and learning about love, human interactions and relationships. It’s always been something that interests me, especially in regards to how human behavior impacts the experience and the relationship we have with others and what makes a relationship strong and endure.Even if we say we don’t need anyone, I think once you feel the power of a strong relationship, of love, you seek to make all of your relationships as strong.

So what is a strong relationship? How do we know when to walk away and when to fight harder? I feel like I know the answer but I also understand that I probably don’t know. In reading about love and relationships, listening to people that have had long standing, strong relationships with friends, their parents, siblings or partners, I’ve learned there are some consistencies.  

1.) Do you think about the other person? I’ve determined that the people you think about most often, family members, friends, acquaintances, mean something to you. Don’t disregard that or fight those feelings. Even if a part of you wants to act like you don’t need them, fight that urge to be selfish or self righteous and continue to show that person that you care and want to be a significant part of their lives.


2.) Does this person inspire you to be kind and inclusive? Some people start to exclude others or become selective as they build new relationships. Never a good sign. The better a relationship, the more people you want to be around and share that experience with. Great partnerships, marriages and friendships should include and inspire others, not make people feel isolated or shut out. 


3.) Are you able to be yourself? No matter what, you cannot have a great relationship with someone if you can’t fully be yourself. That doesn’t mean you share everything all the time, and speak every thought that comes to mind, but you’re comfortable and free to be the real you. The authentic you, good and the bad. 


4.) Are you challenged to improve and grow? There are a few people in my life that will not let me make poor decisions, that give real advice even if it’s difficult. I cherish those people. Even if it’s hard to hear, to know that someone wants you to be your best self, and gives honest feedback that comes from a good place…that is an absolute blessing. 


5.) Does your relationship inspire others? I know this might sound strange but people are always watching and when they see a sisterhood, friendship or marriage that is thriving, they take note. Although no two relationships are alike, there’s something about a good relationships that’s very inspiring to others. 


6.) Do you want to be better? The best relationships inspire us to improve ourselves not just for you by for them. We should pay attention to the other persons likes and dislikes, know their expectations, and try to meet them. Pay attention, exceed their expectations.  Make constant effort to be the friend, brother, sister, husband, wife that they want and need. 


7.) Does it feel good? They way a person makes us feel is so important yet overlooked by so many. When you’re with someone you love, that truly loves you, time spent together should  always feel magical. Sound childish? It isn’t. Whether it’s a significant other or a great friend you should leave every interaction feeling like you’ve made a great memory and excited for another. No matter what. Even if it’s an argument, you know you’ll move forward. 

We need love and more importantly we need people to love, that’s the relationship, the action. 

Happy Valentines Day!


Corinthians 13 

If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.

And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing.

If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests.

It is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury.

It does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.

It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing.

For we know partially and we prophesy partially.

But when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.

When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things.

At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known.

So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Celebrating Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. Any holiday that celebrates love with chocolate and flowers works for me. Depending on where you are in your life this day may look different, but  no matter who you are or where you are in your life, you can still celebrate.

 

For The Kids

Most children have Valentine’s Day celebrations at school. Instead of buying treats or pre-made Valentine cards, I have my girls create treat packages for their classmates. It allows them to not only be creative, but add a personal touch, which is the best part of giving someone a special gift. Also, don’t forget the teacher, a special teacher deserves a special treat! We’re giving our special teachers triple layer chocolate macaroons from my new favorite bakery, Gaby et Jules, bravo!

For The Family

In the past we’ve celebrated two ways. I sometimes host a Valentine’s Day sleepover with my girls and my nieces. Usually the day before. Last year my oldest also invited a friend. They loved it! We had a great time playing games, watching movies and of course waffles (with fresh strawberries and whipped cream) in the morning. On Valentine’s Day, for dinner, my husband (who is an amazing chef) makes me and the girls an amazing “fancy” dinner, as my girls say. Last year we enjoyed filet mignon at our beautifully decorated dining room table.

This year we’re hosting a Valentine’s Day Family Dance party. We’ve invited other families to celebrate and dance with us. My girls really wanted to have a party and we love to dance. It’s going to be a very fun evening.

 For Your Partner

Just because there’s no date doesn’t mean my husband I don’t celebrate one another. My advice is to do something small but special. Although, I will never tell you not to, love does not require grand gestures. I absolutely love flowers so a beautiful bouquet usually gets me. If you know your partner well, it should be easy. This year, I may just need a day to sleep in and relax. Do you think my husband reads my blog? A surprise weekend trip, beautiful piece of jewelry, dinner at a fabulous new restaurant whatever you choose, think more of your partner than yourself.

 For Your Friends

Host a dinner party. Who doesn’t love an amazing dinner party? Champagne, beautiful décor, a lovely centerpiece and a great soundtrack in the background of wonderful conversation. Treat your friends to an amazing evening.

 Or

A night on the town. When in doubt go dancing! There’s nothing can can keep me off the dance floor, except a bad DJ. Take your best buds out for a night on the town. Dress up and get down (was that corny?) and enjoy the evening with your friends.

Whatever you do, take the time to celebrate the people you love and enjoy this day dedicated to love.