Love * kisses * hugs

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We all want to feel loved. When my daughter was having a hard time at school with some girls who were just not too nice because they were dealing with their own sense of who they were and their place in the world, I use to say to her “… no matter what, know that you are well loved”. She has grown up to be a kind caring young lady who will look after her friends and is always there for them. Even when she was in that horrid what-happened-to-my-sweet-little-and-who-is-this-mean-rude-girl phase she was always so kind … well … to everyone else … I was not privy to that affection. That’s okay … unconditional love is when your daughter knows you will love her no matter what … pure and simple.

As John Lennon sang “All you need is love”. I believe that love and kindness are two very important elements that go hand in hand. Love and kindness truly do make for a happier and serene world. Can you imagine what our world would be like if, when you accidentally cut someone off in traffic, they smile and gave you that “all good” look? Or if you were taking your time ordering the coffee you like to have, the way you like it, and people smiled and were reminded that we are truly blessed to have choices. Or instead of all those conflicts happening across our world, people decided to drop their guns and bombs and learnt to smile and shake hands and accepted that one’s culture, one’s religion, one’s class and one’s gender is what makes our world so rich. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful global village us earthlings live in!

I confess … I do sometimes live in a rainbow filled unicorn world. But I truly believe that being kind and truly embracing love will allow you to send that positive aura out into the universe. Today walking back to the apartment with my daughter we talked about love … actually my love for her … she remembered that I was always there for her when she was a little girl. By the way, just so you know, I am still always there for her now she is eighteen (well not at the moment as I am writing this blog post when I promised her I would dress her new bed) … insert cheeky grin here. She told me today that she appreciated that I gave up work to be with her when she was a toddler and that I went back to work part-time. She acknowledged that no matter what happened in terms of mother-daughter tiffs and challenges there was always hugs and kisses. That’s love I told her. On this same stroll back I bantered with two strangers. One had a few bottles of Sparkling Wine. I joked on passing, “Looks like there’s a fun evening ahead” and then a few seconds later told a lady that her outfit looked lovely. My daughter rolled her eyes and retorted why I always needed to talk to strangers. I replied, with a smile of course, that if one comment said, with authenticity and kindness, can make someone’s day, well I will talk to strangers to my heart’s content.

Including positivity in your life can help you live with happiness and contentment. Success, an online Magazine, says that we become what we are when surrounded by positivity on a daily basis. To live a happy and more positive life we need to be surrounded by positive people.  The article goes on to say that, “Positive people can shift our moods, challenge our perspectives and encourage us to find the good”. Italians believe that being together and enjoying good food is important to have a contented life. One quote that I have carried through life is that when you at the table, you never get old:

A tavola non si invecchia.

As an Australian-Italian, I learnt that Italians never eat alone and this always includes your extended family … your Zias and Zios (aunties and uncles) and cousins and, if you are fortunate, your Nonna and/or Nonno (grandparents). Having family and friends sharing a meal together reminds you that life, that all stages of life, is precious, especially when all the people you love are there sharing it with you. It’s pure and simple.

In my life, I have been working hard to include and practice the following to add more positivity to my own life so that I may live one that is a happier, more content and serene existence… and … because sharing is caring … I will share what I try and do each day with you all:

❦ Be kind to others and do one good deed per day. This does not need to be huge. A simple smile and a good morning as you walk the dog or are out exercising are enough. Letting someone get on the bus before you is another. Or just tell someone you like something about them … but be genuine. Being unsincere is so transparent.

❦ Be grateful. Think of one thing you are grateful for. Again it can be as simple as being grateful for the morning or the love of a partner, child or pet. Dogs love you unconditionally. As M.K Clinton once quoted, the world would be a nicer place if everybody had the ability to love unconditionally as a dog. You could also keep a Gratitude Journal. I have a little prompt on my computer at work that prompts me to think of one thing I am grateful for each day.

❦ Make time to do something that gives you pleasure. For me, it’s writing (including this Blog), reading and watching foreign films and Period Dramas, being present with my dog and cats, baking for my family, and walking along the River. Don’t be afraid to make me-time. If you look after yourself emotionally so you are happy then everyone around you will be happier too because positivity is so contagious. It truly is a wonderful cycle that just gets stronger and stronger each time it goes around.

❦ Make sure you get enough sleep, drink lots of water, exercise and eat a variety of foods that are whole and real … that means reducing processed foods that are filled with high sugar, salt and trans fats. Now I did not say eliminate, but rather reduce. So you can stop the hyperventilating. Living in moderation is the key. Growing up in an Italian family we understood that it was all about the quality of good food, great company and passionate conversations. And remember …

Mangia bene, ridi spesso, ama molto. (Eat well, laugh often, love much)

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