Today is Valentines Day and for many, this day comes loaded with heavy baggage. Not only for couples who have to find a way to prove to their lovers that they care by spending lots of money on things they don’t really need. (like balloons, jewelry and, candy)
But it is also heavy for all the beautiful souls that are not in a relationship at this time. Maybe you’re going through a breakup, maybe you’re unhappy in your current relationship, maybe you have yet to find the right soulmate for you. Valentine’s Day doesn’t care, it shows up whether you like it or not.
Whatever your current situation, I want to remind you that Valentine’s Day is nothing more than a commercial holiday. It is a day retailers go on a mission to convince men to spend their hard earned money on stuff and to train women to accept nothing less than a grandiose monetary display of affection.
I’m writing to remind you that love is so much more than that. Love cannot be bought on a shelf of a store; it cannot be ordered on Amazon nor can it be charged to a credit card.
Love my friends, is so much more.
Love is showing kindness. Love is being patient with someone who’s struggling to figure themselves out. Love is helping a soul in need without any expectation for reciprocation. Love is taking good care of ourselves. Love is respecting other viewpoints even if they differ from our own. Love is that comfortable silent moment. Love is a hug that warms your heart and makes you smile. Love is when someone makes you laugh when you’re feeling down. Love is accepting and embracing others exactly as they are, flaws and all.
So, if you are single, do not allow retailers make you feel lonely or incomplete. If you are in a relationship, talk to your partner, tell them you don’t need all this V-Day fluff. If you are hurting, show love to someone you know. Giving love is one of the best ways to heal a broken heart.
While Valentine’s Day may take over your TV, infect your computer screen and overpopulate your inbox today, remember my friend, love is not only found in romance. Love is all around us, patiently waiting for us to open the door and let it in.
Sending you love, peace, and good vibrations. (not just because its Valentines Day, but always)
The latest Tom Brady controversy got me thinking about the power of social media. It is fascinating how something sweet and innocent can easily get misconstrued and distorted by the masses; how easily people get stirred up and outraged by simple actions of others; how quickly they are to jump in to judge, comment and criticize when the spotlight is not on them.
If you haven’t heard Tom Brady’s latest drama, here is a quick background. Tom Brady recently starred in a new documentary called Tom vs. Time, which shows his life on and off the field. In one of the episodes, his 10-year-old boy leans in to kiss his father (click below link to see the video). This kiss became the talk of the town, some of which was positive, some, unfortunately, not so much.
I was surprised to see how many people were outraged by this display of affection. Some are calling it creepy, others are saying it is outright disturbing. Some even said that this controversy has the US divided in either supporting or bashing parental affection.
When I heard the buzz I had to see it for myself. What I saw in that video was a loving connection between a father and son. I saw a warm relationship where there is love, security, and trust.
I don’t usually get involved or even comment on ridiculous controversies of this type. This one, however, hit home for me. I couldn’t ignore the absurdity of this topic. I couldn’t stand by and not support a father whose reputation was dragged through the mud because he decided to share this private moment with his son.
I had to speak up because it’s not funny to discredit a loving dad for having a good relationship with his kid. It’s not fair to call a sweet parent-child interaction an act of disgrace. It’s not right to tarnish his integrity and reputation because people don’t understand how close and affectionate a family can be.
I support Tom because I too am a parent who unconditionally loves her child. I want to show the “other” half of the US that there are many loving families out there that see this for what it is, a kind display of love and unity. I want to show the world that there are so many of us who kiss our children because we are and will forever be deeply connected. I say this without the slightest hesitation because I am sure many parents would agree, that our children will always be our babies in our eyes and we understand how innocent and pure a parent’s kiss truly is.
So in honor of love and family unity, I proudly share my kissy photos with my son and I don’t care what anyone has to say about it!
If you are a proud parent with a strong bond with your child, I ask you to do the same and post it on a social medium of your choice with a hashtag #tombradykiss and #kissyourkids
To all the wonderful parents out there who love and respect their children, I thank you for raising emotionally healthy and loving beings, the world needs them.
With love and kisses, Alyana
What do you see when you look in the mirror? What comes to mind when you self-reflect? Can you think of a few things you love about yourself? Self-perception is a very tricky thing. Here is my latest run-in with self-perception.
I love all things that motivate, ignite and inspire. I love having deep and meaningful discussions that stimulate and energize our minds. I do my best to be optimistic and make a conscious effort to focus on the good.
With such a strong emphasis on positivity in my life, I was surprised by what I recently discovered about myself. I realized that despite all the love I focus on, I am still much too tough and unkind to myself. This made me wonder how many of you my friends do the same? How many of you work your butts off to please others, to make sure you get this and that checked off your to-do list? How many of you give yourself a hard time because you didn’t accomplish enough, didn’t try harder, didn’t make it as far as you’d hoped? I bet I’m not alone.
This thought laid its heavy head on me during a recent yoga practice. The instructor gave us a focus exercise, she said: “think of one thing you love about yourself.” I was surprised at just how long I pondered on this. It took me much too long to find something I could say I truly loved about me. Criticism, doubt and, cynicism jumped up at the opportunity to stomp on my self-love.
So I ask you my friends, can you think of one thing you love about yourself? Can you be that honest and real with yourself? Without anyone listening, without anyone judging your words can you find one thing you admire about you?
