“We think love has to be obtained, earned, achieved, and received. We look for it in the form of attention and compliments, and people acknowledging us. But actually the greatest way to experience love is to give it.” —Jay Shetty, author of 8 Rules of Love: How to Find it, Keep it, and Let it Go
A simple formula to love is to be it and it appears. However, this seems either too simple for some of us or to not produce the ‘type of love’ we had in mind. Such thinking, to have a narrow definition of what love has to be in our lives to be fulfilled, or to refuse to let go and just be instead of chasing, demanding, swiping or requiring, is to get in our own way when it comes to living a life, every single day, full of love.
Because guess what? Such a life is possible, and it is part of what living simply luxuriously is all about. In fact, it is at the core, because as I will share today, it all comes down to finding peace with ourselves, embracing our true selves and engaging fully with the world without expectation. But again, we are being asked to do less, not more, to look inward so that we can engage lovingly outward as well as lovingly toward ourselves. We are being asked to be honest about what makes us feel loved and stop engaging in practices that result in anything but.
With all of that said, it was with great appreciation that I picked up Jay Shetty’s second book that was released in January of this year, 8 Rules of Love: How to Find it, Keep it and Let it Go. However, as I often let my mood or energy determine what I am ready to explore between book covers, I didn’t begin reading the book until earlier this June, and as soon as I did, beginning with the very first page, I didn’t put it down for one day until I had read it entirely.
The first page of the Introduction prepares you for what Shetty is trying to prepare the reader for when you finally reach the last couple of chapters, revealing what living a loving life, being love, is really all about. Shetty begins with an anecdote of a student asking what the difference between like and love is, and the teacher responds by sharing, “When you like a flower, you pluck it. When you love a flower, you water it daily.”
Of course as someone who loves gardening and delights in all that gardening can and does teach us about life if only we choose to be her student, this analogy held fast my attention and gained agreement. Shetty goes on to explain how cutting a flower is equivalent to attraction, something that we covet, but quite quickly lose interest in symbolized by the wilting of the flower after it can no longer be sustained in the vase. But love is when we choose to keep the flower alive and give it what the flower needs – the proper sunlight, soil and water. And as every gardener knows, every plant has different needs when it comes to these three fundamentals. As well, a flower doesn’t share its full awesomeness the first year, not even the first, second or third year, and the years could go on, again depending upon the flower, which is why care, over time, “doing our best over time” is when we “fully experience [the flower’s] beauty—the freshness, the color, the scent, the bloom. You notice the delicate detail on each petal. You watch it respond to the seasons. You find joy and satisfaction when a new bud appears and feel a thrill when it blossoms.” There are many different types of relationships that involve love that parallel with this analogy of caring properly and lovingly for a flower, and at the core of all of them is choosing to give daily effort, and giving what the loved one needs as you get to know them over time. But just as this is being given, in a loving relationship, this is being received so that you too can flourish and bloom into your fullest and most true self and potential. It’s a two-way street and so it takes awareness to make sure we bring knowledge about ourselves to every relationship.
Before I get ahead of myself, in today’s post, I am drawing on the knowledge of Jay Shetty as shared in his book, 8 Rules of Love, and sharing the key components about the four ashrams of love which when we consciously engage in each, teach us how to be love at the deepest level and thereby elevate the quality of every single day of our life. I highly recommend picking up his book if anything today speaks to you. It is a wonderful resource full of specific examples, tools and practices paired with his experience and guidance.
Let’s get started.
How to Be Love:
The first ashram of love is about preparing for love by learning to be alone and learning from past relationships so to improve our next one.
1.Unlearn what we thought love meant
Conditioning begins early and is relentless. If we don’t bring critical thinking about what love really is, we begin making decisions – small and significant – that prevent the real love that will deepen the quality of our life to occur, be experienced and shared.
