“It’s not about how much you do, but how much love you put into what you do that counts.”

~Mother Teresa

Loving well counts.

Whether it is yourself, others, animals or the planet. When we love well, we live well. Our hearts are happier, our souls are at peace. What is loving well though? At it’s source it is being authentic, vulnerable, brave, kind, and passionate. Susan David gave a beautiful TED talk on the subject of  loving and living and emotional courage that is worth a watch. Loving well and living well are tied together. Here are three easy ways to love well  and live well everyday.

1. Be thoughtful.

I used to think I was a very thoughtful person. I would do nice things for people like make them things, bring them things, buy them things- most of the time nothing extravagant, just I would see something that reminded me of them or was something they could use of would enjoy and I would pick it up and give it to them. Often I would make them something little- a card, a note. And then I realized that the busier my life got the less and less I did these things and suddenly I was mostly on the receiving end, not the giving end. And it bothered me.

Was I any less thoughtful of a person? No, I was just a really busy person who barely had enough time to get the basic things I needed to get done everyday, much less make time to do extra things for other people. And I think that is a lot of us and a main reason why maybe we are not as thoughtful as we could be.

We are so busy. Thoughtfulness requires time and attention. Two key things many of us don’t have in this fast paced world we live in. Which is why we have to get mindful about thoughtfulness. We all want to be thoughtful and do nice things for other people and we certainly appreciate it when others do thoughtful things for us. And the beauty of thoughtfulness is that it is free. What we can give that is of the most value to someone else is ourselves.

So, try to find a few minutes to just text or call a friend or family member and catch up this week. We forget how important just reaching out to someone can be in showing we are thinking of them.

As parent’s it’s easy to tune out the kids clamoring for our attention or trying to tell us something. Try this bedtime ritual to connect with your little ones (or teenagers)- ask them these four questions and really listen to their answers and engage with them. We have done it with our kids and not only is it a peaceful, loving way to send them off to sleep, but I am always surprised by the answers and things I learn.

  1. What was your favorite part of your day?
  2. What was your least favorite part of your day?
  3. What did you learn today?
  4. Who were you kind to today?

And don’t forget to be thoughtful with yourself too. Do something nice for yourself each day that speaks to your soul. Whether it’s an affirmation, a walk, yoga, a workout, tea, reading- whatever connects you to your heart, incorporate it into your daily/ weekly routine. Life-longlearner.com has a great post on how to be a more thoughtful busy person in less than 10 minutes a day.  No matter how busy we are it’s no excuse, we can be more thoughtful if we are intentional about it.

2. Celebrate.

We all want to feel valued and loved and seen and heard. One of the easiest ways to love people well is to celebrate them. Not just on their birthday or holidays (although those are fantastic occasions to do so too), but for the little accomplishments and successes in everyday life. We all need a cheerleader, a biggest fan that’s there to celebrate with us and to keep us going when the going get’s tough. Psychology Today has a great article about 52 Ways to celebrate people.

A friend of mine sent me a quote the other day out of the blue and it made my day. I was struggling with feeling overwhelmed and rather unsuccessful, it said “Quick pep talk: Hello, you bad ass bitch. You’re killing it. Keep going.”. I wanted to hug her through the phone. It was perfectly timed and gave me that little bit of love, faith and inspiration I needed.

My sister is the queen of this. That woman knows how to celebrate people better than anyone I have ever met. There is not one person whether family, co-worker, friend or stranger that does not feel loved by her. She know’s your favorite drink, dessert, store, restaurant, meal, etc. and if you are long distance she will mail it to you, that’s how determined she is to make sure you know how much she loves you. She will email, call, text or send a card every time you succeed wonderfully or fail miserably in life. She will compliment strangers with such authenticity and love that it will bring a tear to their eye.

To be celebrated is to be honored, adored, cherished, and loved for who we are and we all deserve and need to be celebrated. Life’s hard. Love is what makes it easier.

3. Give.

Give your time, your energy, your talents, your money, your wisdom, your attention- give whatever you have to give to someone or something that needs it. To love well, we must give something of ourselves.

Whether you volunteer at or donate to a charity, you are giving love. When you hold the door or elevator, you are being polite, but you are also being loving. If you are a painter and you give someone one of your paintings, you are giving them love. When we think of love as a currency, as energy, we realize there are multiple opportunities every single day to love people well.  And we could all use more love.

We can love our family well by giving them our time and attention, by sharing knowledge and talents with our children to teach and empower them, and maybe by giving up some things- too much television, booze, work, etc and replacing them with things that nurture our bonds, relationships and love.

Giving to ourselves needs to be a priority. Loving well does not mean sacrificing our time, needs, or wants. We must keep our well full in order to have more to give to others, check out this blog on Tiny Buddha that talks about this in more detail. Love starts from within and to love another well we must love ourself well.

May your Valentines Day and everyday be filled with loving yourself, others, animals, and the planet well. 

Cheers- Be Well & LOVE Well

Heather Sloan initials

Heather Sloan

Heather Sloan
Founder & CEO,          The Alt Care Collective