Publisher - February 2023

“I have found that if you love life,
life will love you back!”
—Arthur Rubinstein—

I know. It’s February, the month when love takes the spotlight. Sometimes it doesn’t matter if you are a Miss, Mrs., or Ms., February can be a tough month to get through. There are so many expectations surrounding Valentine’s Day, many begin to compare their relationship—or lack of a relationship—to the unrealistic romantic fiction coming out of Hollywood, or to the love birds who constantly post their never-ending happiness on social media.

However, this month doesn’t have to be difficult. There are so many aspects of love to celebrate and so much more to the whole love thing than just being in a relationship. This year, whether you are involved in a great love affair or not, celebrate love for all it can be. Don’t let this month be anything but a reason to celebrate, for love is a many splendid thing. Here are some ideas:

Love Yourself
Loving yourself is the first and most important step on the ladder of living a full, juicy, wonderful life. It’s hard, though, because we tend to be our own worst critics. However, it is only when you can look within yourself and love what you see, that you can start to not only fully love others, but also fully receive love from others, as well.

Let me clarify something on this loving yourself concept: No one likes everything about herself, and that is OK. How much you love yourself reveals itself in how you handle parts of yourself you don’t like. How do you treat yourself? I wish I would treat myself more tender but sometimes I’m not good at it.

I spent years criticizing myself for any and all of my shortcomings, expecting way more from myself than from others. With maturity, I discovered I actually like some of my faults and oddities; they make me who I am as much as my good parts (and my BF thinks some of them are adorable! Yay me!!) Some of them are just plain funny. I encourage you to start where you are. Even if you are not convinced that you love yourself, just start being kind to yourself. Soon, you will be on the way to a fun love affair with someone that’s with you everywhere you go…YOU!

Love Your Choices
Many people go through every day of their life completely miserable. Others, aren’t miserable, but aren’t happy either. As a society we have become so stuck in doing things one way, we tend to forget we have choices in everything we do. The beauty of being a species gifted with free-will is we can choose to live, be, or act differently anytime we get ready. It may sound simple, or maybe super hard, but I had a huge revelation when a friend once looked deep into my eyes and stated, “Elizabeth, you don’t HAVE to do anything.” That stirred my soul. It was freeing. My life was filled with HAVE TOS and SHOULD HAVES. She told me to quit “should-ing” all over myself. Now I’m telling you! Your life is a series of choices, and the choices are yours to make. Doesn’t it make sense to make as many of your choices as possible, ones you love?

Love Your Surroundings
We are so fortunate to live in a gorgeous part of the U.S.A. Our outdoor surroundings are naturally breathtaking, but it’s important to also love your indoor surroundings. Author Sandra Magsamen says in her book Living Artfully, “It doesn’t require a lot of money to make a home; it takes a lot of love.”

I encourage you to surround yourself with colors, art, photos, books and things that fill you with joy, evoke special memories and cherish people you love. When you look around your home, apartment, or even your workspace or cubicle, ask yourself if it is a representation of who you are and what you love. If it’s not, choose to make it your own and start loving it!

Live Passionately
When you love yourself, love your choices and love your surroundings, your passions can truly begin to blossom. Passion is what a full life is built upon, and we all deserve to live a full life—we only get one. Passion refuses to co-exist with the mundane. Who wants their eulogy to read, “She truly lead quite a mundane life?” You can be the woman you want to be, the woman you know you are and the woman that’s right inside of you. You can begin today!

This year, take a leap of love right in direct aim of cupid’s arrow. Allow love to flourish within you so much it coats your insides and overflows in the form of a smile, a twinkle in your eye, extra pep in your step, compassion in your heart and laughter…lots and lots of laughter. Dr. Love (Leo Buscaglia) himself once said, “Love is life. If you miss love, you miss life.”

Don’t miss it.

Think Pink,
Elizabeth Millen