2. Savor the gifts of solitude as an act of self-love whether in a relationship or on your own
“Solitude is the antidote to loneliness . . . The difference between loneliness and solitude is the lens through which we see our time alone, and how we use that time. The lens of loneliness makes us insecure and prone to bad decisions. The lens of solitude makes us open and curious. As such, solitude is the foundation on which we build our love.”
When we discover the importance of solitude, we learn who we are, and in truly understanding ourselves, we become more clear about where to explore to find our purpose. And when we find our purpose, we become more secure within ourselves because we “learn how to display our values, not how to advertise ourselves”. We begin to “let go of any anger, greed, ego, self-doubt, and confusion that clouds our heart and interferes with our ability to love”.
By letting ourselves be alone, we begin, if we allow ourself to be honest, to be honest about what has made us insecure. Is it the fear of feeling loneliness? Or have we made an assumption based on what we’ve been told about when and how loneliness is felt? So long as we have feelings of insecurity, fear and “anxiety around loneliness . . . these very feelings prevent us from finding love”.
“Solitude is not a failure to love. It is the beginning of love.”
Study after study has demonstrated that we often become more in tune and aware as students of life. We can hear ourselves, observe what grabs our attention, learn new skills more completely and swiftly, and so whether we are in a relationship or not, regularly giving ourselves time alone is healthy and powerfully nourishing for a better relationship with ourselves and those we love.
When we learn how to love ourselves through embracing solitude, we also learn how to love others. Not just a romantic partner, but all other people. When we learn how to be less critical with ourselves, we discover how that nourishes rather than belittles and thus builds trust. When we are honest with ourselves, we learn how to honest with others when it may be difficult to do so, and to do so in a loving way. When we learn patience, compassion and empathy, “we can use [these] qualities to love someone else. In this way, being alone—not lonely, but comfortable and confident in situations where we make our own choices, follow our own lead, and reflect on our own experience—is the first step in preparing ourselves to love others.”
However, we must be careful to not stop giving ourselves love even if we should choose to step into a relationship. Which leads to another way to be love that we will talk about down the list.
3. The Power of Presence
A fundamental skill of mindfulness, something talked about in episode #350, is being present. And simply because we are in our own company doesn’t mean we are practicing presence. As Shetty points out, to distance ourselves from what we discover when we are fully present we may distract ourselves, always keep ourselves busy. The reasons for doing this will only be known to each of us, so it is in being present that we can be honest with why we are fearful of being present, and with time, we begin to discover the gifts, the many gifts of being present — discovering what we value, discovering if we are being who we truly are or have put up walls or facades and in time (and with help if we choose to seek out a therapist), we discover why we did this and how to shed these ‘selves’ that are not us and begin to embrace what we love, embrace and explore our curiosities and find a voice and/or a direction that fuels us.
It is this self-knowledge that we begin to gain self-awareness and we can acknowledge that yes there are weaknesses and if said weaknesses are something we want to improve, we can choose to do so, but just as powerful is knowing our strengths and beginning to play to those and not diminish ourselves, shrink or accept limitations that may have been conditioned and thus believed by either certain people, institutions or whatever environment is fine with us being less of ourselves. And then we begin to make choices that serve us better.
The foundational gift of solitude is discovering ourselves, and when we know ourselves, “we’ll be more willing to spend time pursuing our interests without needing the safety net of a companion. The activities you choose and what you learn about yourself from those activities will expand your self-awareness” and deepen your self-confidence.
4. Understand the Law of Karma
“Karma is the law of cause and effect. Every action produces a reaction. In other words, your current decisions, good and bad, determine your future experience. People think karma means that if you do something bad, bad things will happen to you . . . but that’s not how it works. Karma is more about the mindset in which we make a decision. If we make a choice or take action with or without proper understanding, we receive a reaction based on that choice . . . You made a choice and you have to live with the consequences/outcomes of that choice. Punishment and reward are not karma’s purpose. Rather, karma is trying to teach you.”
