1. Practice receiving small bursts of love, like compliments or random acts of kindness. We’ve all done the dance when someone gives us a compliment to push the energy somewhere else. At our best we say ‘Thank you’ without fully receiving the love, and at our worst we discount the compliment, ‘Oh, this old thing? Had it for years.’ Or said, “No thank you” to a stranger who offered to do some small favor for us – like lift our luggage, let us go ahead in line, carry a bag, etc. These are all instances of blocking love. Reject love in small ways, and you block it in big ways. My friend Marci Shimoff, author of Love for No Reason, says it takes 20 seconds to fully receive a compliment. To increase your love quotient, when someone gives you a compliment, say “Thank you” and add on to it with what you love about what they’ve complimented you on. And next time someone offers to help you, say YES! Thank you. And receive the love.
2. Start with Self-Love. When you love yourself, no one can take love away from you. And the more you love yourself, the more love you will naturally attract in your life. These are facts. So take a vow, or several, of self-love. A good one to start with is, “I promise to give myself unconditional love and respect, always.” In my first book, Choosing ME before WE, I included the 5 vows of self love I originally took with myself – there is a chapter on each. You can also download the free Self-love Kit I created at www.ChooseSelfLove.com
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3. Smile at strangers. Practice giving small bursts of love and letting that love in by smiling at strangers. Sometimes they will smile back and sometimes they won’t. Of course, when they smile back, it will feel good. Stay with the smile and literally feel your heart open to receive the love, melting layers of protection. But even when the strangers don’t smile back you can increase your love quotient by staying with your smile, in your heart and redirecting that love to yourself so that the love feeling doesn’t go away. Each time you smile at someone and they don't return the smile, you have an opportunity to teach your heart that you won’t die or feel utterly rejected if love isn’t returned from another.
4. Create close, healthy connections with multiple people of your same gender & get real. Women with women. Men with men. This is about opening up your heart to forming close, intimate and deep bonds – not just based on a shared history or because of shared work or child situations, but based on really revealing and seeing each other for who you truly are. Intimacy = Into Me See. I meet so many women, and I was one too, who don’t have the level of deep and vast love in their lives they crave because they don’t have deep, intimate connections with other women. They may have lots of friends, but those friendships are not the deeply vulnerable kind. They may even have one or two BFFs that they let mostly in, but they wouldn't be caught dead in a group of other women sharing openly and vulnerably. Taking part in sacred circles with other women will give your love quotient a HUGE quantum leap, because your heart will learn to trust again in ways it can only do with other women.