Add to the love in the world.

Lisa is a mom, a yogi, a counselor, and a Reverend.
And whether she’s tucking in her little pumpkin at night, adjusting a student’s hip flexors during pigeon pose, drilling to the core of a client’s recurring panic attacks, or uniting a starry-eyed couple in marriage, her aim is the same:

To add to the Love in the world.

Not subtract. Not maintain. Not hold steady. Add.

This is an edict that needs no elucidation. We read it. We get it. We want to live it. Now.

So, how do we add to the Love in the world?

First, we remove all that is not Love from ourselves. The fear, cynicism, anxiety, and jealousy that keeps us snarky & small. (Side-note: Reverend Lisa can help you with that).

Next — or rather, concurrently — we find ways to become living emblems of Love.

It’s a beautiful image. And it’s also very, very difficult. Hey, if enlightenment was easy, we’d be there, already. (And His Holiness the Dalai Lama would be out of a job.)

I’m issuing a challenge — or rather, 7 micro-challenges. 7 days, and 7 ways … to add to the Love in the world. Starting now.

1 : Commit to one snark-free week.
Even the kindest people — you, for example … and me, most assuredly — succumb to bouts of bitterness, snidery, and snarkiness.
We speak in hushed, heavy-breathed tones about the relatives that irk us, the celebrities we find idiotic, the co-workers that rattle our nerves. It feels good — like scratching a swollen mosquito bite. It forges bonds — with equally snippity souls. It’s not OK. And we can stop it. Crank up your awareness, catch yourself in the act, and exhale like a lion. Whoosh! Whoops. Rewind.

2 : Be actively appreciative.
Your favorite barista adds a heart-shaped flourish to your morning soy latte, and balances a wafer-cookie on the edge of your cup.
Tell her she’s an Artist. Ask if you can write a letter of appreciation — to her boss. Leave a nice tip. Tweet your approval. Make her fucking day. And then, make someone else’s.

3 : Assume only excellence — until proven otherwise.
Your manicurist knows what he’s doing. Your accountant is coded to excel. Your new assistant is a hero. And people want to help you. Believe it — and it will (almost always) be true.

4 : Mine for GOLD, in everyone.
Your think your Uncle Ernie is ‘just’ a red-faced Republican with a tragically limited musical palette and an ever-so-slight drinking problem. And you always will. Until … you ask him to tell you about the War. And what it felt like to feel the sting of gasoline in his nostrils, as he pulled his best friend from the rubble. And how he never told anyone, not ever. And how if it weren’t for his father, he’d have gone to architecture school. And how secretly, he just adores Rachmaninoff.

5 : Say grace.
Before you sit down to dinner, to eat. Or to your computer, to create. Say grace for the blessing of your mind, your nimble fingers, your exquisite body, and the affluence that surrounds you. Hold a moment of silence. Or someone’s hand. See how it feels.

6 : Be shattered.
Cry like your heart’s been ravaged, if it has. Be absolutely not OK, if that’s your reality. Be an elegant disaster. Give others the opportunity to cradle you. They want to. Very much.

7 : Don’t delay.
Adding Love to the world isn’t a diet you start next Monday. Not that you should ever start a diet, next Monday. And adding Love to the world doesn’t start once you’ve cared for yourself ‘enough’. It starts at the same time — and it is the same thing.