Each choice we make prompts an outcome or an effect. And during our time of solitude is the time to be honest about ourselves and learn from past relationships. Not to analyze the other person, but our choices that lead to what worked, what did not. In other words, to examine as objectively as possible how we contributed to the events of the journey of each relationship. What can we learn? What do we need to learn? What decisions need to be approached differently? This is where we choose to be the student and live consciously, not by habit.
Shetty points out that when we are young, we are shaped and influenced by choices of others that we don’t necessarily, or at all, have control over – our parents, environment, schooling, religious instruction, etc. . But as we step into adulthood and have the agency to make our own choices, we can, and it would be wise to do so, evaluate the impression of these influences that have shaped our thinking, behaviors and responses. If we don’t like the impressions, we have the ability to “gain the intelligence to curate our impressions by choosing what we watch and who we listen to. We also have the opportunity to revisit, edit and unlearn past impressions.” In other words, if we don’t like the outcome of certain choices, we simply need to make different choices and those choices can do with anything and everything in your life, which of course includes not only the people you choose to date or potentially partner with, but also whether or not you choose to grow and step into your fullest potential, finding your purpose and thus finding and experiencing contentment.
Shetty goes on to conclude that “karma is a mirror, showing us where our choices have led us . . . First, when we learn from the past, we heal it. And second, this process helps us to stop making the same mistakes.”
One last thought on karma, and this can be applicable to anything in our lives and how we choose to live, “If you put something into the world, you get it back.” This can be looked at for positive and negative outcomes as we discussed above, but let’s start with the approach of trying to find love. What are you putting out in the world? If you are depending upon your looks, your clothes, anything on the exterior to be the determining factor in attracting ‘love’, you will attract someone who values what you have presented. Conversely, if you choose to simply be love, and practice all that is shared in today’s post/episode, step back from expectation and simply live your life, live your purpose, that is also who and what you will attract – other people – some potentially a partner, most people simply platonic – who value sincerity, who value similar passions and the ethos you bring to your daily life.
“The promise of a happily ever after turns out to be an obstacle to happily ever after.”
5. Fill Your Own Gaps
“What you want from someone else, first give to yourself.”
When we wait and look outward for someone else to bring into our lives what we feel we are lacking, we are beginning from a place of insecurity and dependency and that, in the long-run doesn’t contribute to a healthy relationship. We all likely need to heal something in ourselves, but that is not the responsibility of someone else. As I will talk about below, our partner can and should be our guru (hang on to discover what exactly this means) and we should be theirs, but we have to know how to heal ourselves in order to receive the support. They cannot do the homework for us – that is what gradually weighs down a relationship unhealthily. Shetty shares, “Once we fulfill our own needs, we’re in a better place to see what a relationship can give us.”
Once you have done your homework of embracing solitude and self-examining your past choices, i.e. the karma you created and how it served you, acknowledging what choices need to be made differently in order to create different outcomes, then we can bring with us valuable knowledge that will help us be love more truly, stepping ever closer to experiencing what love really is. This is not to say you stop spending time in solitude or stop self-examining. No, no, no, no, no. You now have the skills of each and to be effective must be practiced regularly as life’s journey unfolds.
The second of four ashram’s of love is “the stage of life when we extend our love to others while still loving ourselves”.
6. Understand the four stages of love
Repeatedly, it is shared in this chapter that to know if we love someone takes time. Plain and simple. Time with each other, again and again. Choosing to share time and withholding expectations and a rigid timeline. After all, if we enter with these two as guidelines, then it isn’t love we are looking for and we are not ‘being love’.
The four stages do not necessarily need to be experienced in order, but they all need to be experienced with our partner in order to know love is being practiced – given and received.
- Struggle and Growth
Each of these stages takes time, some time events will be unwanted but will play a hand in helping us experience a particular stage, but Shetty assures, “If we gradually unveil our personalities, values and goals, we start to see if there is a connection.” And the key is that this gradual unveiling be reciprocal.