If you, like I, struggled with this, don’t worry, you are not alone. Here is what helped me.
Realizing that I had an issue with this exercise was the first step. Just like any addiction, we need to understand that the problem exists before we start to address it.
Next, I began to seek solutions. One way I was able to change the narrative in my mind was to hear a voice of a loved one. I imagined all the good things they would say about me, to me. I thought hard about what words they would use to inspire, uplift and motivate me. I concentrated on this so deeply that after closing my eyes I was able to see their face, their mouth, their warm and comforting smile. Then I paid attention to what sticks. Which of their statements can I agree with? What do they see in me that I so easily neglect?
This exercise helped me realize that I have some inner work to do. It reminded me that I am a loving and caring person that deserves my own kindness and respect. And last but not least, it reminded me how fortunate I am to have people in my life that uplift, support, and encourage me. I am grateful to have someone to remind me that I am love; that I am light and that I am enough exactly the way I am.
In case you forgot dear one, let me be the voice that reminds you that you are beautiful, you are kind, you are loved and you owe yourself some honest and comforting self-love!
P.S. Shout out to my Yoga instructor for allowing me to go deeper not just with my stretching but for helping me stretch those tightly wound up muscles in my mind.
Sending you love, peace and, good vibrations. Today and always.
With love, Alyana
Every so often a tragedy strikes. Whether it’s a devastating natural disaster like Irma or a man-made catastrophe such as the recent shooting in Las Vegas, every one of these painful occurrences brings with them a subtle reminder of how fragile we really are. They reveal how gentle, soft and delicate we are at the core. They remind us how much we grieve when we lose someone we love. They show how much we hurt when we see others in pain. They demonstrate how sorrow is a universal feeling shared by each and every one of us, regardless of our background or upbringing.
We are reminded by these bone-chilling moments that despite our differences we are much more alike than we are different. Our bodies need water and our lungs demand air just the same. Our eyes shed tears and our wounds bleed blood just the same. We want love for our children and good health for our parents, just the same. We all harness a passion to care, to feel, to love.
Yet somehow, time and time again, we go astray from this natural way of being. When the dust of a tragedy settles we go back to our conditioned ways. We listen to the whispers or sometimes outright screams who tell us blame them, punish him or hate her. Pick a side they tell us, join our team. They’re wrong, we’re right. It’s us against them.
Whether its sports, politics or news, they want us to take sides, to separate, to divide. And we do, time and time again. We argue with our family over the next politician, we get sucked into race wars and finger pointing, we defend our beliefs with sweat blood and tears.
The harsh truth is each one of us is doing it because we think it is the better way. We wholeheartedly believe that we are on the right path and want our loved ones to recognize, validate and join our journey. But what we forget or neglect is that each individual is on their unique path and we cannot change or convince them otherwise. All we can do is support, understand and listen but most importantly unite. Unite in our love for life. Unite in our love for peace. Unite in our love for the world. Unite every day like we did after 9/11, Paris, Florida, Irma, Manchester, Las Vegas.
Let’s stand united in the name of all the victims of brutality with love and kindness in our hearts for their loved ones who have to cope with so much loss and pain.
The topic of unity always brings me back to a famous Charlie Chaplin speech made in a 1040 film The Great Dictator. His bone-chilling words continue to resonate almost 80 years later. If you have yet to see this speech, please take a moment to see it here.
Sending you love, peace and unity my friends. Be kind to one another. Love, support and appreciate each moment we get to share on this unpredictable journey of life.
Have you ever heard this quote from the Dalai Lama “sometimes not getting what we want is a wonderful stroke of luck”? I love this quote, it makes me think about all the things I thought I wanted and all the things I didn’t get.
Looking back at a younger me, I see a very different person from the one I get to be today. Just a few years ago, I had drastically different priorities and possessed what I would now consider to be pretty questionable values. Back then I hoped for things I wouldn’t want today. Just a few years ago I wished for a life I would go great lengths to avoid now. This doesn’t mean that I was wrong. It simply shows how much I didn’t know.
Isn’t it amazing how much can change within a relatively short period of time? Particularly when we make room for personal growth. This kind of growth takes patience and a whole lot of soul searching. It requires thinking outside of the box. It may call for visiting places we’ve never been before and it might demand of us to let go of predispositions we oh so cherish. If we pay attention, we can almost hear our inner selves silently screaming to break out of their tightly fitted comfort zones. If only we dared to try something new, something scary, just enough to shift our perspective. If only we gave our soul some room to stretch its legs. Imagine the wonder we could find.
Through my own set of experiences, I now see that not all of our wishes are meant to come true and I now realize just how wonderful that can be. Here are some examples of what I didn’t know just a short time ago and how grateful I am to know them today.
I’m grateful that the wishes of my past did not become the reality of my today. So if you haven’t quite obtained what you are hoping for right now, perhaps it’s life’s way of telling you that there are better and more meaningful experiences waiting ahead. Don’t fret over not getting that job, not landing the deal or not getting a callback. Maybe it’s all preparing you for the future, more wiser, more resilient and more complete you. After all not getting what we want could be a wonderful stroke of luck.
Sending you love, peace and good vibrations.