What is important to keep in mind is that even if a relationship doesn’t meet all four stages, for example, when you hit stage #3 and struggle occurs and boundaries are made clear, if one person doesn’t respect the boundaries even after there is clarity about what the other needs, it doesn’t mean it’s a failure’ in fact, it is a very good thing because you have learned that you are not a good fit to live a fulfilling life that will make you both happy, and that is wisdom that benefited you both. However, if after reaching stage #3, communication is exchanged, knowledge is learned you and both engage in a manner that aligns with each other, now with a better understanding of one another, then more clarity has been gained and the relationship is deepened.
7. Be trustworthy
To talk a bit more about the fourth stage mentioned previously, in order to find someone we can trust, we must be someone who is trustworthy. Again, we cannot control another’s choices, only ours, and we attract what we put out into the world. Remember, karma is a mirror, so if we are untrustworthy, we actually attract untrustworthy behavior to us because we think others are untrustworthy because we are! See how we create what we say we don’t want by simply being that! So simple, so powerful, and the change is quite simple. All of this ability to find people to trust begins in the first ashram – becoming comfortable with solitude and becoming knowledgeable of ourselves and changing what we know is not constructive. This builds the trust in ourselves that we will then connect with others.
And again, it is important to remember, that trust takes time to build, and is revealed through the stages above, especially during the third stage of love. Shetty shares there are three types of trust – physical (feeling safe in their presence and you feel good being around them, seen, etc.), mental (trusting their mind, ideas, and thoughtfulness. Not necessarily an across the board consensus on all topics is their agreement, but you trust how they make decisions), and emotional (their values and who they are as a human). So again, you cannot observe or experience all of these in a short period of time, so take time to observe but also to be yourself and be truly seen by the person you are getting to know.
8. Put your purpose before your partner’s
“You want to go on a journey with someone, not to make them your journey.”
In a post I wrote a couple of years ago, inspired by Jay Shetty’s book Think Like A Monk, the concept of dharma is shared: Passion + Expertise + Usefulness = Dharma. Shetty doubles down on this truth that will lead each of us to contentment when he talks about the necessity for both individuals in a partnership to put their purpose first for themselves, followed by the relationship and any other values that they may have. Why is honoring your dharma (your purpose) vital to do in a relationship just as much as it is if we are not in a relationship? “Dharma clarifies your values and priorities to yourself and your partner.” Shetty goes on to explain the other three fundamental pursuits that drive us forward in life, thus shaping our choices and actions (dharma being one of the four). When you have found your dharma, you “spend money with a clearer sense of how it should be spent, and you pursue love with a desire to create a meaningful life with your partner. Eventually these three pursuits lead to the fourth – moksha, where all we do is devoted to a spiritual journey.”
“Your purpose has to come first for you, and your partner’s purpose has to come first for them. Then you come together with the positive energy and stability that come from pursuing your purposes.”
Finding and continuing to pursue your dharma “insulates and protects our self-esteem” and it is because we continually value and prioritize our dharma that we can remain more stable during the ups and downs of life which benefits our relationship.
By maintaining your identity outside of the relationship, you are not in danger of letting the relationship define you. You bring your full self and love of life to the relationship, choosing (not needing) to be with this other person. “Dharma helps you live a passionate, inspired, motivated life, a life you want to share with someone. You also have the pleasure of living alongside someone who is fulfilled. There is great joy in seeing the person you love doing what they love.”And the gift of knowing what it feels like to pursue your own dharma gives you insight into the struggles and elevating highs that come with the choice to do so enabling you to be a truly supportive partner.
But before we move ahead too quickly. What happens if I am not pursuing my dharma? Or my partner isn’t pursuing theirs? Simple answer: “When we aren’t pursuing our purposes, troubles arise.”
Shetty explains that often when we may think the relationship has a problem, it is actually a result of one or both of the partners not following their purpose. Simple and true.
So just to remind, to take us back to the first ashram discussed above, finding your purpose, preparing for love, is often the hardest part of knowing how to be love, but is, he underscores, the most important. Why? “If we don’t learn the lessons of the first ashram of love, then we won’t know how lovable [we] are and what [we] have to offer.”
This works both ways, as each partner does this for themselves.
9. Be each others’ guru
First, what is a guru? Shetty explains that we must think of it as how our actions impact our partner. A guru offers “guidance without judgment, wisdom without ego, love without expectations.” And this is vitally important to understand lest it be misinterpreted: “Being a guru for your partner doesn’t mean imparting wisdom to them, but it does require patience, understanding, curiosity, creativity and self-control.”
This is an approach I think is often misunderstood, and can be easily misapplied if we don’t come into the relationship knowing what our purpose is and valuing it, having a clear separation of who we are apart from our partner. Which is why we must know ourselves well, continue to give ourselves self-love and honor our purpose whether we are in a relationship or not. Just as our partner should do for themselves. For example, if we want our partner to change in any way, that is not being love. Shetty reminds, “That is ownership. Ownership is born out of control.” We are not in a relationship to control the other, nor do we want to be controlled.
As a guru, you give because you love the person. What you give is being love in your actions, words, thoughtfulness and considerations and not seeking a particular ‘reward’. Much like most investments worth their substantial value, they take time to show the results we might hope will occur, but we don’t give to get. We give to be love to our partner. Letting your partner pursue their purpose and lovingly supporting as they need and you can provide builds trust and bolsters confidence not only in your partner toward their purpose but in the bond you are building with each other.
Another example is to lead by example, not to dictate. In other words, don’t preach. Instead just practice what uplifts your life without the expectations that your partner do the same. Again, these are actions that are part of the stages of love that will help you learn if you are compatible. Even if you are not, it doesn’t mean they are a bad person or you are a bad person. You are merely avoiding unnecessary incompatibility down the road that would lead to a fissure later.
Lastly, a guru, being a guru, is not about helping our partner become the best we think they can be, but the best version of themselves they want to be. What we must know inside ourselves is if we want to support this person as they grow, whatever that growth may be, because if we focus on what we want, we begin to deteriorate any trust that has already been built. “Your partner is your guru, not your god. They help you become better, but they aren’t better than you.” Which is to say, your story can only be written by you and you must not lose your identity even as you change and grow together. “Remember your own personality, values and goals. Don’t lose the thread of your own story.”
All that has been shared above needs to be experienced in reverse as well. Do you feel support without expectation or judgment or ego from your partner? This is a two-way street of engagement which again is why it takes time to know if this person is a good fit for you both. To both reside in a growth mindset is crucial, and that is nurtured by being curious about what they are passionate about, helping how you can, being open-minded as well as humble (setting the ego aside). An important finding to keep in mind when we consider offering criticism is that “critical feedback has been identified as one of the most common triggers that send us into a fixed mindset”. To further this point of choosing to let go of criticism and using fear as a motivator, Shetty writes, “Criticism is lazy communication. It’s not constructive, compassionate or collaborative. Look for ways to communicate so that the other person can consume, digest and apply your input effectively . . . give suggestions instead of criticism.”
The gift of being each others’ guru while coming with some “discomfort of change is offset by the delight of shared understanding. The growth that a guru and student cultivate keeps a relationship exciting and new even as it matures and you grow more familiar with each other.”
~The third ashram of love is knowing how to lovingly protect love while going through struggles.
Simply because we are in the third stage doesn’t mean we forget the previous two. In fact, we continue to bring those skills with us because it is during struggling times, that we must know how to self-reflect and self-examine to understand what is blocking our ability to be loving as our relationship grows and evolves. We must also know how to give ourselves self-love and not neglect what we need. In either the instance of navigating lovingly forward with our partner or realizing the partnership will come to an end, we deepen love regardless. Why? Because we have practiced lovingly how to navigate struggle without losing ourselves but also trying to understand and love our partner as we travel forward.
I could detail this Part three of the book, but I think it would be most helpful to read it on your own as it will be very specific to each of our journeys and where we find ourselves. For example, you may currently be in a relationship and are seeking skills and tools on how to fight well – because this is a necessity – and there is a loving way to do it. Or you may be in need of ending a relationship, but are scared to do so. Or maybe you are trying to give yourself permission to speak up, but in a loving, yet clear way that honors you, this chapter is a wonderful resource for all and more ways to protect both the love of a loving relationship and the self-love that should always travel with you through relationships and in between relationships and after relationships.
~The fourth and final ashram of love is connection by extending our love to each and every person and area of our life, having compassion for all living entities. This is the highest expression of love, and all previous stages are preparing you to be able to live in this stage.
One of the aspects and in fact, fundamental points of Jay Shetty’s book is one I found to be deeply enlightening and a breath of fresh air. This book, 8 Rules of Love, is actually not about learning how to find your ‘love match’. Nope. In fact, it is about realizing that each and every relationship we choose to be in or have been in is actualality providing us an opportunity to learn how to be love in every single moment and day of our life during our one and only life on this planet. Which is to say, “The way you perfect love is not by waiting to find it or have it, but by creating it with everyone, all the time . . . it’s the great gift that love has to offer.” Shetty goes on to say,
“We want love in our lives, and we naturally assume it should take the form of romantic love. But it’s a misconception that the only love in your life is between you and your partner, your family and your friends. It’s a misconception that life is meant to be a love story between you and one other person. That love is just a stepping-stone. Having a partner isn’t the end goal. It’s practice for something bigger and life changing, a form of love that is even more expansive and rewarding than love.”
If we are in a romantic relationship, our partners give us a change to practice being love, but “we don’t have to fulfill our romantic desires to get there. It is available to all of use e very day, and it is infinite.” And that is just the point, being involved romantically is a desire, but it is not something that is required to live a fulfilling life. A life of love is a core component of a fulfilling life, but “love means noticing that everyone is worthy of love and treating them with the respect and dignity their humanity automatically makes them deserve.”
10. Understand the skill of a Radius of Respect
“When someone is toxic, we can love them from a radius of respect.”
But wait, you might be saying, I am not into this idea of Radical Acceptance. I am not going to subject myself to destructive relationships whether that be caused around family or friends, etc. And you are certainly correct, you should never do so. In fact, it would not be loving toward yourself to put yourself in situations that are harmful, emotionally or physically.
If the person who we acknowledge is toxic, is also someone we don’t want to entirely eradicate from our lives, this is where all of our skills of how to be love both to ourselves and them are put into practice. Shetty teaches that when we encounter someone who is hard to be around – known or unknown to us – “the first step toward loving them is to understand what, if anything, our reaction to them reveals about ourselves”. He goes on to share examples, but our lives are a constant mirror of what we have put out into the world, and our life journey is full of lessons that if we choose to see them as lessons can improve the quality of our daily experience. In such instances, you may not ever come into contact with the person who raised your hackles, but there is a lesson to be learned about yourself regarding why your hackles went up if you choose to see it.
When it does come to someone who, say a family member, or an ex-partner who you are co-parenting with, etc., the radius of respect entails “standing at the distance where we can still respect and support them, than to be too close and have our resentment grow.” Only you will know this distance. Honor what you need. It may change with time – more is needed, less is needed – but when you create a loving environment for yourself in your daily life, you will know what the right distance is each day.
By putting into place the radius of respect, you can continue to be loving because you are “protected from feeling used and you are allowed to wish them well from afar until you are ready to love them up close.”
11. Experience love in its different forms
“When we expand our radius of love, we have the opportunity to experience love every day, at every moment.”
It is when we broaden our definition of love, and step away from the narrow ideals that have been placed into our minds unconsciously and we accept, that we, through our actions of being love, begin to experience feeling the love we at first were searching for. “Love is available whenever you want to feel it by giving it to others.”
12. Give love
“Giving love solves the human need that is even greater than romantic love. I need to be of service. There is no greater ecstasy than that.”
And this is why holding your purpose, your dharma, first, finding your dharma, needs to be the leading priority in your life. It is crucial to continue to give yourself self-love throughout your life journey, and to be of service does not me you ignore your needs or your boundaries because when you are unable to give what you can uniquely give because you haven’t nourished yourself regularly with what fuels you, protects you, supports you, the world is missing out.
“You can seek love your whole life and never find it, or you can give love your whole life and experience joy.”
13. Be love
“We impact one another in all we do.”
Through small actions and thoughts that involve practicing understanding, support and belief in what those around us are doing, accepting, and extending appreciation, we are being love in our everyday lives. They need not be grand or big or even cost-expenditure gestures; they just need to be sincere and with the recipient, not the giver, in mind.
“Instead of expecting love, we have to find ways of expressing love . . . We’ve been taught to believe that the only way [we] can experience love is when [we]receive it, but you can feel love anytime you want to simply by connecting with the love that is always within you.”
Shetty breaks down the various zones of love we have in our lives: family and partner, friends, colleagues, community, strangers, organizations, the Earth. we can be love in each one of these situations according to their needs and our relationship with each one through something as simple as a smile, by being respectful, following through on promises, connecting in a way that shows we were listening or see them as an individual if it is for example, a colleague at work, caring for our Mother Earth with thoughtful choices as to how we go through our days and appreciating the gifts she gives us all.
“The greatest way to experience love, is to give it.”
We’ve talked about it before here on the podcast/blog in episode #287 – 5 Things to Do to Build Healthy Relationships, we all innately seek the five A’s – appreciation, affection, attention, allowing, acceptance, and here is the key to finding each one: be them. Be appreciative, be affectionate, give your full attention, allow others to be themselves, accept others for being who they are. You may not want to strike up an intimate romantic partnership with everyone, but in choosing this action every time with every person you come across, you are being love.
14. Embrace the paradox of Love
“Experience [love], practice it, and create it instead of waiting for it to find you. The more you do this, the more you will experience the depths of love from different people through every single day for the rest of your life.”
For too long in my own life, I sought love. I made mistakes up and down this list of teachings Shetty provides because I didn’t know what love really was. So many influences had made an impression on me that it wasn’t until I started to acknowledge that what was purported to be love didn’t feel loving and so I began began to be a student first of myself, and then of putting into practice what I have learned from those far wiser than I on this topic – Jay Shetty being one such person. To experience love, real love, is to be it in our everyday no matter our relationship ‘status’. If we are in a romantic relationship, we can continually be a student and be practicing being love. If we are not in a romantic relationship, we are still in many other relationships, and love can be expressed and exchanged there as well. Our life, today, has the potential to have as much or as little love as we wish to bring to the world, and it is far easier to love when we put the expectations of needing to find it first aside.
In my morning meditation, I close each session with the following intention expressed audibly: May you be content, may you be safe, may you be healthy, may you be kind, may you be love, may your life be filled with peace. I have included inspiration for this phrasing of choice from mindfulness teachers and then included my own regarding what I need to remember to practice in my daily life, so it was important for me to remind myself each day to “be love”. Be what I want to experience. Give without the expectation of receiving.
I hope today’s episode/post offered insight and inspiration into how to cultivate a deeply fulfilling life full and grounded in real love. Be sure to explore Jay Shetty’s latest book The 8 Rules of Love: How to Find it, Keep it, and Let it Go.
Copyright January 2023
~Sautéed chopped chives for finishing a French Omelette, sunny side up egg or anything that pairs well with chives.
Watch the full episode from Season 1 of The Simply Luxurious Kitchen cooking show, episode #5 to learn how to make your very own French Omelette, and be sure to listen to this podcast episode (#360) as we step into my kitchen and listeners can listen as I show the steps for sautéing chives. In fewer than 30 seconds add a punch a flavor that amplifies the yum of an everyday dish.
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